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U.S. Goes Preppy for Olympic Wardrobe

The WSJ reports:

Chariots"The preppy styles Polo is making for the athletes to wear in the Opening and Closing ceremonies and in the Olympic Village will mark a departure from sporty outfits that the American team has worn in recent years, such as retro ski jackets inspired by vintage Ducati motorcycle ads that were worn in Turin, Italy, in 2006."

Check out the first glimpse of one of the outfits,

Polo_2The U.S. team rejected Canadian company Roots in favor of Ralph Lauren:

"Roots late last year had unveiled a 'yoga-inspired, technical, green product' for the U.S. athletes to wear in Beijing, according to Roots Chief Executive Michael Budman. But Norman Bellingham, chief operating officer of the USOC and a former Olympic kayaker, says that he wanted the athletes to be attired in a 'classic and more formal manner. "They wanted blazers and slacks, a more formal look,' Mr. Budman says. The two mutually agreed to terminate their contract. Mr. Bellingham says he asked former NBC anchorman Tom Brokaw to contact Ralph Lauren to see if Mr. Lauren might be interested in designing for the U.S. team. At a meeting at Polo's headquarters on Madison Avenue in New York, Mr. Bellingham told Mr. Lauren that his inspiration was 'Chariots of Fire,' the 1981 movie about British athletes competing in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. Upon hearing that, Mr. Lauren smiled, Mr. Bellingham recalls. 'He knew precisely what we were going for.'...'We have to put America on a world stage that looks refined and appropriate,' says David Lauren. At the Olympic Village and at the Closing Ceremonies, athletes' wardrobes will include V-neck tennis sweaters and ties, classic Polo mesh shirts with 'Beijing'" written in big Chinese characters across the front and cargo pants -- all in a patriotic palette of red, white and blue. The Olympic logo featured on the new uniforms may include a replica of a crest with stars and stripes used by the 1932 U.S. Olympic team at the Los Angeles Games. Polo ponies of varying sizes will also make an appearance on the garments."

Don't expect fashion to dominate the conversation this year, though.

Polo to Outfit U.S. Team for the Beijing Olympics [wsj]

Gay Activist Peter Tatchell Detained Amid Olympic Flame Protests [tr]

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  1. Once again Ralph Lauren's plan to make us all look like East Coast WASPS is moving forward.

    Posted by: kujhawker | Apr 8, 2008 8:45:32 AM

  2. The shot put and hammer throwers, and heavyweight wrestlers are going to look ridiculous.

    I'm holding out for Alexandre Despatie in his speedo.

    Posted by: Adam | Apr 8, 2008 8:49:41 AM

  3. Better east coast wasps I suppose then brain dead hipsters from the west coast. Prada as far as the eye could see... it'd be funnier that's for sure and just maybe a tad bit embarrassing.

    Posted by: C. R. | Apr 8, 2008 9:14:26 AM

  4. personally I don't like it....but I think the look is kool looking & as a group will be very classy


    Posted by: tc | Apr 8, 2008 9:41:41 AM

  5. As I can recall from classic film footage, this outfit looks very much like the ones the American team wore during the 1936 Olympics in Berlin except for then the trousers were full length (which incidently I prefer).

    Posted by: Zeke | Apr 8, 2008 10:52:23 AM

  6. They look like Badmitton players.

    Posted by: Tim | Apr 8, 2008 10:53:52 AM

  7. Yawn.

    Posted by: peterparker | Apr 8, 2008 10:59:11 AM

  8. And I'm sure the classic WASP RL look will be manufactured in China. Alexandre Despatie's swim suits would be great. However, the team will probably go for the new Speedo LZR Racer. The damned thing completely crushes and compresses the guy's equipment. Ah, for the old days.

    Posted by: Jack Scribe | Apr 8, 2008 11:16:26 AM

  9. LOVE IT! Clean. Classic. American.

    Posted by: silv | Apr 8, 2008 1:16:51 PM

  10. What's wrong with being an East Coast wasp??? I happen to like it.

    Posted by: Scott | Apr 8, 2008 10:41:18 PM

  11. “Everything old is new again” Ralph does what he does best recycle old designs. Looks like Sunday in the Hampton 1930’s.

    Posted by: Vegas Bob | Apr 9, 2008 8:55:41 AM

  12. i like the use of the V-neckline border as the medal ribbon.

    Posted by: A.J. | Apr 9, 2008 9:09:29 AM

  13. The point everyone is missing is that finally, after many years, our Olympic outfits will be made by an American company, not a Canadian one.

    Posted by: slcbob | Apr 12, 2008 8:24:39 PM

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