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Ugly sweater party at the Olympics? Channeled 80s chic or disaster?

Posted on 08 February 2014

Ahhh the ski sweater.  We've seen quite a few different ones throughout the years!  But those at the 2014 Winter Olympic games worn by the Americans are getting a lot of buzz...

Most people think that Ralph Lauren's designs for the winter athletes looks like a 1980s regurgitation that missed the mark entirely.  Which made me think a lot more about sweaters.. and the various transformations they've been through over the years.

If you look back at women's ski fashions, you will usually see them wearing skirts and dresses from the 1900s throught the 1920s - unimaginable to most of us today!

In the 1930s and 1940s, women finally started to wear pants for winter sports - so sweaters became more important to the sport lover's fashion world.

Sometimes, the sweaters shown for women and girls were frilly and cute - not really created for actual cold weather sports!

The above photo is from a 1940s Life Magazine and shows the increasingly popular" his and her" ski sweaters!

Novelty prints were becoming increasingly popular, usually with a simple image or a pattern of repeated winter related themes.

Jantzen created some fabulous sweaters during the 1940s and 1950s!

Another his and her set - novelty ski pattern with matching caps!

Mid century modern geometric patterns were also huge for sweaters!

Nordic sweaters in traditional prints were popular for many years, and still are today!  Maybe something in that genre would have been a better choice for the US athletes.

In the 1960s, Emilio Pucci, a skier himself, brought style to the ski world with his mod, colorful prints.

The late 60s and early 70s continued with geometric prints and, of course, his and her sweater sets! 

Family sweaters, matching and coordinating started to become popular!

Into the 1970s, the ski sweaters became more streamlined with solids and simple patterns.

Then came the decade of "more is better" - the 1980s.  If a novelty print sweater was good, a bigger, brighter one must be better!  If geometric prints were nice, more would be even nicerr!  You get what I'm saying!

So back to the team USA Olympian' sweaters.  Are they the future of sweaters and we don't have the insight to see it yet?  Is Ralph Lauren a visionary who sees trends on the horizon that we can't even imagine?  I personally hope that our fashion future doesn't include 1980s sweaters in any form..Though this blog post is about sweaters, I have to say that I loved the streamlined look of the Swedish and Norwegian athletes and the black and white simplicity of the Japanese.   Maybe we should skip the sweaters next time altogether! What do you think?

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