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

Marie on

The berets are a bit much especially since they are so closely associated with the French but other than that I think they look very classy. God forbid the U.S. actually look tasteful.

LB on

Classy? They look like they are serving in the Marines — without the pride. Are they going to the Olympics, or out for a row today? White pants/skirts for the women? Obviously, designed by a man. And, MADE IN CHINA? Good grief.

Amanda on

Too European? Because America is the only country in the world…

Jenn on

They are very Ralph Lauren. What is more American, elegant and classic than Ralph Lauren?

Mandy on

So, now to be classy it MUST be too Euro? Get some pride America! We have style! And I’m not so sure that anything which reminds me SO much of the US Navy could really be THAT Euro.

Colleen on

How is a beret “too French”? Don’t our Armed Forces wear berets??

And if Fox wants this to truly “represent average Americans” more than half the athletes should be obese.

e on

It is America, I say if they want to look like Americans they won’t “uniform” unless they want to but instead outfits that celebrate their love for their country and the freedom of choice it gives you. If their choice is to wear it, great if not htey should pick something else appropriate for the occassion

Chimanian on

“Too European”? I take offense.
The uniforms have a Ralph Lauren American classic look. Crisp. Love it.

Sam on

Too European? What was Ralph Lauren thinking? Make it American. For the boys — have the baggy pants belted below their butt so we can see the boxers. For the girls — have the pants so tight they can barely move and when they do move we get the view of the thong. Now that’s the American style we all know and love! NOT!

Ginny on

The Army wears berets; it’s part of the uniform. Are they too European as well?

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