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Opinion: Team USA’s uniforms resemble ugly sweaters

Ralph Lauren (left) designed Team USA’s uniforms for the 2014 Winter Olympics, set to begin Feb. 7 in Sochi, Russia. Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Ralph Lauren (left) designed Team USA’s uniforms for the 2014 Winter Olympics, set to begin Feb. 7 in Sochi, Russia.
Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Congratulations, United States Olympic athletes. You’ve accomplished an incredible feat after endless hours of work at your sport and now you get to perform in front of the whole world.

Oh yeah, and you’re going to look ridiculous when you make your grand appearance for the moment you’ve probably been waiting for your whole life.

Ralph Lauren unveiled the uniforms Team USA is set to wear in the opening ceremony at the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. And they’re awful.

I don’t have a great deal of interest invested in fashion, but I’ve always been a huge fan of the Olympics. I love the way that so many countries come together for one really special moment. Sure, it doesn’t solve any of the countless problems gripping the world today but the idea that so many people can come together for something good and nonviolent has always been really inspiring to me.

So, naturally, like any other petty human, I want my representatives to look good while they’re at it.

The way they won’t look good is wearing an ugly Christmas sweater. And that’s exactly what the athletes are set to do — except, even better, it’s a patriotic ugly Christmas sweater.

It honestly looks like one of the throw blankets in a grandmother’s house got frisky with one of grandma’s sweaters and spawned this full-on hideous ugly sweater, which is the highlighted portion of the uniforms.

Don’t get me wrong, I almost get where Ralph Lauren was going with this. You know, the 74-year-old man took a look around and thought, “Huh, there seems to be a trend of really ugly sweaters going on in the winter time. Sure, why not throw it in this outfit?”

The worst part is I almost want one to wear — ironically, to a Christmas party — because these sweaters have everything: the date, the country name, the Olympic rings, stars, stripes, America. All it needs are some light up fireworks and party-goers everywhere could really have some inspiration for a Christmas in July meets July 4 party.

Presented under this cardigan-like eyesore is a classic white turtleneck.

Wait, what?

When was the last time any of us bought a turtleneck? I mean, sure, it’s a classic look but I’m pretty sure they’ve gone out of style. Most of these athletes are young, so the look dates them. Worse, it strangles them.

I’m all about maintaining warmth for the winter competition but luckily, scarves serve the same purpose in a much more flattering manner.

Continuing down the uniforms, we come to tight white pants which really aren’t so bad. Skinny pants fit with current style and work for men and women. Sure, I can buy these.

But then there’s the lettering on the bottom of the pants that proudly proclaims “2014 Team USA RL,” because Ralph Lauren hasn’t made a piece of clothing in the last 30 years without his name or initials on it.

The words make the pants look cheaper and really just create a blemish on an otherwise clean design. They look like high school sportswear gone wrong. Do the Olympic athletes really need a reminder for where they are or what team they’re representing?

The rest of the uniform is pretty normal. Socks. Boots. Hat. But it’s all hard to see beyond the sweater. My eyes just keep coming back to it and finding a new pattern to digest.

I think it’s great Ralph Lauren used all USA materials (after he missed the ball on that in 2012) but his look represents America in all the wrong ways.

One comment

  1. Agree! Would win in an ugly sweater contest!

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