2012 Team USA Olympic Uniforms - Eh!
The only thing I thought when I saw Team USA during their march at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics was, Are they looking for their yacht? Now, don't get me wrong. I am rooting for our team, I just wished they didn't look sooo uncool. I'm still searching for the right word but that's pretty close.
They wore double-breasted navy blue blazers with white pants or skirts, topped off by a blue beret and white shoes. What the heck? A beret. Really? This is a sporting competition, why are they imitating Thurston Howell the Third's outfit just before his ship sunk on Gilligan's Island?
It has to be Ralph Lauren's fault. For some reason he keeps wanting to dress our Olympians up in faux regatta wear and they end up looking like ensigns on a cruise ship wearing evening wear.
And Ralph wasn't very imaginative. Look at his uniforms for the Team USA 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. Look familiar? Instead of a double-breasted jacket, it was a single-breasted jacket and a white newsboy cap instead of a blue beret. Back then, the team looked like they got lost on their way to the golf tournament.
It just looks too leisure class to me, not Olympian. When I think of Olympic athletes, I think sweat shining on the brow after long days at the track or the gym. I think of prune-y fingers and funny faces during long sessions at the pool. The uniforms also look very generic. It doesn't shout American. Those athletes could look like they're wearing prep school uniforms. They could have come from any country.
Team USA 2004 Athens Olympics opening ceremony
You know what shouts American to me? Team USA uniforms from the 2004 Athens Olympics opening ceremony. It was red, white, and blue casual and athletic and fun. The poorboy caps were worn at a rakish angle. The practical blue short-sleeved jackets were, usually, unbuttoned and the v-neck red shirts with white trim looked sporty. Nobody looked stuffy or pretentious and everybody looked like they were having a great time. The big U-S-A letters in the back told everybody whose team these athletes were, you can tell from the top-most seat in the stadium. Our athletes looked good, coming and going.
If you were to ask me, it's the short-sleeved jackets that made these uniforms work. Blazers look too formal and reserved.
Dancing Chili Peppers
Of course a blue blazer is better than a red blazer. With a blue blazer, you get to look preppy which is what the male half of Team USA looked like during the 2000 Sydney Olympics; they even have the khaki pants to go with it. Such a lack of imagination. The women wore red blazers with long blue wavy skirts -- so old fashioned and they looked like dancing chili peppers during the march. Male or female, they wore cowboy hats. Now that just looks confused.
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