This just in: polo ponies on US Olympic Uniforms..?! Many of you have probably already read part of this story in the Business section of Monday’s Journal, but we somehow managed to miss the key line from the news release: “Polo ponies will also make an appearance on the garments.” The official word that Ralph Lauren Polo will be doing the US uniforms for the 2008 Summer Games came Monday. In Project Runway parlance: “Ralph, you’re in. Roots, you’re out. Pack your stuff and scram-a-rama back to Canada now, okay?” Roots is the company (and yes, they are a Canadian company, an irksome fact for many) that had done the Winter Games uniforms for the United States since 2002. According to New York magazine, the Olympic Pooh-bahs might have found the Roots designs a tad too…informal. If that’s the case, The Princess is at a loss. Gymnasts in leotards with cover-ups, swimmers in bathing suits and…we are concerned about informality? Short of putting the girls in party frocks and the guys in dinner jackets, the formality issue sounds a bit odd.
More importantly, the look hinted at in the top sketch released by Polo Ralph Lauren is outstanding. And if the uniforms are as charming as the Wimbledon uniforms Lauren has been doing (see sketch just above,) and the US Open styles, the athletes will look fab in Beijing. According to the release: “At the Olympic Village and at closing ceremonies, athletes will wear a wardrobe of V-neck tennis sweaters and ties, Polo mesh shirts with the word “Beijing” written in oversized Chinese characters, and cargo pants. The color scheme will be a patriotic palette of red, white, and blue. Polo ponies will also make an appearance on the garments.” There you have it – preppy goes to Beijing. Now if you want to buy the look, you’ll be able to at Polo stores sometime in June and probably at certain retailers yet to be named as well. And just to round out the shopping opportunities, “select items” will be available on the U.S. Olympic Committee website (www.usolympicteam.com).