The U.S. Olympic Uniforms Stir Up Serious Controversy

07/12/2012 at 03:00 PM ET

Olympics 2012
Courtesy Ralph Lauren

It’s going to be a fashionable 2012 Olympics! Ralph Lauren designed the U.S.A. Opening Ceremony Parade Uniforms, as well as a collection of village wear apparel, and debuted the looks this week.

The classic Opening Ceremony designs (left) — topped off with berets — are reminiscent of Lauren’s signature aesthetic, described by the brand as “classic silhouettes in a timeless palette of navy and white with pops of red.”

However, not everyone is pleased with the navy blazers, white bottoms and hats: Steve Doocy, host of of Fox & Friends, felt that the berets are too French — not American enough — even posing the question, “Why not a baseball cap?” Other news outlets, like the New York Post, found the outfits “too preppy.”

Adding more fuel to the fire, ABC News reported the uniforms were made in China. That prompted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to go as far as to say the clothing should be burned. “If they have to wear nothing but a singlet saying USA on it painted by hand, that’s what they should do,” he said at a press conference.

So far Ralph Lauren’s reps have declined to comment on the situation, but the U.S. Olympic Committee did release a statement to the Wall Street Journal: “Unlike most Olympic teams around the world, the U.S. Olympic Team is privately funded and we’re grateful for the support of our sponsors. We’re proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company, and excited to watch America’s finest athletes compete at the upcoming Games in London.”

Tell us: Do you think it’s a big deal that the Olympic uniforms are made in China? Are the uniforms are too European? Or are they just embodying the classic style of Ralph Lauren? Vote below!

–Jennifer Cress


FILED UNDER: Athletes , Designers , Fashion
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Showing 108 comments

Tinamarie Bruns on

Before they were produced,he must have submitted a sample for approval!I totally agree the RL label on the jacket should have been the flag or USA.RL was totally out of line with his company logo there,but that’s how he makes his brand.They look crisp and clean.I don’t think it represents American.You get what you pay!

Sophia on

Manufacturing the U.S. Olympic team ceremonial uniforms in China is so wrong, particularly during such a down economy here in the US as this is yet another example of jobs that could, and frankly, should belong to Americans are being shipped offshore. All things USA Olympic should be manufactured in the USA — show some TEAM USA spirit and unity. As far as the design of the uniforms, Ralph Lauren, I believe is a good choice, classic American style. The beret, however, does remind one of either the French, or a military special forces (Green Beret)uniform piece. I suggest he do a bit more research on classic American sport toppers and bring his interpretation to same. Crisp and classic, overall though, and a refreshing change from the sloppy and slouchy inspired stuff we see so much of these days.

Sophia on

Not a Democrat or Republican issue. We’re all entitled to our opinion in this country and must do better respecting those with whom we differ.

The USA Olympic Team is AMERICAN: Red, White, and Blue. Not just red. Not just blue.

Marsha on

It looks like team Ralph Lauren

PeterPan on

Are they insane? These outfits were classy and sophisticated! I was proud to see my country looking so well put together out there! “Why not wear baseball caps?” Uh, no. While it is an American symbol.. not for the Olympics. Wear baseball caps on the fourth of July. While being presented in front of several different nations, you want to look your best.

Karli on

Με αφορμή το σχόλιο σας πώς δεν πετάς έτσι ανθρώπους που έχεις εκπαιδεύσει τόσο σκληρά έχω να προσθέσω το εξής, το ζήτημα των ανθρώπων που απολύονται από τις ειδικές δυνάμεις δεν είναι μόνο βιοποριστικό αλλά και ψυχολογικό, τι θέλω να πω με αυτό, πρόκειται για ανθρώπους οι οποίοι συνήθως προέρχονται από λαϊκά στρώματα οι οποίοι μέσα στο Στρατό βρίσκονται στην ελίτ, δεν είναι κάποιοι που απλά υπηρετούν τη θητεία τους, είναι οι καλύτεροι, αποτελούν το καμάρι των ενόπλων δυνάμεων και αυτό το συναίσθημα μάλλον δεν θα το ξανανιώσουν στη ζωή τους, απολυόμενοι ξαναμπαίνουν στο . Προς συμπλήρωση των παραπάνω, όσο και αν η συγκεκριμένη ταινία δεν αποτελεί κινηματογραφικό αριστούργημα να σας θυμίσω τη σκηνή από την ταινία ”ΡΑΜΠΟ ΤΟ ΠΡΩΤΟ ΑΙΜΑ” στην οποία ο βετεράνος commando συναντά τον διοικητή του μετά τα όσα έχει διαπράξει και το ξέσπασμα που ακολουθεί.Με σεβασμό Καταδρομέας.

Yody on

WoW! This is really too close to call. Every time I would ddciee on the worst’, I would then scroll to the next picture and there would be a new worst’. Tell your students that your mom is impressed with their creativity in displaying their unique ideas of fashion disasters’. I do hate to tell them though that some of their ideas of fashion disasters actually pass as fashion’ here. Sad but true. Love you and love seeing your students. kisses and hugsmom

Amanda on

En Artquitect Projection conseguimos traanformsr la arquitectura en Fantaseda. Gracias a nuestra te9cnica de videomapping, podemos proyectar un video y hacerlo encajar con la me1xima exactitud sobre los soportes mas insospechados: (Fachadas de edificios, estatuas, velas de barco…) jugando con sus formas, volfamenes y colores.Artquitect Projection can transform architecture in fantasy. Thanks to our videomapping skills, we can fit a video projection very precisely into a particular form as a building fae7ade, a statue or into a boat sail, etc. We can play with its form, volume and colours.

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