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2008 Olympic Team Uniforms

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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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Target
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This Just In
Target Expands Its Clothing Options to Fit Kids With Special Needs
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Target

For kids with disabilities and their parents, shopping for clothing isn’t always as easy as picking out cute outfits. Comfort and adaptability often take precedence over style, but with new inclusive clothing options, Target wants to make it so families don’t have to choose one over the other.

As PopSugar reports, the adaptive apparel is part of Target’s existing Cat & Jack clothing line. The collection already includes items made without uncomfortable tags and seams for kids prone to sensory overload. The latest additions to the lineup will be geared toward wearers whose disabilities affect them physically.

Among the 40 new pieces are leggings, hoodies, t-shirts, bodysuits, and winter jackets. To make them easier to wear, Target added features like diaper openings for bigger children, zip-off sleeves, and hidden snap and zip seams near the back, front, and sides. With more ways to put the clothes on and take them off, the hope is that kids and parents will have a less stressful time getting ready in the morning than they would with conventionally tailored apparel.

The new clothing will retail for $5 to $40 when it debuts exclusively online on October 22. You can get a sneak peek at some of the items below.

Adaptive jacket from Target.
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Adaptive apparel from Target.

Adaptive apparel from Target.

Adaptive apparel from Target.

[h/t PopSugar]

All images courtesy of Target.

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Big Questions
Why Do Shorts Cost as Much as Pants?
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iStock

Shorts may feel nice and breezy on your legs on a warm summer’s day, but they’re not so gentle on your wallet. In general, a pair of shorts isn’t any cheaper than a pair of pants, despite one obviously using less fabric than the other. So what gives?

It turns out clothing retailers aren’t trying to rip you off; they’re just pricing shorts according to what it costs to produce them. Extra material does go into a full pair of pants but not as much as you may think. As Esquire explains, shorts that don’t fall past your knees may contain just a fifth less fabric than ankle-length trousers. This is because most of the cloth in these items is sewn into the top half.

Those same details that end up accounting for most of the material—flies, pockets, belt loops, waist bands—also require the most human labor to make. This is where the true cost of a garment is determined. The physical cotton in blue jeans accounts for just a small fraction of its price tag. Most of that money goes to pay the people stitching it together, and they put in roughly the same amount of time whether they’re working on a pair of boot cut jeans or some Daisy Dukes.

This price trend crops up across the fashion spectrum, but it’s most apparent in pants and shorts. For example, short-sleeved shirts cost roughly the same as long-sleeved shirts, but complicated stitching in shirt cuffs that you don’t see in pant legs can throw this dynamic off. There are also numerous invisible factors that make some shorts more expensive than nearly identical pairs, like where they were made, marketing costs, and the brand on the label. If that doesn’t make spending $40 on something that covers just a sliver of leg any easier to swallow, maybe check to see what you have in your closet before going on your next shopping spree.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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