The Olympics are finally here! I LOVE watching the opening ceremonies to get a glimpse of what all the nations are wearing. Sadly, I’m usually disappointed with USA. Don’t get me wrong, my patriotism is as strong as ever! I think part of the reason why I end up underwhelmed is because we have a hard color palette to work with. Maybe not hard, just limited.
Anyway, I put together my six takeaways about the Ralph Lauren Olympic wear for our athletes:
Are we going to prep school… or the Olympics?
Look at this photo:
<img class=" wp-image-1739 lazyload" src="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/636052321737961471-Team-USA.jpg" alt="Team USA uniforms for 2016 Olympics (image courtesy of Ralph Lauren)" width="462" height="346" srcset="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/636052321737961471-Team-USA.jpg 680w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/636052321737961471-Team-USA-300x225.jpg 300w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/636052321737961471-Team-USA-370x278.jpg 370w" sizes="(max-width: 462px) 100vw, 462px" /> Team USA uniforms for 2016 Olympics (image courtesy of Ralph Lauren)
These lovely people do not, at first glance, look like athletes to me. If I didn’t know the context for this photo, I would not have assumed these were our Olympic athletes. They look like they’re headed off to a Ralph Lauren boarding school, or perhaps they’re going sailing. And OMG, do you see the size of their logo?! I’m surprised that’s even allowed! Hello, polo pony!
It’s very preppy. Is that America? I suppose it’s appealing to some people, but I wish the uniforms looked a bit less East Coast school uniform and a little more athleisure.
I’m just going to say it. The biggest issue I have with these uniforms is just that they’re so boring! The only non-solid color element is the sweater and they chose stripes. Ugh….
Countries seem to go three different ways with their looks:
Preppy chic. Like us.
<img class=" wp-image-1763 lazyload" src="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/57a53ddc2a00000002fb5103.jpeg" alt="2016 Rio Olympics - Opening Ceremony - Team Barbados (image courtesy of Reuters) " width="568" height="382" srcset="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/57a53ddc2a00000002fb5103.jpeg 969w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/57a53ddc2a00000002fb5103-300x202.jpeg 300w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/57a53ddc2a00000002fb5103-768x517.jpeg 768w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/57a53ddc2a00000002fb5103-370x249.jpeg 370w" sizes="(max-width: 568px) 100vw, 568px" /> 2016 Rio Olympics – Opening Ceremony – Team Barbados (image courtesy of Reuters)
<img class=" wp-image-1760 lazyload" src="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/olympics-opening-ceremony-8.jpg" alt="Team South Africa at the 2016 Olympics (image courtesy of the Associated Press)" width="533" height="356" srcset="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/olympics-opening-ceremony-8.jpg 1024w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/olympics-opening-ceremony-8-300x200.jpg 300w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/olympics-opening-ceremony-8-768x512.jpg 768w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/olympics-opening-ceremony-8-370x247.jpg 370w" sizes="(max-width: 533px) 100vw, 533px" /> Team South Africa at the 2016 Olympics (image courtesy of the Associated Press)
Or something completely different.
<img class=" wp-image-1758 lazyload" src="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gettyimages-586326926jpg.jpg" alt="Team Indonesia at the 2016 Olympics (image courtesy of Getty Images)" width="456" height="587" srcset="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gettyimages-586326926jpg.jpg 838w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gettyimages-586326926jpg-233x300.jpg 233w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gettyimages-586326926jpg-768x989.jpg 768w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gettyimages-586326926jpg-795x1024.jpg 795w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gettyimages-586326926jpg-370x476.jpg 370w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gettyimages-586326926jpg-1040x1339.jpg 1040w" sizes="(max-width: 456px) 100vw, 456px" /> Team Indonesia at the 2016 Olympics (image courtesy of Getty Images)
<img class=" wp-image-1754 lazyload" src="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/olympics-opening-ceremony-2.jpg" alt="Team Cameroon for the 2016 Olympics (image courtesy of the Associated Press) " width="503" height="334" srcset="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/olympics-opening-ceremony-2.jpg 1024w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/olympics-opening-ceremony-2-300x200.jpg 300w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/olympics-opening-ceremony-2-768x511.jpg 768w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/olympics-opening-ceremony-2-370x246.jpg 370w" sizes="(max-width: 503px) 100vw, 503px" /> Team Cameroon for the 2016 Olympics (image courtesy of the Associated Press)
The blazer is soooooo overdone.
This is something I can’t completely pin on Ralph Lauren, since many, many countries utilized the blazer for their opening ceremony uniforms.
<img class=" wp-image-1748 lazyload" src="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586225990.jpg" alt="Spain's official uniforms for the 2016 Olympics (image courtesy of Getty Images)" width="301" height="452" srcset="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586225990.jpg 720w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586225990-200x300.jpg 200w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586225990-768x1152.jpg 768w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586225990-683x1024.jpg 683w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586225990-370x555.jpg 370w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586225990-1040x1560.jpg 1040w" sizes="(max-width: 301px) 100vw, 301px" /> Spain’s official uniforms for the 2016 Olympics (image courtesy of Getty Images)
<img class=" wp-image-1747 lazyload" src="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586230768.jpg" alt="South Korea uniforms (image courtesy of Getty Images)" width="389" height="259" srcset="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586230768.jpg 1228w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586230768-300x200.jpg 300w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586230768-768x512.jpg 768w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586230768-1024x683.jpg 1024w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586230768-370x247.jpg 370w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586230768-1040x694.jpg 1040w" sizes="(max-width: 389px) 100vw, 389px" /> Japan’s uniforms (image courtesy of Getty Images)
And the worst use of the blazer, in my opinion, was Australia.
<img class=" wp-image-1750 lazyload" src="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586223676.jpg" alt="Team Australia's uniforms (image courtesy of Getty Images)" width="526" height="351" srcset="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586223676.jpg 1228w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586223676-300x200.jpg 300w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586223676-768x512.jpg 768w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586223676-1024x683.jpg 1024w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586223676-370x247.jpg 370w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/586223676-1040x694.jpg 1040w" sizes="(max-width: 526px) 100vw, 526px" /> Team Australia’s uniforms (image courtesy of Getty Images)
Do your uniforms need to be the same color as your flag?
Take the lovely Cook Islands, as an example. Their flag is red, white, and blue – same as ours. And yet, they went with a green print. I’m intrigued.
<img class=" wp-image-1752 lazyload" src="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gettyimages-586318240jpg.jpg" alt="Cook Islands at the opening ceremony (Image courtesy of Getty Images)" width="469" height="672" srcset="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gettyimages-586318240jpg.jpg 754w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gettyimages-586318240jpg-209x300.jpg 209w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gettyimages-586318240jpg-768x1100.jpg 768w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gettyimages-586318240jpg-715x1024.jpg 715w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gettyimages-586318240jpg-370x530.jpg 370w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/gettyimages-586318240jpg-1040x1490.jpg 1040w" sizes="(max-width: 469px) 100vw, 469px" /> Cook Islands at the opening ceremony (Image courtesy of Getty Images)
And don’t think the USA has always done red, white, and blue. Check out this pic from ages ago, when we went with a Western cowboy theme!
<img class=" wp-image-1755 lazyload" src="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/1980-olympic-uniforms-1.jpg" alt="1980, when Levi Strauss supplied uniforms for Team USA" width="278" height="281" srcset="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/1980-olympic-uniforms-1.jpg 1069w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/1980-olympic-uniforms-1-297x300.jpg 297w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/1980-olympic-uniforms-1-768x776.jpg 768w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/1980-olympic-uniforms-1-1014x1024.jpg 1014w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/1980-olympic-uniforms-1-370x374.jpg 370w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/1980-olympic-uniforms-1-1040x1050.jpg 1040w" sizes="(max-width: 278px) 100vw, 278px" /> 1980, when Levi Strauss supplied uniforms for Team USA
USA uniforms actually made in USA!
Seems like this should be obvious, right? Not a novel concept. But remember, in both 2008 and 2012, when Ralph Lauren got into trouble by making Olympian attire in China? Thankfully, they’ve changed their ways and now the clothing for athletes was actually made by factories in the USA.
Does Ralph Lauren have a monopoly on producing Team USA uniforms?
Ralph Lauren did the 2008 Olympics, and 2012 Olympics. And now, the 2016 games.
Isn’t it time to let another designer have a chance? You can’t tell me Ralph Lauren is the only company capable of producing patriotic apparel for athletes!
I’m just saying.
What about you? Did you watch the opening ceremonies? What did you think? Did you have a favorite? (I was rather fond of the ladies’ Barbados uniforms.They were pretty stylish!) Let me know in the comments below.