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

brenna1958 on

Quintessentially American! Dump the beret, make in the USA.

mark on

Boycott Ralph Lauren. How dimwitted can you be to clothe the athletes representing your country in garments made in another country? While people are losing homes in the USA, we send our young people to England in Chinese clothes.

staceyhead84 on

I think they’re kinda cute myself!

patriotson on

The uniforms are to Chinese. What is wrong with making clothing from the USA? It is time for us to demonstrate our exceptionalism inspite of Obama and his view of a diminished America tied to a world governemnt.

MC on

i agree dump the beret and display a baseball cap… especially since our national past-time sports baseball & softball was kicked out of the olympics this year by the IOC for rugby & golf. it would be a nice symbol of American pride

Alana on

Another beautiful job by Mr. Lauren. What’s the problem with them? Afraid your Team U.S.A. is going to look too put together, too classy? It’s going to be the first time, my memory, that they’re not going to look like a bunch of punk kids off of the street.

Alana on

Forgot to mention…To those who call the hats “berets”, they’re not. Berets have body to them and they slouch to one side. These are brimless caps that fit tightly to the head. Team U.S.A. doesn’t need to wear a baseball cap to be identified as Americans, especially when they are wearing a classy uniform.

EVA on

hat definitely looks like the Polish flag!! So , definitely looks like a Polish uniform

Susan on

Duh! Yes, BIG DEAL if they’re made in China! I try NEVER to buy anything made in China, and here in Hawaii, that’s not easy, since they’re catering to the Chinese. First it was the Japanese, but they’ve been here so much already, that Hawaii is looking for another source to help the economy. Also, don’t know about anyone else, but I’m from Hawaii, and I NEVER dress casually with ripped jeans, etc. That is NOT American, and neither are berets! We had better wise up, America!


Remember when Mao was in charge of China, they had millions of men and women in the army, threatening us.
Then Mao died, and we persuaded his successors to make China a market economy and now there are fewer people in the Chinese army. If we take their jobs away now, all those workers are likely to be back in the army tomorrow. You can guess what they will be training for!!!

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