Style

Breaking Down the Team USA Uniform

And Offering a Very Good Alternative Suggestion

By Kady Ruth Ashcraft ·
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There are few things I hold so dearly as I do the Olympics. What is more purely human and purely insane than gathering citizens in peak physical condition and making them run very fast or jump very high or twirl around on ice with teeny tiny blades on their feet. It is truly a convention of joy in my opinion. At the center of this global tournament is something even more pure and joyful: the official Olympic uniforms. The utter insanity of stuffing these perfect human specimens in matching Ralph Lauren turtlenecks makes me giddy. 

Let’s take a look at this year’s design.

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Oh No. There is a lot going on here. Okay, one thing I didn’t mention is that the uniforms are never good. Well, hey were good one year and that was 1984.

What makes the uniforms great isn’t that they are sartorially exquisite but that they exist at all. Nothing about dressing premier world class athletes of varying body shapes and sizes into identical outfits is insanity. Ralph Lauren is like an unhinged mother on picture day trying to get all the kids to coordinate. Someone will end up looking bad. The only way around that is to make sure everyone looks sort of bad, so there aren’t any real clear losers.

Anyways, this year that ideology was put into practice and it looks like we’re going with the picture day approach, but instead of taking place in a photo studio, it’s in a barn atop a ski resort. The sweater, hat, neckerchief, and parka all look like they were purchased in a rest stop gift shop on the way to PyeongChang. Then there are the gloves that I can only assume are an homage to Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, a quintessential American film. Should any cows give birth during the Olympics, an athlete can stop mid-double axle and help assist. I appreciate the utilitarian element Ralph Lauren was going for. It’s a miss but, he isn’t the one competing. He has this gig down on lock.

I know you’re thinking, how would you dress our country’s top athletes, Kady Ruth? The answer is simple. They’d be in complete Bruce Springsteen “Born In The USA” drag and ideally they’d have to compete in their respective sports wearing the stiff American denim. But I understand there are copyright laws and having a baseball cap hanging coolly from your back pocket might be dangerous in some of the events where you're flipping upside down or wherever. So we can stick with the Ralph Lauren designs, but mark my words those gloves are going in the back of these athletes' closets the moment the games are done. 

Kady Ruth Ashcraft is a writer, comedian, filmmaker, and Amtrak Princess. Follow her on twitter @kadyrabbit and tweet her pictures of your pets.

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