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2008 Olympic Team Uniforms

Athletes traveling to Beijing for the Olympics next month will be equipped with uniforms for every occasion. Besides specifically designed sport uniforms, most will also have clothing to represent their nation as a unified team. These formal and/or leisure uniforms are used for official functions, press conferences, and the opening (formal) and closing (leisure) ceremonies.

The Team USA uniforms will bear the design of Polo Ralph Lauren. The leisure uniforms have a definite preppy look. The formal uniforms are a surprise, and won't be seen until the opening ceremonies August 8th.
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The most controversial team uniforms so far are the designs from Hudson's Bay Company for Canada. The designs feature both Canadian and Chinese symbols and text. See a gallery of the Canadian uniforms here. The response from the public has not been positive. People object to the way the uniforms look and the fact that they are manufactured in China.

The Olympic rules state that no country can wear the same uniform design in two consecutive Olympics. See more new designs for 2008 after the jump.

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Germany unveiled its Olympic uniforms in Dusseldorf in April.

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The Australian team's formal uniforms are provided by Sportscraft with shoes by Mileno. The suits are made from lightweight Italian wool, designed for the heat of Beijing. See more pictures in this gallery.

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The Japanese formal uniforms were modeled by athletes in Tokyo two months ago.

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The Russian team's retro-style uniforms are designed by Direct Design and produced by Bosco Sport. A representative of Bosco Sport said the uniforms are meant to evoke the legend of the Russian Fire Bird, which is a story akin to the Chinese Phoenix. They are also meant to evoke the Khrushchev era.

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The Olympic committee of Spain held a fashion show in Madrid featuring Olympic athletes to introduce their uniforms in April.

Which national team uniforms do you think are the most fashionable? Thursday, we'll take a look at the designs of individual sports uniforms, which have nothing to do with fashion and everything to do with performance.

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Want Priority Boarding On Your Alaska Airlines Flight This Holiday Season? Wear an Ugly Christmas Sweater
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Between steep fares and crowded terminals, flying during the holidays isn’t fun. But on Friday, December 15, a special Alaska Airlines promotion will ease boarding stress and transform packed planes into mile-high ugly sweater parties, in honor of National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the airline will offer free early boarding to travelers willing to don their holiday worst at the airport.

The promotion is good for all Alaska Airlines flights in the airline’s 115-city network, and for flights offered by Virgin America and Horizon Air (both of which are operated by Alaska Airlines). In addition to escaping the waiting crowds, passengers who share the most festive knitted looks will be featured on Alaska Air's social media pages if they tag their photos and videos using the hashtags #UglySweaterDay and #MostWestCoast. And since no plane aisle-turned-catwalk is complete without a soundtrack, “festive holiday-themed boarding music will play all month long to help get guests into the holiday spirit,” according to a press release.

Worried you’ll be the only person on the plane wearing a sequined Rudolph cardigan? Even if other passengers don’t get the memo, airline crew will also be wearing ugly sweaters—so feel free to unleash your inner Chevy Chase from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

[h/t Los Angeles Times]

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Custom-Design the Ugly Christmas Sweater of Your Dreams (or Nightmares)
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For those of you aspiring to be the worst dressed person at your family's holiday dinner, UglyChristmasSweater.com sells—you guessed it—ugly Christmas sweaters to seasonal revelers possessing a sense of irony. But the Michigan-based online retailer has elevated kitsch to new heights by offering a create-your-own-sweater tool on its website.

Simply visit the site's homepage, and click on the Sweater Customizer link. There, you'll be provided with a basic sweater template, which you can decorate with festive snowflakes, reindeer, and other designs in five different colors. If you're feeling really creative, you can even upload photos, logos, hand-drawn pictures, and/or text. After you approve and purchase a mock-up of the final design, you can purchase the final result (prices start at under $70). But you'd better act quickly: due to high demand, orders will take about two weeks plus shipping time to arrive.

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