Tag Archives: Polo ralph Lauren Olympics

Polo Ralph Lauren Offical Olympic Team Uniforms Sale & ‘It’s Just Not Done”

Thank. God. It’s. Friday. The Princess is clinging to a parapet here at the Palace, a tad frazzled from a whirlwind week consumed by too much travel and too little time with family. Sigh.

Perhaps news of a sale (imagine that, a sale on Labor Day weekend!) at Polo Ralph Lauren on their oh-so-popular Olympic Collection will prove to be a style-starter for you this holiday weekend. It appears all of the merchandise from both the Opening and Closing Ceremony Parade Uniform lines is marked down. This includes the Big and Tall sizes in Men’s, as well as the ‘Custom,’ polo shirts (which are not custom made, for heaven’s sake), cut closer to the body for a trimmer fit.

Styles like this Olympic Games Gold Medal Polo are available in Men’s, Women’s and Children’s sizing; below we show the Women’s version.

The men’s Custom Closing Ceremony Polo is now $99.99, originally selling for $125.

Should you be looking for a little treat for the Princess or young gentleman of the household, there is no shortage of Olympic apparel in those sizes from which to choose. The Girls Olympic Games Track Jacket might provide a delicious snuggle factor with the chill nights of Fall approaching; it is available in Sizes Small to Extra Large and comes in two colors.

It’s expected the markdowns, although at only about 20% they are not deep, will help move some of the merchandise. Naturally some of the line simply won’t sell and TP has her picks for those items most likely to hit the bargain bins at one’s local discounter of the TJ Maxx or Marshall’s variety.

For example, we don’t envision too many Moms successfully locating the Olympic Games Beret on the head of any young man in the Boys Size 2-7 and Boys 8-20 age groups. Actually, we don’t foresee any age group of either sex donning these of their own free will. The Princess was fond of the berets; they were a great look. However, the operative word in that sentence is “were” in our humble opinion.

Now a case could be made on behalf of the Olympic Games Sport Cap, a far more attractive proposition on a number of fronts if I am said Boy. (Or Girl, or anyone else.)

The style appeals to a much broader group and is much easier to wear. No peering about self-consciously and asking friends “Do I have this on right?” as many are wont to do when first wearing a Beret. Also, the price point is much more appealing for what most perceive as “dated” goods. Originally $20 for Boys 2-7 and 8-20, the Sport Cap is now $14.99; the Beret was $40, now $29.99, a substantial difference.

We do adore the sneakers (officially referred to as the Closing Ceremony USA Sneaker) on their own merits and hope to procure a pair for twinkletoes as soon as humanly possible. Below we show the Men’s sneaks.

At the very least, it never hurts to pop in and visit the folks at Polo Ralph Lauren for a few minutes; one never knows what may be discovered.

BTW, we had a request from the always-wonderful Momx2; she is seeking information on the dress Chelsea Clinton wore for her appearance at the Democratic convention Wednesday night.

AP Photo/Ron Edmonds

AP Photo/Ron Edmonds

Unfortunately dear Mom, we are of no assistance whatsoever: we couldn’t locate anything! We did find out that Michelle Obama’s dress was by Thakoon Panichgul, and is part of the designer’s pre-spring 2009 collection, so obviously it isn’t available for purchase.

Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Mike Segar/Reuters

Photo: Mike Segar/Reuters

If Thakoon’s name sounds familiar, it might be because he is one of the designers Target has doing a collection for them for its Go International initiative, similar to Cynthia Rowley’s earlier this spring or Rogan Gregory’s. The Thakoon line is due in Target stores in December. Momx2, we’ll keep trying on the Chelsea dress, which we also liked.

BTW, not that it’s TP’s decision to make, but for a campaign that has been somewhat ahead of the curve in its exploitation of technology, they need to grab the reins and create a Michelle Obama website. One all about Ms. Obama. Or separate and specific pages on the Obama site, not simply something one scrolls down to as part of the family page.

Now everybody knows it’s tennis time with the US Open continuing this weekend in Queens. What people may not be as familiar with are some of the following photos from the tourney, preceded by an installment of “It’s Just Not Done” which you may have already viewed on TV or in your local paper. It’s that notable in its poor sportsmanship.

Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

Photo: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

This is what was left of Eduardo Schwank’s tennis racket yesterday after his match with Dmitry Tursunov of Russia. TP understands (oh, how we understand!) personal frustration on the court, the green, the slope, wherever. But. There are standards of conduct. One does not resort to infantile displays of temper regardless of the arena. It’s just not done.

Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

Photo: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

Now, that is reaching to return a shot! Jelena Jankovic of Serbia makes *every* effort in her match today against Zheng Jie of China. She may have been blinded by the red Adidas tennis shoes sported by Ms. Jie, seen below.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Jeff Zelevansky/Reuters

Jeff Zelevansky/Reuters

US Olympic gold medal swimmer Aaron Peirsol dropped by yesterday, and did not look like a fish out of water, not at all.

On that note, we’re off for the weekend, but may be able to pop in briefly via modern technology. We hope so!

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*SPOILER ALERT* Closing Ceremonies Photos, Team USA’s Polo Ralph Lauren Uniforms

Bill Frakes/Sports Illustrated
Photo: Bill Frakes/Sports Illustrated

SPOILER ALERT

***Today’s post features photos and editorial copy of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics Closing Ceremonies***

SPOILER ALERT

Phil Noble/Reuters

Photo: Phil Noble/Reuters

EPA/Nick Bothma
Photo: EPA/Nick Bothma

AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan

AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan

Hello-Hello! We hope everyone is enjoying themselves this day, where here in the Great Midwest the beastly humidity has left us after providing a welcome downpour for the gardens and grounds. With the Olympic Closing Ceremonies over and done (not counting tonight’s taped broadcast on NBC) we thought it might be a good time to do a few updates.

But first, a few more of the spectacular images from the Closing Ceremonies of the Beijing Summer Games.

Aren’t they just fabulous? The photos actually make us want to watch even more than originally planned this evening. There may be no spontaneity in these ceremonies as produced by the Chinese, but we have also previously noted they do pageantry on a grand scale, resulting in remarkable spectaculars that leave one breathless.

It seems Team USA’s Official Polo Ralph Lauren Closing Ceremony Parade uniforms worked out just fine, a great look for the athletes and officials. We share a few photos of them below.

A Tielemans/Sports Illustrated

Photo: A Tielemans/Sports Illustrated

Photo: A Tielemans/Sports Illustrated

Of course if you are looking for your own piece of the Olympic Polo pony, here are a few of the items waiting for you at the Polo Ralph Lauren website, starting with the Men’s Closing Ceremony Sneaker, described by the company as “classic canvas sneakers in white with red and blue lateral stripes.”

PRL Men's Closing Ceremony Sneaker

PRL Men's Closing Ceremony Sneaker

As the company wrote in their news release about the uniforms:

“Reflecting Ralph Lauren’s trademark sporty sophistication and refined sensibility, the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Closing Ceremony outfits feature timeless Polo knits tipped in bright red and royal blue piping and chino Bermudas in crisp white, all adorned with the iconic Polo pony and the 2008 U.S. Look of the Team logo.”

Now if you are looking for one of the shirts, here is a sample, the Ladies’ Olympic Closing Ceremony Polo.

Perhaps you prefer a look at the entire Ladies Olympic Games Collection, with a little time to peruse things at your own pace. Of course, there are identical items for your future Olympians, like a pair of the Olympic Games Shorts for Sizes 2T to Boys 7.

With the seasons changing, snuggly clothing can suddenly become appealing, like the Olympic Games Fleece Hoodie in Girls Sizes S-XL.

Overall a very nice presentation for Team USA by the Polo Ralph Lauren folks, classic and elegant with a timeless ease that is tough to replicate. The Princess thinks it was a smash hit almost across the board, with the exception of the Logo from H***, but we’ll actually behave ourselves this evening and leave it at that. (We know, you are stunned and amazed…it’s fun being a good Princess once in a while!)

A short paragraph in one of the NYTimes online stories wrapping up the Beijing Summer Games grabbed our attention, enough to make us stop, pause, re-read, pause again and reflect for a moment before going back to the rest of David Barboza’s story .

“India, a country of one billion, won its first gold medal. And Togo, a West African nation of 6 million people, won its very first Olympic medal, a bronze in the kayak.”

That made us think for a few minutes; we like this, especially when it nudges us to perhaps contemplate re-adjusting our perspective on the world just a bit.

We’ll close with a few more photos, including Team USA Basketball and their Gold Medal moment.

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

AP/Charlie Riedel

AP/Charlie Riedel

Kobe Bryant gets a kiss from his daughter Gianna Maria-Onore as his wife Vanessa watches.

AP/Dusan Vranic

Photo: AP/Dusan Vranic

AP/Eric Gay

Photo: AP/Eric Gay

Rehearsals for the Closing Ceremony…

REUTERS/Donald Chan

Photo: REUTERS/Donald Chan

AP/Oded Balilty

Photo: AP/Oded Balilty

Below we see soccer great David Beckham, singer Leona Lewis and guitarist Jimmy Page (you remember…Led Zeppelin) posing before they take part in the Closing Ceremony for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Clive Rose/Getty Images for London 2012

Yao Ming walks toward the stadium to attend the Closing Ceremony.

REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Photo: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Photo: REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

Photo: REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

Al Tielemans/Sports Illustrated

Photo: Al Tielemans/Sports Illustrated

Bill Frakes/Sports Illustrated

Photo: Bill Frakes/Sports Illustrated

Simultaneous to the ceremonies in Beijing, Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps greets a crowd of 40,000 at a party in London; people are watching those same closing ceremonies on a massive screen erected outside Buckingham Palace. The party celebrates London’s role as host city for the 2012 Games.

AP/Akira Suemori-Pool

Photo: AP/Akira Suemori-Pool

Below, President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai among the heads of state attending the ceremonies, followed by Sweden’s King Carl Gustaf (R) and Queen Silvia.

REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Photo: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Photo: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

There were any number of images from the Ceremonies….

AP/David Guttenfelder

Photo: AP/David Guttenfelder

Guitarist Jimmy Page, front, soccer star David Beckham, back left, and British pop singer Leona Lew.

AP Photo/Matt Dunham

AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Phil Walter/Getty Images

Phil Walter/Getty Images

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Julian Finney/Getty

Julian Finney/Getty

REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Al Tielemans/SI

Al Tielemans/SI

Team Canada’s group is in a celebratory mood in their ahhhh…vivid uniforms.

Shaun Botterill/Getty

Below, Belgian athletes with some of the performers and volunteers at the Closing Ceremony.

REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Team Canada is still in a party mood!

AP/Luca Bruno

AP/Luca Bruno

The Polish team is clearly having a good time….

REUTERS/Issei Kato

REUTERS/Issei Kato

AP Photo/Kevin Frayer

AP Photo/Kevin Frayer

Above we see USA’s Andra Manson (holding the flag) and Canada’s Karina LeBlanc. Below Yao appears wistful…

AP/Luca Bruno

AP/Luca Bruno

AP/Luca Bruno

AP/Luca Bruno

AP Photo/Luca Bruno

AP Photo/Luca Bruno

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty
AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan

AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan

REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

REUTERS/Dylan Martinezpreppy clothing, preppy clothes

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Ralph Lauren Olympic Uniform Controversy: Polo Pony Logo the Issue (Size Does Matter.)

Hello sports and fashion fans, tis’ The Princess once again on this beautiful Tuesday. Actually, it is that oh-so-silly Princess, for having thought we would be able to spend most of this post reveling in celebratory and fun things, like the sweet joy of these boys’ accomplishments…

Team USA Gold Medalists, from left Jason Lezak, Mark Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones

Team USA Gold Medalists, from left Jason Lezak, Mark Phelps, Garrett Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones

…as they they managed to upset France in the 4x100m freestyle relay, setting a new world record in the process. And perhaps the sweetest part of the victory for some was not just that we won, but who we beat along the way, for it is Alain Bernard, of the French team who is said to have made some statements that were well, they weren’t very sporting.

“The Americans? We’re going to smash them. That’s what we came here for.”

Well. When it didn’t work out that way with the French Team ending up as Silver Medalists (certainly nothing to sneeze at, it *is* an Olympic medal, oui?) but behind Team USA who took the Gold, with Jason Lezak going head to head with Bernard on the last leg of the race. 32-year-old Jason Lezak, the ‘old man’ of Team USA swimmers, who trains himself.

Let the record show that while Mr. Bernard’s own teammates appeared too stunned to do much of anything in the immediate aftermath of the race, it was Michael Phelps who took the time to both congratulate and console the Frenchman. It should also be noted that it was Mr. Phelps who made the initial gesture of congratulation to each of the four French team members after the Medal ceremony concluded.

Michael Phelps, Team USA (L). Alain Bernard, France (R)

Michael Phelps, Team USA (L), Alain Bernard, France (R)

There was quite the little gathering of celebrities on hand at the Water Cube to watch the race, most from the world of business and politics. Bill Gates was in the stands, as was former Olympic Grand Pooh-Bah (Salt Lake City) / former Mass. Governor & Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney. The First Family, including the Fan-in-Chief were on hand to cheer for Team USA Swimming:

The First Family Cheers on Team USA at the Water Cube 8.10.08

The First Family Cheers on Team USA at the Water Cube 8.10.08

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Okay, enough of the one thing everyone hypothetically came to Beijing to accomplish, the athletic competition. We’ll move on to something that is rapidly progressing beyond the hackneyed “tempest in Great Grandmother’s Teapot,” to the issue of the Ralph Lauren Polo pony logo on the official Team USA Opening Ceremony Parade uniforms.

To refresh or enlighten anyone’s knowledge of the increasingly sensitive issue, here is a shot of Charlotte Craig, Team USA Taekwondo in her Opening Ceremony Parade uniform. (If you need more photos of the Ralph Lauren designed uniforms, here is another post on them, or here is additional info in yet another post on the topic, which yes, we have covered to death.) The photo below effectively shows the pony under discussion.

Charlotte Craig, Team USA Taekwondo

Charlotte Craig, Team USA Taekwondo

As does this photo of Jason Kidd in the Opening Ceremony Parade of Nations, with a little tighter shot that allows for a better comparison between its size and that of the USA/Olympic Rings logo topped by the USOC Wreaths.

Jason Kidd, Team USA Basketball

Jason Kidd, Team USA Basketball

At the least it helps provide put the two logos in context as compared to each other, the Polo pony in relationship to the Olympic Rings. Below, we see Brianna Glenn in a close shot of the Closing Ceremony Parade Uniform with the more robust emblematic Seal logo. (For lack of a name or description.)

Brianna Glenn (L)

Brianna Glenn (L)

In this photo (courtesy Polo Ralph Lauren) on the right on the two-shot montage we see the four athletes Deontay Wilder – Boxing, Brianna Glenn (did not qualify for Olympics, Track & Field), Joy Fahrenkrog – Archery, Giuseppe Lanzone – Rowing. As indicated these are the more casual Closing Ceremony uniforms. In fact, you can now purchase most, if not all, pieces the Team will be wearing, at the Polo Ralph Lauren site or through the USOC site.

https://thepreppyprincess.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/us-team-basketball_1.jpg

Evidently size matters. A great deal. To some people. Not all. To others it is clearly not even a topic of conversation. ‘What’s the problem?”

For those to whom this is an issue, the words being used to describe the Polo Pony logo include: “Ginormous,” “Supersized,” and “Huge.” Here is a sampling of a couple of online headlines on the topic, the first from the Huffington Post, the second from Gawker:

Ralph Lauren’s Olympics Uniforms: A Firestorm Of Controversy Ensues

~ Did Ralph Lauren Embarrass America? ~

The story from Gawker.com, ran yesterday:

“For starters, the damned Ralph Lauren Polo logo totally upstages the Olympic rings logo. It’s huge!”

Also, as shown in a picture after the jump, the uniforms look pretty cheap up close, probably because they were made as part of a rush job sent to Chinese “tailors” at the last minute.

Of course, if there were any embarrassment, technically Mr. Lauren didn’t ’cause it,’ the USOC created it by approving the logo itself, it’s placement and its size on every item of clothing or accessory to be worn by anyone in the US Delegation attending the Games in an official capacity.

Ralph Lauren Team USA Official Parade Uniform

Ralph Lauren Team USA Official Parade Uniform

The story then goes on to quote material on the same topic from the increasingly popular Project Rungay (that is not a typo) blog, so we’ll just quote directly from Project Rungay’s story:

“We’re not sure why so many people have been slamming these. They look fine to us, for what they are. A little cheap-looking, sure, but appropriate enough.

We’re not all that crazy about the caps (we honestly think baseball caps would have worked better) and it would have been nice to differentiate a little bit between the men and the women, but for the most part, it’s classic American sportswear, which makes it perfect for the venue – and, unlike a LOT of the looks we saw parading around the other night, it’s tasteful.”

As the NY Times noted in their fabulous Olympic blog ‘Rings‘:

“PARADE OF SLOVENLINESS If you thought Americans were talking a lot about the size of the Ralph Lauren logo on the U.S. Olympians’ outfits as they entered the Bird’s Nest during the opening ceremony in Beijing on Friday, it’s nothing compared with what people in other countries are saying about their respective teams’ clothes, demeanor and general appearance.”

Then we have Racked LA asking a question in addition to making a statement:

“Did logo inflation perturb your opening ceremony viewing experience?”

“Lest we forget that Ralph Lauren has created an entire Big Pony collection for men and women, in which the logo is absolutely ginormous! Over-sized at breast or back jean pocket, a logo festival! Which is to say it could’ve been worse in terms of brand promotion overwhelming team spirit.”

The folks over at American Politics Journal are not feeling a lot of love for the Lauren look. You may have discerned this from looking at their version of the logo on the blazers as seen below, perhaps more appropriately called the Pony logo on steroids after a some Photoshop work or another image editing program. Their headline to the story by Jeff Koopersmith is:

Ralph Lauren Humiliates America

American Politics Journal Image

“August 9, 2008 – Geneva (apj.us) – Ralph Lauren, the emperor of hushed prep chic, shocked countless millions last night as the world watched the never-ending parade of athletes during the opening ceremonies of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing’s Bird’s Nest Stadium.

Lauren – and most likely his son David – celebrated not the spirit of athletic competition but themselves and their brand, morphing our athletes into unpaid billboards for the “Polo™” pony and rider that has helped bring the Laurens great – and well deserved – riches.

What I find amazing is that Polo Ralph Lauren has already known for more than two years that upscale consumers are shying away from too-obviously logoed products…. So why did Polo Ralph Lauren go and embarrass us all by not just putting their logo on the clothes but putting in on SO BIG? The white Polo logo against the dark blue navy color of the jackets, because of its tactlessness seemed to a foot high and 6 inches wide on the breast pockets.”

To be fair to all involved Mr. Koopersmith makes several positive points about Ralph Lauren, his philanthropic efforts, etc., but the remainder of the article is fairly pointed. To read it in its entirety, just click here.

From Coutortoure,

“The Ralph Lauren uniforms for the American Olympic team are stirring up controversy because they look waspy and the logo is a little too big. If product placement and unabashed self-interest disguised as team spirit aren’t American, we don’t know what is.”

For another perspective, you may want to read WASP Nation: The U. S. Olympic Team Uniform, a fascinating post on the Style Snatcher blog. We excerpt a sample below.

“The other troubling point was the overt branding seen in the Lauren logo, which shared prominence with the Olympic rings and laurel. Was this a celebration of an athletic event or yet another chance at extended marketing? Who allows these things to occur? This transcended product placement and smacked of rah-rah commercialism.”

Regular blog readers know The Princess has a rare and progressive disease: logophobia. And they have exhibited rare patience and grace in tolerating such foaming at the mouth off-the-wall rants in never-ending post after post about the presence of logos, their size, their design, etc, etc., etc. And our thoughts on this particular issue? Two words. Too big. The Polo pony is simply too big. Frequent readers are also aware that we have 16+ years in television, in addition to expertise in marketing and branding. We get it. This could have been done in a smaller, more discreet way. If the size of the pony was a deal-breaker, than do the far more elegant tone-on-tone embroidery, if the idea truly was to celebrate an old school American look.

Because we can assure you, no ‘old money’ person would be caught dead in a golf shirt, polo shirt or any other piece of apparel with that symbol on it, let alone in that size at places like the Saddle and Cycle Club, or Burning Tree, or the Metropolitan Club, Winged Foot, River Oaks CC, or the Everglades Club. Wouldn’t happen. It’s a gross violation about everything that is old money, including the #1 Commandment: For God’s sake, don’t let anyone know you have it! Nope. This crowd would be at J.Press or Brooks or Murray’s, Patrick James, J. McLaughlin, Van Boven’s… you know the drill.

An embarrassment to America? We think not. An international  incident? Ah, no. A poor decision by the USOC in allowing ther logo to be that large? In our humble opinion, yes. Without question. But this is really not worth getting all lathered up about, folks, there are better ways to expend that energy than on this issue. 

BTW, if you are hopeful of a respite from the Polo pony logo on the Closing Ceremony uniforms, we are sorry to disappoint you, for it is equally large. The shirt below is from the Closing Ceremony group the Team USA members will be wearing.

Giuseppe Lanzone, Team USA Rowing
Giuseppe Lanzone, Team USA Rowing

Below we see Team USA Soccer players July 22nd preparing to leave for Beijing at the super-secret San Jose State University location selected by official. Christie Rampone, (l)eft, and Carli Lloyd are in the as yet to be publicly seen Official Ralph Lauren knit vests. According to a story in the San Jose Mercury News.

“The Olympic athletes are here, being “processed” for China, picking up their visas, posing for team photos and, perhaps most vital of all, being fitted by a battery of local tailors for the Ralph Lauren uniforms they will wear during the Games’ opening ceremonies Aug. 8.”

Team USA Soccer Christie Rampone, (L) & Carli Lloyd (R)

Team USA Soccer Christie Rampone, (L) & Carli Lloyd (R)

Here are the Ralph Lauren sketches for the Closing Ceremony Parade Uniforms.

Below we see Kate Markgraf of Team USA Soccer in the official Nike warm-up outfits that seem to be flying under the radar, don’t they?

Kate Markgraf Team USA Soccer

Kate Markgraf Team USA Soccer

Kate Markgraf Team USA Soccer

Kate Markgraf Team USA Soccer

Here is a closer look at the Nike Beijing Village Jacket & pants also provided to the team, complete with the swoosh on the left chest. Proportionately, is it pretty close in size to the Polo pony?

Oddly, we haven’t heard much about this one yet, although part of the issue for some is that the Opening Ceremony is to be respected as a more solemn, formal occasion. Hhhhmm, perhaps more to follow.

Well TP has had enough of this dreary discussion haven’t you? The next post will be much more fun and frivolous.

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Filed under It's Just Not Done, Logos, preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

Olympics Special Issue: What are they Wearing? Plus New Ralph Lauren Olympic & “Create Your Own Flag Polo”

Hello-hello and happy Thursday to everyone! The Princess remains flabbergasted by the fact the Opening Ceremonies for the Olympic Summer Games are tomorrow. Barely 18 hours away. And the summer went where…..?

Because TP has bored you to tears previously shared photos and information ad nauseum about the Ralph Lauren uniforms for the Olympics…

… we thought it might be fun to peek at some of the other uniforms being worn. However, before we do anything else, there are some recent additions to the Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Games Collection online site that may appeal to you, including the new “Create Your Own Flag Polo.”

This process works almost identically to that used for simply ordering a standard “Create Your Own” product in any other group, be it an oxford shirt or a Men’s tie. Below are just a few of the flags offered; there are more than thirty that we counted available in this line.

Once again, these do not appear to be offered in Women’s sizes. Ahem. Apparently one must determine the closest approximation in a Men’s sizes, cross their fingers, and hope for the best. It’s somewhat challenging to “…Wear your pride in a style all your own..” if the shirt isn’t sized for the ‘fairer sex’ to start with. Harrumph. (Ooooh, did we just see Crankenstein Princess poking her nasty head out of her horrid little cave?!)

Another Ralph Lauren Olympics fashion update: it appears you can now purchase the same belt the US Team will wear with their uniforms for the Closing Ceremonies.

This is the red, white & blue striped grosgrain belt at Polo Ralph Lauren, and TP can’t actually tell if it is offered separately in both Men’s and Women’s sizing.

Recently introduced to the Ralph Lauren Men’s Olympic Games Collection is the Men’s Passport Polo, seen below. You can select from Japan, Russia, Great Britain or the United States for your shirt.

Our memory isn’t entirely clear, but we don’t believe we featured (or even mentioned) the Big Pony Flag Polo for Men in both the Slim and Classic fit; this is the one with the national flag on the back with the number ‘3’. One may select from several countries other than the USA, including two colors for England and one for the UK, Italy in both green and blue, Japan in Black, Korea in red, and others.

Now on to some uniforms. Let’s start with China’s outfits for the Opening Ceremonies. Oh my. Where does one start?

The uniforms were revealed last week, and met with an almost universally negative response; some of the harshest criticism coming from within China’s own borders. The colors mirror the country’s national colors; many are calling these the “tomato scrambled egg” uniform, referencing their likeness to the popular Chinese food dish. (See AP photo montage above.)

Yao Ming has been chosen as Flag Bearer for the host country, but still no word on who will light the torch. If Yao looks familiar, it’s because he plays in the NBA with the Houston Rockets. For those not familiar with Yao, this is a human being with an extraordinarily generous heart who has made substantial donations to multiple philanthropic endeavors. Most recently Yao gave a not-insignificant donation to assist with Chinese Earthquake relief. We are a bit confused because in the photo below Yao’s uniform is red with a white shirt, while in the other shots of the oh-so-bright uniforms the colors are obviously red with yellow. (Have you heard who has been selected as our flag bearer?)

Yao Ming, Chinese Flag Bearer

Yao Ming, Chinese Flag Bearer

Here are the USA Track & Field uniforms… how cool are these? Wow! As you can see from the swoosh, Nike is responsible for their creation, and they have that distinctive graphic look in a rich blue. Beneath, the Chinese Track and Field Team uniforms.

These days with the sneaker craze it’s simply not possible to talk about Olympic uniforms without looking at some of the shoes the athletes will be wearing. Behold the Nike Dunk Gyrizo Men’s BMX Shoe. Don’t tell anyone, especially not The Princess Consort, but we do lust after it. Ssshhh! Yes, I know it’s a little over the top, but the red, white and blue are appealing to my patriotic side. A shame it only comes in men’s sizes as best we can tell. Sigh.

Nike Dunk Gyrizo Men's BMX Shoe

Next we move on to the Team USA Basketball look.

US Men's Olympic Basketball Team

US Men's Olympic Basketball Team

This next shot doesn’t show us uniforms, but it does show the the US Women’s Olympic Basketball Team finish their huddle before practice Thursday in Beijing.

USA Women's Basketball Team

USA Women's Basketball Team

Here is a quick shot of the Australian Team’s Opening Ceremonies style with what appear to be classic lines, and heels for the women. Of course, heel height (or lack thereof) is always a topic for chatter during the evening whilst watching the Parade of Athletes.

Australian Uniforms

Below we have a shot of Team USA as they enter the Flag Raising Ceremony yesterday. Now despite all of the minders and ministrations and memos and scurrying about it seems someone participated in an event carrying an item clearly not from one of the major sponsors. Oh no! Did we all spot the errant Burberry bag? It appears to be what we call a messenger bag, possibly the Men’s Haymarket Messenger, if we’re not mistaken.

DANGER AHEAD – FAIR WARNING – PRINCESS SOAP BOX ALERT – FAIR WARNING – DANGER AHEAD

Stand back.

This is the part in those TV medical dramas where the paddles are applied to the victim’s chest and a matinee idol scans the room, then bellows authoritatively “Clear!”

The Princess is discreetly sharing that sentiment shrieking that very word now: C – L – E – A – R!

At the very least have Nanny remove the children from the room, then consider having that conversation with the teenagers about the hazards of speaking loudly in public. About political issues. And be advised The Princess is about to engage in the unthinkable here, at least it would be unthinkable at any social gathering we hosted, and that is how we view our little online get-togethers.

But honestly, things seem a wee bit out of control. We can natter on about uniforms and fashions and heels and colors and all of that; you know and I know it is intended to be nothing more than nonsensical fun.

However…if anyone still wants to criticize some members of the American cycling team for wearing their masks getting off the airplane, they might want to take a look at this shot from an ESPN reporter, taken Thursday, Beijing time:

ESPN Smog Photo Thursday

ESPN Smog Photo Thursday

Yet what did US officials do? It seems they helped the cyclists decide the air was not as bad as they thought it was and they Did. Not. Need. Those. Masks. Presumably that would make the apologizing for wearing them all the easier. Here’s a portion of the story’s coverage in the Times:

They were the first athletes at these Summer Games seen wearing masks publicly to combat the effects of pollution, and the sight of them drew considerable attention and criticism from United States Olympic officials.

This must be the USOC’s version of a wardrobe malfunction, or worse.

Granted, Tuesday’s air pollution was not as bad as it was in the photos of Thursday’s air seen here. TP asks the question: how bad is it supposed to be? We looked for a non-biased view in the matter and  selected a UK viewpoint from the Times (of London) in an online story yesterday about Tuesday’s incident. This is as best TP can calculate the International Dateline! (Oh where is The Consort when he is *really* needed? On the back nine, that is where.)

Four US Olympic cyclists who caused an outcry when they arrived at Beijing airport wearing smog masks have today apologised to Games organisers.

As the Chinese capital remains shrouded in smog today, Jim Scherr, the chief executive of the US Olympic Committee, revealed that the four had said sorry.

“It probably wasn’t the most opportune time for these athletes to wear these masks,” he said, adding they had written an apology to Beijing Olympic Organising Committee (BOCOG).

Here is another photo of the air quality from ESPN’s Arty Berko:

Here is a statement from an official with the Beijing Organizing Committee:

“We have all along said that it is not necessary for the athletes to wear masks because the air quality in Beijing has improved,” Sun said. “We have to explain that looks can be deceiving, and that it looks like fog, but actually the air quality is good.”

You know, I always feel so much better when someone else helps me grasp this sort of thing. TP is truly beginning to feel like she’d best have Cook mix up a Prozac Latte. (On the rocks. With one of those little umbrellas.) More from the NY Times.

“They told us that the Chinese were mad and that this is a politically charged issue, but we didn’t mean to offend anybody,” Friedman said. “When they handed us these masks, they never said, ‘Here they are, but don’t wear them.’ ”

If you really want to get your blood boiling, go to the USA Cycling home page to read the Statement from U.S. Cyclists Michael Friedman, Sarah Hammer, Bobby Lea and Jennie Reed. Seriously.

For a great perspective on an “average Joe” exercising in the air seen above, check Will Pavia’s story in the Times of London.

This is the Princess Consort stepping in to restore some semblance of order to this situation. It is rare to see The Princess so exercised. I happen to have a close chum marching in the Opening Ceremony Parade and I’ll get some back-channel information from him. Until then, I must apply a cold compress to my lovely bride’s forehead. Enough for now.

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

Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Games Children’s Collection, Martha Stewart at Wal-Mart

The Princess promised in a previous post about the Polo Ralph Lauren Olympic Games Collection that she would alert you when the Children’s merchandise arrived. It is now available on the Ralph Lauren site.

Well, let us be a bit more precise in our description: there are 11 pieces shown in the Boys Section of the Olympic Games Collection, but this breaks down to only 6 different items, if The Princess did the math correctly. (An unlikely occurrence, we recommend counting yourself if this trivial piece of information is at all important.) This is a result of the same items being listed repeatedly for as many different size classifications as that particular piece comes in; for example, the Olympic Games Logo Polo is offered in Infants, Boys 2-7 and Boys 8-20.

There is one piece available as of this writing in the Girls area; that is the Olympic Games Stripe Polo available for Girls 7-16 (in Small, Medium, Large & XL) and Girls 2-6x. It is shown below and described as a “Preppy short-sleeved polo shirt in breathable stretch cotton mesh, mercerized for added luster.” The Princess is confident in her belief that the good folks at Polo Ralph Lauren have much more Girls merchandise coming for this collection. (There is an identical Olympic Games Stripe Polo for boys available as well.)

On the Boys side, we show a great pair of cotton twill shorts for Boys 2-7, officially called the Olympic Games Short and lower right, the Olympic Games Big Pony Polo. Should you fancy other colors, you’re in luck as the shirt also comes in red and white.

Probably the most detailed piece in the Boys Collection at this point is the Olympic Games Sweatshirt, available in white or red. This is currently available in Boys 2T-7; below we show the red version.

Here is the Boys’ Olympic Games Logo Polo, available in white, green and red.

The Princess fully expects a significant amount of goods to be added to the Children’s Collection in the next several weeks. This group is far too important to the company to allow the Boys and Girls clothing group to be anything less than robust. Whilst the Adult segments provide more to the bottom line, there is also an image component to this equation.

One other note on the Polo Olympic Games group: some pieces are also available on the USOC’s USA Olympic Shop online. When we see additions to the Boys and Girls groups we’ll let you know.

It’s All About The Nails

Chanel once again proves to The Princess how techno-hip it really is with a free collection of online wallpaper for your computer that is extremely stylish.

These are the $25 Limited Edition colors created to promote the company’s recently opened boutique on oh-so-trendy North Robertson Blvd. in Los Angeles. The colors have been given names synonymous with a few of LA’s nicer traits: LA Sunset, Melrose and Rodeo Drive.

A few more sale updates, beginning with Sak’s, where the price points on some items reflect some very deep discounts.

The summer sale at Ann Taylor is also getting well under way with additional markdowns.

And finally this evening, word that Martha Stewart Crafts are going to be sold at Wal-Mart stores; some merchandise will be available within the month. This is apparently an effort to replace K-Mart, where the line is now sold, with another low-price retailer. The collection will be made by EK Success, a name familiar to most scrapbookers. The Princess is unclear how the executives at Michaels craft stores are feeling about all this, as they also carry Martha Stewart crafts.

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Filed under preppy, Preppy clothing & brands, Preppy Fashion, preppy lifestyle

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