There's no shame in watching the Olympic Games for the clothes. To style watchers, winning the gold often signals a fashionable affair (the Golden Globes, that little gold Oscar guy).
So although we're not likely to offer play-by-play analysis of Team U.S.A.'s performance on the basketball court, you can bet we'll have something to say about Maria Sharapova's uniform. And you can also bet we'll be partaking in some Olympics-inspired styles of our own.
1. An official outfitter of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams, Ralph Lauren designed opening and closing ceremony parade outfits and a variety of village wear for the teams. We're rooting for this snappy cotton pullover, which features the Polo pony, the U.S. Olympic team logo and the word "Beijing," spelled in Chinese characters. The entire Olympics line is available at Polo Ralph Lauren retail stores, select department stores, and RalphLauren.com, with some items available on the U.S. Olympic Committee Web site (usolympicteam.com). The men's and women's pullovers are $145.
2. In honor of the Games, Gucci created the 8-8-2008 Limited Edition, a special collection that consists of eight red accessories that "epitomize sporty luxury," designed by creative director Frida Giannini. We love the I-Gucci watch's red rubber strap, which is engraved with the Gucci logo on the exterior and embossed with the iconic GG pattern on the interior. The collection also includes a bicycle, sport shoes and a leather duffel bag, among other items. But the watch is the only item available worldwide--all others are sold exclusively in Hong Kong and mainland China. The I-Gucci watch is available at gucci.com for $1,415.
3. Crocs are the official footwear to New Zealand's Olympics team, which doesn't mean athletes will be running the 100-meter dash in giant rubber shoes. Rather, the teams will be donning the Athens style (men) and the Patra style (women) during opening ceremonies and other non-competition times. Crocs also created a shoe specifically for the Portugal Olympics team: an orange Beach style with a green strap, inspired by Portugal's national flag. A pair of Crocs can be yours for $29.99 and up at crocs.com and a variety of department and sporting goods stores.
4. Eco-friendly Canadian company Roots offers a 2008 Olympic collection that is stylish and subtle. This cotton jersey T-shirt features a gold foil koi fish (Asian carp) print on the chest and the five Olympic rings on the left sleeve. $29.99 at usolympicteam.com.
5. The 2008 Olympics mark the first time BMX riders will compete for the gold. Nike, the official outfitter of the U.S., China and Japan BMX teams, says the '80s-inspired uniforms incorporate classic riding icons such as the checkerboard and the Comp 3 tire tread. We predict these shoes will be showing up on a lot of teenage feet in the next few months. The Nike Dunk Gyrizo is $160 at Nike.com.