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

DS on

The outfit looks french with the barret. Also the flag is smaller then the Polo logo. I’m sorry but I feel this does not represent the teams for USA properly. And being made in China, that’s a shame. Ralph Lauren made this his outfit and not an outfit for the American Athletes to show their American Pride. If I was flipping through the channels and didn’t know of these outfits, I would not think it was the American Team unless I saw them holding the American Flag.

MT on

Is anyone going to tell the Green Berets that their hat is not American enough? Talk about nitpicking.

Eli on

You know who else wears berets? Members of the American military. Is this Fox News loser going to tell them they look too French? Please.

It's Insane! on

They are okay. Kind of more prep school/navy cadet school for me, but at least it’s classy. It’s showing respect for the Olympics and that is Ralph Lauren’s style.

BFD on

My only issue with the uniforms is that they’re made in China.

For shame.

sheila on

I think red jackets would have been better with this…more pop. But, I like the look.

meena on

The uniforms look dignified and are Olympic-worthy. For the people who mock berets- would they then argue that the Statue of Liberty is too French? After all it was a gift from France to the United States, and it has since become an iconic American symbol. Would these same insipid fools consider Louisana less than American because of its salient French character? The uniforms achieve their goal which is to put your country’s athletes in the best light on the world stage. They are American enough because they celebrate your country’s athletes with your country’s colours. It is possible to be influenced by many countries’ styles and then make a melting pot look.

Eve on

How about the fact that they are MADE IN CHINA!!!!! What an insult.

Regina B on

Umm, the most elite fighting force in the USA wears berets. Green Berets, anyone?

BBB on

Ick, a baseball cap? Who suggested that??? Just because it’s American doesn’t mean it should be worn to something official/formal. I’d rather they had no headgear than a baseball cap. And too preppy, uh if that was an initial concern then Ralph Lauren shouldn’t have been commissioned–preppy is his signature style! Gees, people like to complain about everything.

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