Tag Archives: Polo ralph Lauren 2008 Olympics

Summer Olympics Fashion Focus, Ralph Lauren Team USA Opening Ceremony Uniforms Reactions, and Who Was “Preppy” Dressed Team?

“SPORT HAS THE POWER TO CHANGE THE WORLD, IT CAN GIVE HOPE WERE THERE ONCE WAS DESPAIR.”

Nelson Mandela

Hello and a Happy Saturday to everyone! We hope your day is splashed with the lush sunshine and gentle winds we’re enjoying, a graceful transition after all the excitement of the Opening Ceremonies yesterday. Did you enjoy watching last evening, or did things reach a point where they went on … and on… and on…? Perhaps it is just us and advancing years wishing things moved a little more quickly. Wait. Isn’t that a trait of the younger generation? Now our feeble minds are completely confused. We’ll just move on. (Or did you do what we did earlier in the day and find a feed online and watch it in real time and then again on ‘regular television’?)

Team USA enters the stadium for the Opening Ceremony, 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics

Team USA enters the stadium for the Opening Ceremony, 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics

In this post we’ll focus primarily on the “fashion” aspects of last night’s Opening Ceremony. Of course we have a few tidbits to share about the Ralph Lauren Olympic Games Parade Uniforms, along with critiques of those Team USA uniforms, and a few others! (Oh dear… here she goes.)

Before we do anything else, let’s start with some wonderful photos of Team USA, looking *very* snappy IOHP in their official Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Parade Uniforms. Our thanks to the good folks over at Polo Ralph Lauren for the photos. The first is our favorite, a glimpse inside an extraordinary moment shared by Lebron James and Kobe Bryant as he adjusts Mr. Bryant’s tie before the athletes enter the stadium.

Team USA Kobe Bryant and Lebron James
Team USA Kobe Bryant and Lebron James

Don’t try telling the Princess that the athletes weren’t excited by the evening’s events; some were clearly overwhelmed to the point of tears. And who wouldn’t be? Many have worked their entire lives simply for the opportunity to put on the uniforms we have chattered on about endlessly of late, and walk into the stadium in Beijing (to what turned out to be thunderous cheers from the 91,000 assembled there!).

As indicated in yesterday’s column, The Princess thought our delegation looked very good, and we’re thrilled to see an upgrade from the much-too-casual attire of the last Olympics, with everyone in shorts and the like. It’s just not done.

The blazers over the cream trousers were outstanding, although it appeared a few of the women had their scarves improperly tied or misplaced; the beastly heat may have contributed to this, for if one felt warm and sticky about the neck the scarves were no doubt pushed around a bit. Overall this was a far more appropriate look, with an understated elegance that sent a subtle message of quiet confidence and determination. But in all of the commentary from writers, Team USA isn’t the group referred to as “preppy.” Read on to see who was crowned with that appellation. BTW, if you were hoping for one of that select group of 200 Ralph Lauren Olympic Parade Collection Blazers that went on sale immediately online and at a few stores after the Opening Ceremony, sadly, we must disappoint you, as they are all gone. We’re imagining they went rather quickly.

U.S. Team Enters Stadium 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics
U.S. Team Enters Stadium 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics

For those who haven’t heard the tale, former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw helped broker the uniform deal, an agreement that was not put to bed until *very late* in the game for a such a massive job. The uniforms were being sewn (in China) until the last moment, almost every one tailored specifically for each individual athlete.

Alex Badia, DNR Magazine Fashion Director, is happy to see the return to a more polished look, as he told USA Today:

“I know that it’s a sporting event,” but for the opening ceremony — “probably one of the best fashion runways ever” — the teammates should be more dressed up, he says. “Nylon has never been a friend for parades.”

Lopez Lomong leads Team USA in the Olympic Summer Games Opening Ceremony
Lopez Lomong leads Team USA in the Olympic Summer Games Opening Ceremony
Team USA at Opening Ceremony 2008 Beijing Olympics

Team USA at Opening Ceremony 2008 Beijing Olympics

We are privy to at least one athlete’s thoughts on the uniforms thanks to USAToday, in this story from journalist Olivia Barker.

First-time Olympian Andrew Campbell, 24, a sailor from San Diego, is “thankful” Lauren and the USOC decided to hark back to “a really clean-cut, classic American look” devoid of any “silly cowboy hats or berets.” Having spent his private high school days in ties and slacks, Campbell is accustomed to such polish. “With that USA team patch on your chest with those white rings underneath, it’s a pretty powerful symbol,” he says, referring to the blazer.

Below, more photos, including Jason Kidd and the Men’s Basketball Team.

Team USA's Jason Kidd Opening Ceremony
USA Basketball Team
Team USA Men’s Basketball Team

TP is surprise by some of the negative comments on the Lauren-designed uniforms. In a multimedia fashion commentary the NY Times Eric Wilson criticizes the uniforms, saying they “…looked rather poorly made.” (Click here for Times Olympic Coverage, scroll down for multimedia presentations on lower left to locate Wilson presentation.)

Additionally, Booth Moore, Fashion Critic for the Los Angeles Times has this to say:

“Ralph Lauren was a good choice for the American team, though the Polo ponies embroidered on the lapels of the athletes’ blue blazers were almost as large as the Olympic rings (Lauren has never been known for his subtlety).”

Ralph Lauren Olympic Parade Uniform Blazer

Ralph Lauren Olympic Parade Uniform Blazer

Lopez Family Opening Ceremony Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

Lopez Family Opening Ceremony Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

“White pants are among the most difficult things in all of fashiondom to pull off, and true to form, these didn’t flatter. A few pleats would have helped. The white newsboy caps were a nice touch, broadcasting a can-do spirit, especially on basketball player Kobe Bryant, who cocked his to the side.”

Now, we’ll move on to France with some input from Mr. Wilson at the NY Times, who thought that France “…pulled off the formal style very well…” although he didn’t mention the jacket’s fabric, a blue and white seersucker, or perhaps he did. At any rate, anyone in seersucker receives automatic bonus points from The Princess. (But there didn’t seem to be any madras last night, did there? Maybe you should scoot over to The Preppy Princess for a madras fix and grab some of the “Make Mine Madras” placemats!)

Back to Booth (feeling like a ping-pong ball yet? No? Then we’re not doing our job!) at the LA paper, who concurs strongly with Mr. Wilson:

“The French never disappoint. The men’s dove gray jackets were the most sublimely tailored of any team’s. And it was clear the women were representing the capital of fashion with the spring season’s all-important wide belts cinched around their jackets.”

France Opening Ceremony
France Opening Ceremony
French Olympic Uniforms Revealed
French Olympic Uniforms Revealed
Unknown French Delegate 2008 Opening Ceremony Olympic Games
Unknown French Delegate 2008 Opening Ceremony Olympic Games

In their live coverage during the Opening Ceremonies yesterday morning (well, it was the morning here at the Prepatorium) the NY Times Live Blogging was simply fabulous. They had a few prime comments on the Parade of Nations apparel, which we will attempt to enhance with a photo:

“…the Omani women have won the competition for wearing the most glitter, not to mention high heeled shoes.”

Oman Opening Ceremony 2008 Beijing Olympics

Oman Opening Ceremony 2008 Beijing Olympics

“We now have a leader in the race for worst fashion statement: the Netherlands, hands-down. The Dutch team is wearing gray suits with white piping, white and gray shoes that appear to come from a bowling alley and orange ties. Truly painful.”

The Netherlands Opening Ceremony

The Netherlands Opening Ceremony

The Los Angeles Times is in disagreement with their journalistic comrades to the east: “The Netherlands team looked jaunty, too, in light-colored suits with white piping and cheerful orange neckties.” Hhmmm. Actually, these reminded us of the jackets worn by traders on the floor of the exchange at the CBOT. (Chicago Board of Trade.)

Who does the LA Times really, really love, conferring upon them the ‘preppy’ term as well as the “best dressed” award? (Note: we added the underlining.)

“But the British were the best dressed in an updated preppy look that combined a dark button-down shirt and pants with a white jacket, striped belt and Vans-style slip-on sneakers.”

Great Britain Opening Ceremony 2008 Beijing Games

Great Britain Opening Ceremony 2008 Beijing Games

The Vancouver Sun disagrees:

Best dressed: Now, it could be because Roger Federer was carrying their flag, but my pick is Switzerland. Formal enough, yet still casual — in red capris for the men and red skirts for the women, cream tops and beige jackets — they easily maintained their place amongst the best-dressed nations. They had nice walking sandals and their bags were appropriate for both sexes. Plus, Federer proved he looks as good in short pants as his rival Rafael Nadal.”

Roger Federer Leads Swiss Delegation

Roger Federer Leads Swiss Delegation

TP is simply not in sync with these sentiments. At all. It might start with the ‘capris’ or shorts. Nor does Mr. Booth at the LA newspaper agres:

“Meanwhile, hunky Swiss tennis player Roger Federer was reduced to wearing a cream polo shirt with a graphic that resembled a lower back tattoo.”

That seems a little strong to us. They just seem, well, all over the place and the casual shoes don’t help.

Swiss Delegation Opening Ceremony 2008 Olympic Games

Swiss Delegation Opening Ceremony 2008 Olympic Games

But let’s take things from the Times (the LA version) with a grain of salt, they proved themselves a bit snarky today:

“And carrying China’s flag, Yao Ming, in a red jacket and wide-collared gold shirt, looked as if he should be behind an Avis car-rental counter.”

Yao Ming Chinese Flag Bearer
Yao Ming Chinese Flag Bearer
Chinese Olympic Team Members Opening Ceremonies

Chinese Olympic Team Members Opening Ceremonies

Now, for no other reason than because we promised Heather in response to a comment she left on our previous post, here are two photos of the Irish delegation. Enjoy!

Irish Delegation Opening Ceremony
Irish Delegation Opening Ceremony

Eric Wilson (NYT) awards the Australian delegation his Best Dressed honor “even though they are not formal,” for being “…eye-catching..” among other attributes.

Australia Opening Ceremony 2008 Olympic Games
Australia Opening Ceremony 2008 Olympic Games

Evidently the Aussies’ own countrymen don’t necessarily agree, that’s if you believe an online opinion poll being conducted by the Australian News. As of this writing, the non-scientific poll shows 47% of respondents “Horrified” by the uniforms (on no!), with only only 28% ‘Wowed” and 24% “Indifferent” to the blue ombre creations.

Australia Opening Ceremony 2008 Olympic Games
Australia Opening Ceremony 2008 Olympic Games

But the writing in the newspaper itself isn’t exactly supportive of the look, click here for a background story on the switch from the country’s historically green and gold palette to the blue shades. Here’s a little more:

IT was out with the green and gold and in with the blue for Team Australia last night when it missed a medal in the fashion stakes.

Decked out in blue tracksuit jackets and topped with a white baseball cap, Australia’s prized athletes looked more like prized chumps.

And with that, we’re going to totter off for a bite to eat, perhaps to return later this evening, perhaps not ’til tomorrow. Either way, we hope it is a simply splendid evening!

 

 

 

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Filed under 2008 Beijing Olympics, It's Just Not Done, Prepalicious, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

Sneak Peek: Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Uniforms for Team USA

Because yours truly has been nattering on and on about the Polo Ralph Lauren uniforms for Team USA at the upcoming Summer Olympics in Beijing, we won’t make you wait for photos any longer than necessary. Here they are:

These are some of the first pictures we’ve seen of the duds Team USA will be wearing for the Opening and Closing ceremonies, coming to us via the divine Guest of a Guest website. The navy blazers over the cream slacks are for the more formal Opening Ceremonies on Friday, August 8.


The good people over at Guest of a Guest describe the uniforms this way:

For the opening ceremony, the men and women will have a double vent navy blazer with safari pleats on the back as well as a white driving hat and canvas walking shoes. For the closing ceremony, Ralph opted for a more casual look that includes white shorts, a red, white, and blue rope belt, a classic polo shirt and a sleeveless sweater.

We’ll be along later today with more on these and other uniforms. TP finds the navy over the cream a stunning look, elegant and understated.

Now you know that The Princess has just been on pins and needles about the size of the brand’s logo on the apparel, especially on the blazers. And the size of that pony on the breast pocket?

You be the judge.

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Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Games Collection, J Crew and the Madewell Brand

Canada Day Heart Flag GIF

We celebrate with our friends across the border! Happy Canada Day!

With 8.8.08 only 5 weeks away, it is good to see that the smart minds at Polo Ralph Lauren have made some of the Olympic Collection available. We thought it wise to follow their lead, as they frequently do know what they’re about, and share some pieces from the line with you.

We start with the Men’s Classic-Fit Olympic Games Polo in white, and then we have TP’s favorite: the Olympic Games Newsboys Hat.

Polo Ralph Lauren Men\'s Olympic Polo Classic Fit

Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Newsboy Cap

Below is the Men’s Slim Custom-Fit USA 08 Polo (both front and back), available in three of TP’s favorite colors, red, white and blue! This one is constructed of cotton mesh, comes complete with the official embroidered logo of Team USA for the 08 Olympics, and runs $125 retail. We’re thinking it will be a big seller for some reason… people will favor the back, as you don’t generally have that sort of lush look with Lauren until you hit the rarefied strata at the Lauren Collection level.

Polo Ralph Lauren Slim Custom-Fit USA 08 Polo

Polo Ralph Lauren Slim Custom-Fit USA 08 Polo

Ralph Lauren Slim Custom-Fit US Shield Oxford

Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Games Track Jacket

Above we show the Slim Custom-Fit US Shield Oxford described as:

Long-sleeved shirt cut for a trim, modern fit in preppy oxford-woven cotton and featuring the embroidered US Olympic shield logo at the chest pocket.

Also above, the Olympic Games Track Jacket in cotton mesh. Below we show the Olympic Games Cargo Pant, available in white only, with some interesting visual points of interest.

Polo Ralph Lauren Cargo Olympics Pant

And now, another of our favorites, the Olympic Games Bucket Hat, which looks pretty cool, even with the guy on the horse.

Polo Ralph Lauren Bucket Hat Olympics 08

Now we move on to the Ladies apparel, starting with the Womenswear version of the Olympic Games Pony Polo, available in white, or navy as shown.

Polo Ralph Lauren Olympics Women\'s Pony Polo

Polo Ralph Lauren Women\'s Pony Polo for Olympics 08

Similar offerings for women are seen below with the Olympic Games Character Polo,

Polo Polo

Also seen below, the Olympic Games Rings Polo.

Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Rings PoloPolo Ralph Lauren

And finally, there *is* a tee available in both men and women’s. Here is a look at the ladies version.

Polo Ralph Lauren Tee Shirt Olympics Beijing 08

If you are looking for Children’s Olympic merchandise, it is on its way. (According to the website.) If this is something that is of interest to you, TP recommends checking the Polo website regularly or being in touch with your favorite salesperson at your local Polo store. But you already knew this.

All told, there isn’t anything groundbreaking here, nothing that makes us want to race to the nearest phone, dialing up TSU (The Spousal Unit), shrieking carrying on about our great shopping discoveries. There are some very solid pieces, and a few of the hats display a touch of whimsy. Of course, all of the pieces carry an unmistakable Polo air of preppy confidence and nonchalance. An added element this go-round is a touch of patriotic team spirit on some level The Princess is unable to discern…hhmm.

We can tell you there is more Men’s merchandise in the Collection than Women’s by good measure, even allowing for the four different varieties of hats or caps shown on the Men’s pages. Several of the “cooler” items are also clearly on the Men’s side of the store, in a virtual sense, such as the Slim Custom-Fit US Shield Oxford, and the Olympic Games Cargo Pant. We’re sure there is a rational retailing reason for this we simply aren’t aware of, and we will make every effort to learn what that is.

In other Preppy News…

Just so everyone doesn’t think the only thing going on at the White Elephant on Nantucket is a massage after golf, an update on J. Crew’s youthful Madewell 1937 brand actually came from there last week. In reality, it came in the form of comments from Chief Financial Officer Jim Scully during the huge financial conference held every year at the hotel. Scully said the company will decide sometime before the end of the year whether or not to expand the brand.

Madewell is the brand created by J Crew to appeal to a younger, more trend-driven demo than those shopping their J Crew stores. Below we show a few looks from the Madewell Fall 2008 collection.

Madewell #1Madewell 1937 2008 Fall Peek

Price points on the merchandise are substantially lower than at J Crew, which could make the hipper, edgier stores a more popular shopping spot during an economic downturn. That could also make marketing and merchandising mavens at shops like Gap and American Eagle Outfitters a little nervous; unfortunately, there are currently only eight Madewell stores open, with plans to open two more this year. Additionally the company plans to make the Madewell website operational for online shopping later this summer; that would be a plus as currently it is a very hip, slick and annoying place to be IMHO.

Madewell 1937 #3Madewell 1937 #4

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Filed under 2008 Beijing Olympics, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle