Best in show

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jack­ets for the French eques­trian team, while Sal­va­tore Fer­rag­amo is the brand be­hind the uni­forms worn by ath­letes from San Marino.

But where fash­ion is in­volved, so, too, is drama.

Poor Spain: it got its uni­forms for free from the Rus­sian sports­wear brand Bosco Sport — you know, the coun­try be­ing near bank­rupt and all — and boy, can you tell. Red, yel­low and gold may fea­ture promi­nently on the coun­try’s flag, but who thought a long, shape­less skirt or gold curlicues was a good idea? (Luck­ily, the Span­ish ath­letes’ dark, tanned bods pro­vide a wel­come dis­trac­tion from the hor­rific uni­forms.)

Mean­while, Ger­many has yet to win a medal — but what’s more tragic is its ath­letes’ un­for­tu­nate pink and blue uni­forms.

The home team hasn’t been safe from criticism, ei­ther.

Back in March, when Bri­tain’s uni­forms were first re­vealed, pub­lic out­rage plagued de­signer Stella McCart­ney, chid­ing her for “for­get­ting” the red parts of the Union Jack, which is made up of three sep­a­rate flags su­per­im­posed over one an­other (the red bits are the St. Ge­orge’s Cross, which rep­re­sents Eng­land, and the St. Patrick’s Cross, for Ire­land).

Not sur­pris­ingly, McCart­ney de­fended her de­signs, stat­ing — via Twit­ter, no less — that in fact, the uni­forms in­clude more red than any other team uni­form since 1984.

“For me, it’s one of the most beau­ti­ful flags in the world,” she said, “and it was im­por­tant for me to stay true to that iconic de­sign, but also to mod­ern­ize it and present it in a con­tem­po­rary way.”

The out­fits that are be­ing worn by nearly 500 Olympic and 350 Par­a­lympic ath­letes are ex­actly as McCart­ney in­tended — mod­ern, sporty de­signs clearly in­spired by the geo­met­ric, di­ag­o­nal lines of the na­tion’s flag.

And de­spite those early com­plaints, it is sell­ing fast. Vis­i­tors and Brits alike are snap­ping up the of­fi­cial replica ap­parel at Lon­don 2012 pop-up shops across the city, as well as at the 37 lo­ca­tions of John Lewis, the of­fi­cial depart­ment store provider to Lon­don 2012, and on­line at shop.lon­don2012.com (ship­ping to Canada costs $31 and takes up to 10 busi­ness days).

Those seek­ing other coun­tries’ ap­parel, how­ever, have to dig a lit­tle deeper.

Team Canada’s mer­chan­dise is be­ing sold at a Hudson Bay pop-up shop at Canada Olympic House at Trafal­gar Square, though you’re bet­ter off stock­ing up be­fore board­ing your flight, as there’s noth­ing in Lon­don that you can’t get back home.

Fans of Team USA’s out­fits can find se­lect items on ralphlau­ren.com, but if you are look­ing for the best of other teams’ uni­forms, well, just like at Van­cou­ver 2010, that has been an elu­sive quest . . . and we’re bet­ting you’re not af­ter the Span­ish team’s ap­parel.

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