Official Olympic Gear: Officially Fugs

The opening ceremony of the Olympics may not be an actual medal event — but as the thousands of athletes walk through the stadium waving to the crowd, they're still being judged on something important: fashion. Right now, however, Team USA's chances of a best-dressed gold at Sochi are suddenly looking sadly slim. On Thursday, the world got its first peek at the uniforms that all-American designer Ralph Lauren created for 400 athletes and 200 officials to wear at the Feb. 7 event. And it's a mixed bag at best.

Let’s start with the good. The boots are reminiscent of Isabel Marant’s hidden wedge snowshoes. They look great on both sexes and appear to be warm and comfortable to boot (pun intended), perfect for those sub-zero Russian evenings. As for the hat, well, the only strike against it is that it's not a beret. (You might remember that the Olympic beret rose to prominence at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and appeared again on the Team USA apparel list in London 2012. It will be missed). The basic white turtleneck is something that any of us might pick up at the Polo store, so two points to America there. 

The bad: White sweatpants never work. With all that snow and ice around, a minor slip-and-fall-could turn into a sort-of wet T-shirt contest for the nether region. No matter how thick the material is, these pants are a fashion emergency in the making.

The ugly: It’s abundantly clear that Lauren found inspiration for the opening ceremony cardigan from last month's rash of Ugly Christmas Sweater parties. The stars-and-stripes top looks like a hodgepodge of Olympic regalia pieces hastily quilted together. The worst part? The wool patch-work cardi costs $595.00.

Ralph Lauren should get credit for the fact that all of the pieces were proudly made in the USA. But that redeeming factor won't be enough to get American athletes a gold medal for style. Lucky for Lauren, he's got more than two and a half years to whip up something more impressive for the 2016 Summer Games.