Olympic uniforms for USA’s preppy squad
- Last Updated: 9:37 AM, July 11, 2012
- Posted: 1:30 AM, July 11, 2012
Our Olympic heroes will be headed off to London this month — looking as if they’re decked out for a Hamptons lawn party.
Ralph Lauren yesterday unveiled the preppy parade uniforms that Team USA members will wear at the July 27 opening ceremony, stirring an uproar over pricey duds fit for a regatta.
The outfits include blue blazers, cream-colored trousers, white skirts — and berets.
“2012 US Olympic team is wearing berets. Really? America?” tweeted John Lee Rudnicki, a Los Angeles entertainment lawyer. “How many people in the US have you ever seen wear a beret? Five?”
“What the France?” tweeted Greg “Hollea” Rachal, a political activist and former Jacksonville, Fla., City Council candidate.
The company said the outfits embody “the spirit of American athleticism and sportsmanship.”
They’re free for the athletes, but won’t be cheap for us everyday couch potatoes.
A men’s shirt goes for $89.50 and flat-front trousers cost $295.
A women’s blazer sells for $598.
Women can also spend $29 for flip-flops, $50 for a vintage jersey tank top and $55 for a newsboy cap. A $10 polo-pony pin is a bargain.
For men, the team’s red-and-navy tie goes for $125, a belt is $85 and the obligatory white shoes — it is before Labor Day, after all — run $165 a pair.
More casual menswear includes $40 sports caps, $29 sandals and $145 polo shirts.
There’s also other Team USA gear, including a $225 backpack, a $225 duffle, $60 beach towels and a $164 twill tote bag.
The double-breasted men’s blazers and the women’s blazers feature both the official Olympic and Paralympic Team patches as well as an embroidered Big Pony, the Lauren logo, on the chest.
Despite the critics, the outfits won the gold with some fans.
US soccer cutie Heather Mitts, who modeled the caps on the “Today” show yesterday, thought her beret partner, medal-hopeful fencer Tim Morehouse, looked really sharp.
“Great to meet you today,” Mitts, a two-time gold-medalist, tweeted to Morehouse. “You rocked the beret. Good luck in London. Will be cheering you on!”
On “Today,” Morehouse, a two-time Olympian who grew up in The Bronx, declared his outfit “really cool.”
Ryan Lochte, the 27-year-old upstate New Yorker who is looking to add to his six Olympic swimming medals, told USA Today he liked the “very clean-cut” look.
“The Olympic wear makes me feel so patriotic, and RL even provided clothing for my family, and they love it,” he said.
Paula Scott, from Scottsdale, Ariz., said outside the Upper East Side Ralph Lauren store that the designs were “classic and not tacky at all.”
“Ralph Lauren is always very classic. It’s so all American,” Scott, 47, said.
US Olympic berets aren’t new. Powder-blue versions were such a hit when the Americans wore them at the Winter Olympics in 2002 that they quickly sold out at stores around the Salt Lake City host site.
David Lauren, the company’s executive vice president of advertising, marketing and corporate communications, said the retro look of the uniforms was inspired by photos from the US Olympic Committee’s archives.
These included photographs from the 1948 London Summer Games.
“Knowing that we were going back to England, there was a feeling of ‘Chariots of Fire,’ ” Lauren said of the design team.
He said the outfits represented “an updated take on Old World elegance.” And the berets? He called them “really fun.”
The outfits, as well as the more casual garb for wear in the Olympic Village — all provided by Lauren — were under wraps until they went on sale yesterday.
A portion of the proceeds from are earmarked for Team USA.
This is the third time Ralph Lauren has been the official outfitter for the US Olympic and Paralympic Teams.
Additional reporting by Gillian Kleiman