Team USA Opening Ceremony Uniforms Unveiled & Norway’s Curling Team Uniforms are Back – Bigger, Brighter & Bolder

Hello-Hello and Happy Friday from Ice Station Prep, where 0° is starting to look positively tropical.

WLNS-TV

WLNS-TV

We hope it’s more temperate in your corner of the globe this morning.

Today we take look at the Team USA opening ceremony uniforms from Ralph Lauren, publicly revealed yesterday on the Today Show.

The Today Show

The Today Show

Here we see the sketches and final product on ice hockey player Julie Chu.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

And on another ice hockey player for Team USA, Zach Parise.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Reaction to the look has been…..mixed. First a refresher on the closing ceremony uniforms, as several comments refer to those styles as well.  From left to right, skier Hannah Kearney, ice dancers Charlie White and Meryl Davis, and skater Evan Lysacek (who isn’t competing in Sochi due to an injury).

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

We hear from NY Times fashion critic Cathy Horyn.

The peacoat is terrific; the cardigan invites comparisons to hideous Christmas sweaters.

….the sweater oddly combines several tastes — hipster styling (that grandfatherly shawl collar), excessive sports graphics and homey patchwork, like what you might see in a traditional crazy quilt. In the bold arrangement of the patriotic symbols, there is also something of a digital feel. And when the sweaters appear in a group, as they will for the opening ceremony in Sochi, the symbols could almost be read as an abstraction of the American flag.

A closer look at the sweater.

The Cut

Ralph Lauren

From the Fug Girls:

 That cardigan is busier than a stylist during awards season. It looks homemade, and not in that “Hey, you should have an Etsy shop” kind of way; more the, “Oh, you… have an Etsy shop? For that? That’s… so thrilling.”

As many have noted, there is a lot going on with the sweater; a few of the different elements.

Ralph Lauren Instagram

Ralph Lauren Instagram

Back to the Fug Girls:

Also, why is the word POLO stamped on the lapel? I mean, I KNOW why, intellectually; it’s because Ralph Lauren is self-promoting. I get it. You want everyone to know this is your work. (Although in this case: WHY GOD WHY. Nobody is seriously paying $600 to own one of these, right? They’ll be on clearance for under $200 soon, surely.) But that jacket is crazy busy. The LAST thing, the very last, that it needed was another word on it.

The perspective from The Cut:

Here are all the things that the cardigan has going on:

It has stars — of all different sizes and sorts. It has stripes — of different widths and orientations. There are full printed flags on the right chest and down the left sleeve. It also says Sochi on the left sleeve, so in case any Olympians wander off into the next town, they can be promptly returned. The sweater has Olympic rings, of course, in their many different colors. It has solid cuffs, ribbed for a touch of texture. It has three separate US, and A patches. A note that reads OLYMPIC TEAM in blue and SOCHI RUSSIA in white, on red. A little note that says POLO on the left side of the shawl color. The number 2014 on the right side. A patch pocket on each hip.

It’s a hullabaloo of knitwear perfect for inaugurating your first annual Olympic-themed ugly sweater party!

A couple of thoughts:

  • Yours truly has been relentless her whining occasionally griped about those ginormous Polo Ralph Lauren logos on Team USA uniforms. The most important thing about these uniforms is where they were made: in the USA. That is a big deal for someone raised in the Midwest (and also for many not raised here). For example, the wool for the sweaters was grown in Oregon, spun in Pennsylvania and then knit into sweaters in California. To their credit, Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. responded to the outrage over previous Team USA uniforms made overseas and manufactured things in America.   
  • there is a boisterous element to the look, a quintessential American exuberance that is wonderful to recognize. I just don’t think that exuberance had to be taken to the level it was in the sweaters.
  • addressing the obvious – the POLO word on the lapel is ridiculous. It sits higher on the chest than the words “USA Olympic Team Sochi Russia” and that’s just not appropriate. I love how much Mr. Lauren’s company has given to the USOC, the millions donated to restore the original Star Spangled Banner flag, all of that. It doesn’t matter: make the logo smaller and less prominent, or do away with it altogether for heaven’s sake.
  • at the end of the day it’s “our kids” wearing them and we hope they do well and have the time of their lives.

One of the group shots from Ralph Lauren.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Apparently not everyone loathes the look: the men’s and women’s cardigan sweaters ($595) and fleece pants ($165) were available for purchase online, and they are now shown as being sold out. (It’s likely some of them were purchased by those planning to resell them on venues like eBay.) Fear not, there are many other things for sale at Ralph Lauren; the women’s styles are here, and the men’s merchandise is here.  Below we show the Ceremony Reindeer Hat ($95), Double D-Ring belt ($75) and Limited Edition Bear ($355).

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

There is also a limited selection available at the Team USA online shop.

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We have another Olympic tidbit today, this one involving Team Norway. Remember the Norwegian Curling Team in Vancouver, and their wild argyle pants? The team plans to outdo that sartorial showing.  Below we see the team competing, via Loudmouth Curling.

Loudmouth Curling

Loudmouth Curling

Some history on how the Vancouver uniforms came to be worn, via USA Today’s For the Win blog, quoting curler Christoffer Svae:

He told the AP that he wasn’t pleased with his team’s plain black and gray uniforms they had been given to wear in Vancouver and asked an equipment sponsor a month before the Olympics to make them something more colorful. But there wasn’t enough time. So he took matters into his own hands online where he found Loudmouth, an American sportswear company known for its “flamboyant attire.”

The obvious question:

Loudmouth

Loudmouth

The NY Times explains what happened next:

At first, Svae’s teammates did not go for it.

“I thought it was the most ridiculous thing I had seen,” Torger Nergaard said. But he did not think fans would care one way or the other. “As long as we were wearing pants, I didn’t think there would be too much of a fuss.”

Four years later, the teammates say the pants improved their performance. Now they wear them in practice and in competitions.

Here is just one of the styles they’ll be sporting in Sochi, via the Today Show.

The Today Show

The Today Show

The team has returned to the style mavens at Loudmouth Golf for their Olympic styles. Below, a broader look at four of the patterns you’ll see on Team Norway.  From left to right the patterns are: Norway Flag, Dixie, Norway Chevron and Rosemaling Black.

Loudmouth Golf

Loudmouth Golf

Don’t be fooled by that last one on the right, “rosemaling” is actually Norwegian for decorative painting, a folk art that frequently included stylized flowers. Those are just four of the 9 or 10 designs we’ll see Team Norway wearing in Sochi. The other styles have yet to be revealed. (Be still, my beating heart.) Never fear being out of the loop, we’ll get full fashion reports from The Consort, curling is his favorite Winter Olympic sport. Really.

And because a phenomenon doesn’t count unless it has its own Facebook page, here is a link to the NOCTP page (Norwegian Olympic Curling Team’s Pants) on Facebook. 

With that, it’s g’bye until next time. May your mittens be warm and your antifreeze topped off!

 

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Logos, preppy

5 Responses to Team USA Opening Ceremony Uniforms Unveiled & Norway’s Curling Team Uniforms are Back – Bigger, Brighter & Bolder

  1. Lauren

    I think everybody should quit their bitching about the uniforms. You wanted Made in America, you got Made in America! Suck it up buttercup. But you can’t please everyone all the time, and some people will always find something to criticize!
    And now the State Department is warning Team USA not to wear their team apparel outside of the secured area for their own safety. Should make for an interesting Games…

  2. Maureen

    I love the peacoat.
    Though who knows if it would be warm enough for where I am. I am in the Midwest too and well I know the weather is quite chilly lately.

  3. The sweater design – yikes! Although the field of stars on the back look nice… and calm. The peacoat is classic Lauren but who other than an athlete could get away with wearing a big red band around their hips. :) . Go USA!

  4. Not loving the sweater, its so busy it literally makes me dizzy. And frankly I am over the RL logo, enough is enough. Its getting bigger and more obnoxious. I am a huge fan or Ralph and his genius design aesthetic but there can be too much of a good thing! Enjoy your weekend and stay warm..this weather is just ridiculous!

  5. Hate the big logo and I agree the sweater is too busy and looks like you could wear it to an ugly Christmas sweater party. Surprised RL could not come up with something a little more classy and less obnoxious.

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