Ralph Lauren designed the Olympic opening ceremony apparel kits for our American athletes in London 2012. Mr. Lauren, who’s name is already synonymous with Wimbledon and Polo (the sport), was the perfect choice for outfitting the ol’ red, white, and blue, creatively combining his influences of sport and classic American fashion. I am a biased of course. This is a trad blog with sympathy towards tradly style.
And as it turns out, Mr. Lauren doesn’t have as much approval from most everyone else. Some criticisms do carry some veracity, such as the fact that these all-American uniforms are not actually so, having been made in China. But other criticisms, well, are just ridiculous. Militarisitc? Really? As one commenter noted, it’s easier to see a yachtsman wearing this than a dictator.
But here is my argument in support of the uniforms. The sentiment in my guide highlights the continual downgrade of dress in not only this country, but all of modern society.
The opening ceremony is one of the world’s biggest events and you would think we’d want our young men and women dressed up for the occasion. In years past we got away with track suits, but in 2012 we came back to our senses and showed the world we can look stylish again.
What some may call old fashioned and boring, I call the use of the quintessential American blue blazer with gold buttons a huge hit. Combined with a club collar, repp tie, and white pants, the whole ensemble reflects smart and cool American athleticism. The beret, which some say is too French, serves as a proper cover that’s much better than a cowboy hat that’s too Redneck. The vintage inspired wardrobe reminds me of the Chariots of Fire era; these days you’d only see this kind of classic style at a rowing regatta, but tonight you saw it on the international stage.
I applaud Ralph Lauren. Sure they’re made in China (what isn’t?) and yeah maybe his pony logo is kind of obnoxiously loud but overall he designed what could be our most stylish and attractive uniforms yet. We may not look as awesome as the Dutch, outfitted by SuitSupply, but hell, it could’ve been a lot worse.
Let the games begin. USA! USA!