Team USA uniforms draw pre-Olympics criticism

9:25 AM, Jul 12, 2012   |    comments
USA Olympic opening ceremony uniforms. Photo Courtesy: USA Today
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There's no skirting this issue.

When Team USA's opening ceremony uniforms were unveiled Tuesday morning, the women's uniform consisted of a fitted navy blazer and a knee-length cream silk skirt. There were no pants to be found, either in the Ralph Lauren sketches or online where the merchandise is sold.

It all seemed a tad limiting, so USA TODAY Sports wondered if the men were the only ones wearing the pants in this Olympic relationship. Not so, according to the U.S. Olympic Committee and Ralph Lauren, who said there will be a pants option for women though no sketches were available.

And now there's a report by ABC News that every piece of the uniform is made in China. Has there ever been so much buzz about an Olympic uniform? Fashion designer Nanette Lepore questioned the choice, telling ABC News:

"Why shouldn't we have pride not only in the American athletes, but in the American manufacturers and laborers who are the backbone of our country? Why? What's wrong? Why was that not a consideration?"

The men's uniform consists of cotton club-collar sport shirts, red and navy ties, and double-breasted blazers and cuffed, cream, flat-front trousers. In modeling the uniforms, soccer player Heather Mitts, who wore crew socks and nubuck cream saddle shoes, called the ensemble "amazing."

For inspiration, the Ralph Lauren team relied on photos from USOC's archives, 1948 in particular, the last time the Games were held in London. "Knowing that we were going back to England, there was a feeling of Chariots of Fire," David Lauren, the designer's son, said.

The men and women will wear berets. No doubt Ralph Lauren is hoping to recreate the beret craze of 2002, when the Canadian company Roots debuted THE fashion accessory in Salt Lake City.

USA Today

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