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

Anne on

Folks, these thing were made in CHINA!!!! Can you even think of the USA Olympic Committee getting these things made in CHINA???

This isn’t about STYLE, it’s about American JOBS!!!

amanda on


KIM on

Are they “too sophisticated”??? That truly is not even a question that should be asked when discussing these foreign made garments.

I’m embarrassed.

LocalLucy on

Berets always look ridiculous. Always. Then there is the question of the bobby socks & skirt…

Jeremy on

The people who are fond of the beret, poseurs, probably also wear black turtlenecks when they “want to be serious.” Likewise, baseball caps are juvenile; the athletes do not have newspaper routes.

Marti Schmidt on

These uniforms are classy and typical of Ralph Lauren’s style. I know our athletes will look fabulous in whatever he designs for them. The berets add a nice touch. We should be proud to have these youngsters representing the USA no matter what they are wearing!!!

guest on

Does Mr. Doocy forget that our Special Forces units in the military wear berets? Tell an Army Ranger that you’d rather he wore a baseball hat, because he looks too European to defend you.

As far as made in China goes…please someone tell me what American clothing company is going to be able to make that many clothes (not just for athletes, but for retail sales, as well). I remember in 2004 and 2008, for the Winter Olympics, Roots made the clothes for our athletes…a Canadian company. Are we angry about that, or just China???

Sandra on

I think they are fabulous. The preppy look IS American to me. Love them.

ap on

I’m screaming liberal American who lives in Europe, and I have to say, they look like stewards and stewardesses for Air France. And why the horse? I hope Ralph is paying the USOC a lot of money.

kkim on

i wonder if he’d tell the green barets they look too european in their uniforms

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