The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics are only two weeks away so it’s time we got a look at Team USA’s festive wardrobe. Betsy Ross – you might want to cover your eyes. The Ralph Lauren designed Opening Ceremony uniforms are… well, wildly patriotic.
Unveiled today, the outfits hark back to that most American of crafts, the patchwork quilt. The American iconography stitched on includes oversized stars and stripes alongside multicolored rings and names and numbers. The uniforms are also a patchwork of American craftsmanship — the wool was carted from Oregon, spun in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and knit in California.
During the last Olympics, Ralph Lauren took a lashing because the uniforms were mostly manufactured in China; this time around Lauren is making sure that the made-in-the-USA message is emblazoned on and woven into every piece outfitting the more than 400 athletes and 250 officials.
Fans quickly took to social media to share their fashion views. The most popular Tweets were a variation on the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party theme.
Julie Chu, a member of the women’s hockey team, told USA Today her thoughts on the uniforms.
“What I really enjoy when [I] look at it is I can see the patriotic spirit. When everyone’s wearing it together, it makes a bold statement.”
That is an understatement.
The company described the new attire as “a dynamic mix of patriotic references in a classic color palette of red, white and navy.”
But Team USA may not win the prize for the gaudiest uniform at this year’s Olympics – that accolade will probably go to the snazzy suits unveiled earlier this week by the Norwegian curling team.
You, too can make a bold, patriotic statement: Team USA’s shawl cardigan with stars goes for a whopping $598, the cotton turtleneck sweater and the fleece athletic pants are a steal at $165, the black leather boots with red laces are $395 and the braided reindeer hat is $95. Prices are a bit steeper than usual but the garments are proudly stamped with a Made in America label. Proceeds go to the U.S. Olympic Committee.