Who Let Ralph Lauren Outfit Team USA?

4092 days ago.

I had to write that title three times before I was able to write it without a profane expletive. One word spells out why I feel that way: berets.

On Tuesday, Ralph Lauren unveiled the outfits that the United States Olympic Representatives will wear at the Openings Ceremonies in London in just a few weeks.

It’s like someone over at the U.S. Olympic Committee went to Ralph Lauren and said “We don’t give a crap about the 99%. We want you to think like a 1%-er and design clothes for the 1%. We are not talking the 1% that the 99% talks about. We don’t care about the “Bayou Billionaire” or professional athlete part of the 1%. We want you to design clothes for the part that stole everyone’s money on Wall Street and got away with it.”

The Seattle Times put together a great slideshow of Opening Ceremony outfits through the years for Team USA. Some of the other outfits have been a little off, but this post is about this year’s epic fail.

My gripes with the Ralph Lauren line start at the top with the beret.  In 2006 at the Winter Olympics in Turin, they had a beret-looking hat too. At least that one said USA real big across the front and looked more like a cap without a bill.  This beret is very military-looking with the way it sits to the side. The American flag is very small, set in a circle with the Olympic rings. The stripe looks strange having the red and white on the stripe and the blue on the rest of the beret. I hate the idea of the beret anyways, but if you had to have it, I would have taken out the stripe and the whole circle logo. Replace it with just an American flag if anything.  Take a look at this picture or this one. Even in professional shots, the logo looks sloppy with the way the beret lays on your head. The beret is available for $55 on Ralph Lauren’s website. I purposely didn’t link to it because if you buy one you deserve to have anyone you pass on the street first ask you to take it off, then punch you in the face when you remove it. You would remove it by the same logic of “you can’t hit a kid with glasses” and you get punched because you probably were on Wall Street when you stole the money to buy that beret.

When you look at the full figure, the men’s tie doesn’t look that bad. Look closer. What the heck is with this lion thing? 

An eagle would have been cool. Is this even a lion? They say it is, but who knows. Also, why is there a crown there. I know people may refer to our President thinking he is a king, but we live in a democracy here, folks. They could have easily left the tie blue with red stripes and it would have been fine.

This next picture I will use to illustrate the ridiculousness of the scarf and the blazer. I don’t even really know what to say about the scarf. Maybe it would look fine tied around her waist with some outfit or something. With the blazer it looks ridiculous. If it looks this bad in a modeling picture, think how it will look in London. It looks like someone cut off the bottom part of a 4th of July tablecloth and wrapped it around her neck.

The blazer all around is awful. The double-breast on the guys looks horrible. Look how pimp Maurice Green looked In Australia. Why go double-breast? (Honestly, the hat probably should get most of the credit for Maurice’s look, but the jacket looks slick too.) The women’s version at least gets the buttons right.

The problem with both versions is the Ralph Lauren logo. 1) Why is it so big? 2) Why is it on the right? 3) Why have it there at all? Going back to Maurice green, you’ll see that they just used Team USA logo on one side there. That’s how it should be.

The pony dwarfs the American flag. Everyone that approved this design should be fired. Are we sponsored by Ralph Lauren now? Are we the United States Ponies? If you are going to keep that circle logo, put it on the right. Drop the pony from where it is at. It should be on the inside of the blazer. If you insist on having it on the outside, stick it on the cuffs of the sleeve or maybe even small on the back on the neck. The female version of the blazer retails for $598 and the men’s is a whopping $795. Something is seriously wrong with anyone who pays more than $20 for these. I say $20 because that is my limit on something I can buy just for a laugh.

The shirts under the blazers for both men and the dresses that I guess the women wear with the blazers have the same design as the jackets. Just as awful. And I’m not sure why the guy modeling this shirt has his tie tucked into his pants behind a novelty belt.

The flat-front white trousers are nice for the guys. Although they do go for $295. I guess that’s reasonable for that small part of the 1%. The shoes are nice white shoes. Not bad at $165.

The rest of the collection outside of the Ceremony is mostly hideous with a thing or two I might buy in the winter when they are trying to give the stuff away at stores.

One thing I won’t be buying? The “Team USA Official Classic Polo”. Since they had to get the Ralph Lauren logo in on the breast, the “USA” got pushed down to the stomach area. The cost? $145, but you can have it personalized at no extra charge. I would imagine if they sell one of these at that price, it will be this one:

I’m not the only one who has a problem with these. Christie Brinkley wrote a great piece for the Wall Street Journal. Julia Turner over at Slate wrote a piece specifically about how horrendous the beret is.  The Washington Post has a roundup of several opinions and basically says “did we really expect more?”. They also say that the full Opening Ceremony outfit costs upwards of $1,500 per person retail.

It’s not like I don’t want our athletes to look put together in London. I just want them to look more like normal people and less like the Hamptons army on horseback armed with polo sticks. If the Australians can figure this look out, can’t we?

To top this whole sad state of clothing off, the clothes are all made in China. I sure hope Ralph Lauren paid the U.S. Olympic Committee a boatload of cash because it would take a lot of cash, a yacht-load if you will, to allow me to sleep peacefully if I had any part of green-lighting this debacle.


Post brought to you by Mills Properties
Pictures courtesy of Ralph Lauren


Ryan is a weird dude. He doesn't cook, yet owns a plethora of kitchen gadgets. He rationalized buying a SodaStream while unemployed. He counts Step Up 2: The Streets as one of his favorite movies along with Footloose, Rent, Grease and Paul Blart: Mall Cop. He loves Mizzou but only wants them in the SEC so he can tailgate in Nashville. He owns a ShakeWeight and AbLounger, but still loves him some John Donut and Billie's Fine Foods. You can get more of Ryan at iLoveSoulard.com or just check the stool on the far end of the bar at iTap in Soulard.

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