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

Molly on

Love Ralph Lauren, he is American! Made in China I am not so impressed with.

Susan Smith on

Too bad Ralph Lauren people didn’t think to have a US textile mill make the uniforms in the USA. What about a baseball hat – cooler and the heat in London will engult the blazers and long sleeve shirts into mush….It’s SUMMER, a very classic sheeting jacket and smart tee would have been much better.

Guest on

I don’t think they’re too European, it’s very on par with Ralph Lauren’s STYLE but the fact that they were made in China is a real turn off.

sheila on

People who use the word tacky to describe this look are obviously lacking any taste. Since when is a well tailored sport coat/jacket tacky? Go back to your Wal-Mart style!

A.S. Carr on

If the US Government actually provided financial support the the Olympians, like all other countries do, they could buy their uniforms from American manufacturers. Since they don’t and cost is a definite consideration, they get what they can afford – in this course, it’s outsourced. Pay up or shut up!

Kitty on

I did a google search for clothing “Made in the USA.” It was all small businesses. I can’t imagine any of them having the ability to donate the amount of clothing that the athletes would require. So while it burns my tush that the athletes are wearing clothing manufatured in China – I don’t see where there was a choice. I can’t imagine RL opening up a manufacturing plant to make one event’s worth of clothing.

A.S. Carr on

… in this case it’s outsourced.

Alyssa Watson on

It is bad that the outfits are made in China (if they are). The outfits are classic, but I don’t like the (FRENCH) berets.

Alicia on

They are made in China :(

brenna1958 on

Quintessentially American! Dump the beret, make in USA.

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