Despite the uproar over where the Team USA Uniforms will be manufactured (which I believe is a righteously deserved uproar), I can’t help but feel extremely unpatriotic when I say that I really think the women’s outfits are unattractive. I can see Ralph Lauren trying to portray classic American style as we head up against other countries featuring some of fashion’s other heavy hitters, like Giorgio Armani for Italy and Stella McCartney for Britain. But, does anyone else feel that the midi skirts, white socks, and leather lace up shoes miss the mark in presenting strong American women athletes?
After sifting through the numerous articles regarding these uniforms, I came across a slide show at
www.fashionista.com that traced the U.S.A Olympic team uniforms through the years of the Olympiad. A viewer gets to see the humble beginnings of the mismatched tanks and shorts of the American team grow into a symbolic crest of stars and strips, and then on to the iconic “USA” print of the sweat suit outfits of the 1970s. Each uniform a symbol of how much we had unified as a country and how we were progressing through the world. Cutting edge Opening Ceremony uniforms from Levi-Strauss in the 80s, warm up suits with USA emblazoned across the chest in the 70s, or cowboy hats embodying the spirit of the American Dream! Flash forward to 2008, where Ralph Lauren also designed the Opening Ceremony outfits for Team USA. Does it look familiar to you, too?
I’m just saying that I would love to see a little more patriotic stars and stripes, a small nod to the rich history of which we are all made. A retro crest incorporating our great nation’s symbols and history sewn where the Ralph Lauren logo now sits? A cut and style that flatters both the men and women athletes and everything that they (and we) have worked so hard for? A more modern, innovative design that gives a nod to our American spirit and determination? Maybe I am asking too much of a uniform that will represent our country in front of the world. But yes, I would gladly give Ralph Lauren a few pointers in 2014.