NEW YORK – The U.S. snowboarders will be showing off a patchwork of styles in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Their uniforms, unveiled by manufacturer Burton Tuesday night, are built around the competition jacket with squares of stars, stripes and plaids.
The design was inspired by a handcrafted patchwork quilt spotted at an antiques fair, according to the Vermont-based company. The way the fabric is printed, no two items with the quilt fabric are quite the same.
The subtle palette gives an overall vintage vibe but with a patriotic theme — a well-worn blue, soft red and winter white.
The uniform includes base-layer henleys, warm-up pants, fleeces and five-pocket corduroy snowpants.
Men and women competitors will wear more or less the same look.
"The vintage quilt and flag print of the jacket combined with the corduroy pants give the uniform an 'heirloom hippie' vibe that lines up with snowboarding's laid-back culture while paying respect to America's longstanding creative heritage. It will stand out in Sochi for sure," said Greg Dacyshyn, chief creative officer, in a statement.
The fabric, however, is high-tech with exterior layers of proprietary waterproof and breathable laminates developed in conjunction with the U.S. Army Natick Research, Development & Engineering Center.
Various components of the uniforms were made in different places due to the specificity of the performance materials, Burton said. For example, the fabric was printed in Japan and the corduroy made in Taiwan.
Uniforms made by Ralph Lauren for U.S. athletes at the 2012 London Summer Olympics were criticized for being made overseas.
Olympic athletes are outfitted during their competitive events by individual, sport-specific manufacturers. This is the third consecutive Olympics that Burton has partnered with the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Association.
All American athletes will be wearing matching Fair Isle sweaters and peacoats for the closing ceremony. The opening ceremony outfits have not yet been revealed.
The Sochi Games begin Feb. 7.