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

Jenny on

The uniforms are a bit on the “stiff” side. The color scheme is good, but the berets are a bit much. And I would have loved it if someone would have checked Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi’s labels and shoes to see where they were made. I can’t see Nancy shopping at American Apparel! Let it go, it’s done, but they should be more aware next time.

inspiredbykittens on

They are preppy for sure, in an Ivy-League-Frat-Boy-that vacations-in Martha’s Vineyard-kind of way, but that’s Ralph Lauren’s style.
However it’s not the European feel of the uniforms that I don’t like but the fact that, at least in that picture, they have a sort of “eau d’Hitler youth” feel to them.

Kevin Dohn on

This says more about Fox news than it does RL or our olympic teams. And berets not American? Is our military not American?

RL was right on target.

ERolfe on

Not the worst I’ve ever seen, but they look more like boarding school uniforms. I think the winter athletes always get the better deal when it comes to their outfits for the opening/closing ceremonies.

frenchie on

Why 3 men/1 woman on the picture when there are actually more women than men in competition?

Romney on

Last I looked we weren’t european. We are Americans. Remember we left Europe and formed our own country to escape tyranny? Why do we have to copy someone else? Looks like just another step in the ongoing Europeanization of the United States. What a shame…

Eve on

Our Military wears Berets are they also Trying to be “too” French?? The Designer could have gone with a Cowboy hat, but than it would have been a racial debate.

Zaboo on

Now we even LOOK like SOCIALISTS.

Lau on

The poll says
What do you think of the Olympic uniforms?
They’re classic and sophisticated.
They’re too-European.

They can be European, classic and sophisticated at the same time.
But for sure, they are horrible.

Kelli on

Because all Americans wear berets….

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