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 has been writing about tech for almost 15 years and fitness ever since he became middle aged and realised he could no longer rely solely on his boyish good looks. He 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."
Pre-lockdown Duncan was widely regarded as the best-dressed man ever to work for T3 – admittedly not saying much. Post-lockdown he is looking forward to wearing clothes other than shorts and hoodies again very soon, assuming he can still fit into them. He currently writes about cycling, fitness tech that isn’t too heavy, and all things kitchen and home related.