Ralph Lauren Fails Again With Team USA Rio Olympics Outfits

2614 days ago.
Team USA boat shoes

Ralph Lauren Designed Awful Outfits For Team USA To Wear During The Olympic Opening Ceremonies Again This Year

Nobody at the United States Olympic Committee appears to care if our Olympic athletes look ridiculous at the Opening Ceremonies in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Either that or Polo Ralph Lauren just paid them enough money to let them do what they want.

There aren’t a lot of justifications for giving the green light to these ridiculous outfits. There can’t be a logical reason for putting the athletes in boat shoes, can there? At least these will actually be made in the United States, which is something Ralph Lauren has done since getting busted in 2012.

Ralph Lauren and the USOC debuted the uniforms that Team USA will wear at the Olympic opening ceremony in Rio last week on the Today show. The athletes will wear a navy blazer over a red, white and blue shirt with white denim pants and red, white and blue boats shoes.

Ralph Lauren designed these uniforms for Team USA athletes to wear during the Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Rio.
Ralph Lauren designed these uniforms for Team USA athletes to wear during the Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Rio.

The first issue I have is with the Ralph Lauren “signature embroidered pony.” Why is it so big? It’s just as big as the U.S. Olympic patch on the other side. Ralph Lauren may think that the Olympics Opening Ceremonies are a fashion show for them, but it isn’t.  Also, why is there a pocket there that it’s on? The under collars of the blazers are red, white and blue. Are the collars supposed to be “popped?” They know that would look ridiculous, right? Definitely a waste of time having someone design that.

Team USA 2016 Olympic blazer
The Ralph Lauren blazer that Team USA athletes will wear during the Opening Ceremonies in Rio. Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren.

The shirt worn under the blazer is another issue. At least most of it is hidden by the blazer because it’s really ugly. It also looks a whole lot like the Russian flag. Several people pointed this out on Twitter.

The white denim is a fun choice in light of the dirtiness of Rio de Janeiro. The man modeling the varick jean version of these has the bottoms of the jeans rolled up. I would assume this means that this is how they are supposed to be worn. The pants come as a skinny jean or the aforementioned varick jean. The product description on both version touts that the Olympic motto of “Faster, Higher, Stronger” is on the waistband’s interior. While Ralph Lauren sees this as an important aspect of the pants, it doesn’t really add anything to the pants.

Team USA will be wearing red, white and blue calfskin boat shoes in Rio. These things are so ugly Team Australia could leave them in their hotel rooms during a fire and they wouldn’t get stolen. Boat shoes are awful. Boat shoes are never, ever stylish.

Team USA boat shoes
Team USA will wear these boat shoes designed by Ralph Lauren at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Much is also being made of the fact that the “USA” on  the back of jacket worn by the flag-bearer will light up. The official Team USA Twitter feed touted this “first-ever illuminated” jacket. Glad they are proud of the innovation, but they could have just bought some 3D Fashion paint that glows in the dark and slapped it on there. Also, I just bought this Ghostbusters shirt from Bon-Ton and it is “illuminated” too.


Michael Phelps was selected as the flag-bearer by his fellow members of Team USA. Ibthaj Muhammad, who will compete in fencing, finished second. When Muhammad competes next week in the women’s saber event she will become the first American to compete at the Olympics in a hijab.

If for some reason you want to own your own version of this Team USA Rio Opening Ceremonies outfit you can of course buy it online. What will it cost you?

  • Team USA Ceremony Wool Blazer – $695
  • Team USA Ceremony Striped Tee  – $89.50
  • Team USA Ceremony Skinny Jean – $195
  • Team USA Ceremony Men’s Shoe – $350

Buying the four items above would cost you $1,329.50 alone. I didn’t include the Team USA Ceremony Belt for $85 or the Team USA Ceremony Wrist Strap that costs $98.

At least there isn’t a beret to buy with this outfit like with the 2012 Team USA Olympic outfits.

Now re-read my above hot takes on the different pieces of this outfit while keeping the prices in mind. Ridiculous, right? I’m not saying Team USA should be be dress in clothes off the rack from Wal-Mart, but you could at least have someone design a decent outfit that normal people could afford.

Bre Payton at The Federalist asked back in April if Ralph Lauren could just stop. She described the designer as “an Olympic fashion menace who needs to be stopped, immediately.”

The Rio Olympics Games Opening Ceremonies will take place this Friday night. American television watchers won’t be able to see the ceremonies live thanks to NBC. They will be showing the ceremonies on a tape delay here in the U.S. The program will begin on NBC at 7 PM CST Friday night here in St. Louis. Start times in the rest of the country will vary. NBC will also be delaying their streaming coverage of the ceremonies despite the fact that they’ve been heavily pushing their streaming coverage for weeks. NBC executives, who think they know how men and women want to watch the Olympics, had the gall to try and change the Parade of Nations order so that Team USA would march through at a time acceptable to them.

Be sure to tune in to see athletes that have trained their whole lives for this moment finally live it, even if they might be a little uncomfortable in these outfits. You’ll also apparently see supermodel Gisele Bundchen get robbed because “ART!” or something.

Do you have an opinion on these outfits? Share it below.

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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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