With just 15 days until the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the Ralph Lauren-designed opening ceremony parade uniform has officially been revealed.
And let’s just say, it’s not subtle.
The uniform consists of a chunky, patchwork knit wool cardigan ($595) emblazoned with stars, stripes and patriotic graphics. Thankfully, it doesn’t include an outsized Ralph Lauren Polo pony logo this time, but does include the word “Polo” on the lapel, mere spitting distance from the U.S. Olympic logo.
The cardigan is paired with a cream turtleneck sweater ($245) and cozy-looking, slim-fitting fleece sweatpants ($165), tucked into sporty black leather mountaineer-type boots with red laces ($395).
Jared Zezel and Jessica Schultz, 2014 U.S. Olympic Team nominees in curling, revealed the men’s and women’s uniforms during a segment on “Today.”
After the fiasco leading up to the 2012 London Olympics, when it was revealed that the Ralph Lauren-designed Team USA uniforms were made in China, this time, the uniforms were made entirely in the United States.
The sweater, for example, started with wool from a sheep farm in Oregon, then went to Pennsylvania to be spun, then to North Carolina to be dyed, and then to California to be sewn by a family-owned factory.
“The variety of special touches mirror the many hands across the country from more than 40 vendors that helped Ralph Lauren produce its entire Team USA wardrobe in the United States. The sweater is a ‘patchwork’ in the true sense of the word to make a collage that represents the American athletes who each have their own unique story to tell,” according to a news release issued by the company.
And for the first time, 100% of the purchase price of the Limited Edition Team USA Opening Ceremony Cardigan will be donated to the U.S. Olympic Committee.
The Ralph Lauren 2014 Team USA Collection for men, women and children is available for purchase online at www.RalphLauren.com, select Ralph Lauren retail stores, select department stores and at TeamUSAShop.org.
I found the graphics on the cardigan to be a bit dizzying at first glance, but they have grown on me. The look is cute in a craftsy, homespun, cowichan sweater kind of way, which is no doubt exactly what Ralph Lauren intended. I think the brand really redeemed itself.
So what do you think of the look? Does it make you think of a bad Christmas sweater, or does it have a snugly retro vibe?
[For the Record, 11:42 am. PST Jan. 23: An earlier version of this post said the Ralph Lauren cardigan costs $495. It costs $595.]