Ralph Lauren's Team USA, app-controlled, heated parka and bomber jacket are this week's hottest style items

Because they heat up, you see?

Ralph Lauren Team USA heated parka

If you're an aficionado of style, and are currently looking out the window thinking, "Ooh, looks a bit parky," you'll be doubly envious of the USA's Winter Olympics team. They've just been kitted out with bang snazzy Team USA parkas and bomber jackets with built-in heaters, courtesy of Ralph Lauren.

As well as doing the umpire and ballboys and girls' outfits at Wimbledon, Ralph Lauren has long been kitting out Team USA, but these coat-cum-toasters raise the bar for tech innovation.

When Team USA enter the stadium at the Winter Olympic opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea on February 9, they'll be kept warm not just by the red-hot patriotic pride engendered by their red, white and blue parkas or, indeed, the down they're stuffed with. 

The coats also feature a battery-powered, app-controlled heating element printed onto the lining in the shape of an American flag. Oh say, can you see? No you can't; it's on the inside of the coat. We've encountered heated jackets before but they've employed more traditional heating elements, secreted in the lining of the garments, rather than being printed directly on in carbon and silver.

The heater can provide up to 11 hours of heat, with the temperature controlled via a smartphone app. They've been tested down to -30ºC in a meat freezer, so the chances of any of the team catching a chill seem minimal.

The outfit is filled out with skinny jeans, brown suede mountain boots with red laces, and some Buffalo-Bill-tastic tassled and beaded gloves, leaving Team USA looking like a cross between crack athletes and members of the Village People. There's also a heated bomber jacket, which will be shown off at the closing ceremony. Bomber jackets are currently bang on trend with non-skinheads for the first time in many years.

The garments won't be on sale to you, the public, but Ralph Lauren expects to have clothing using the same heating technology in shops, in due course.

Fans of sport in very cold temperatures and all-American fashions will be looking forward to Pyeongchang as Team USA will also be modelling some very fetching retro outfits from Nike when on the medal podium.

Duncan Bell

Duncan is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."