Olympics grinch

There’s plenty to not like about how the Olympics have evolved: nationalism, commercialization, appropriation by vile host regimes…and now we’re going to be biting our fingernails right through February waiting for a terrorist outrage, or a Russian security outrage, or both.  They have become a hot mess, but fortunately that apostle of cool, tasteful elegance in dress, Ralph Lauren, designed the US team uniforms: understated, gracious, and confident, that’s us.

olympics2Ooooops.  (ht: Boston Globe) They do have everything, even an Austrian flag on the right shoulder (a what?).  There is a little problem with using the US flag as a shmata to be torn up and quilted into a dog’s breakfast; the flag code says:

The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, firefighters, police officers, and members of patriotic organizations.

But it’s not actually a law, so what the hell. What did I say?  Oh yeah, hot mess, your worst Christmas sweater nightmare.



  1. Warren Terra says

    To be fair to Ralph Lauren, their vision would have been better realized if the USOC had accepted their proposal that all athletes should be six-foot-six 130-pound hipless wonders. Though even then you have to ask why Ralph Lauren couldn’t maintain the proportions in their jackets from their own sketches: a number of elements are out of scale, most strikingly the white stars that in the drawing accentuate the dark background but in the realized garment dominate it.

  2. Donald A. Coffin says

    Well, at least the athletes are being warned not to wear these uniforms outside the Olympic village…and, for even a greater sense of comfort, they’re going to have Ukrainian security people with them at all times…

  3. Melba says

    I think they are great!!! Patriotic, colorful and fun! What’s wrong with you people? These are young enthusiastic people who are happy to be representing our country! You want to constantly be seen in khaki pants and blue blazers, the American casual uniform! Ralph Lauren is a great American designer and has more talent and enthusiasm in his little finger than you have…..!!!

    • Warren Terra says

      An oddly enthusiastic comment, curiously coming from a commenter who’s never before graced this site. I’m not saying it is Astroturf … but it is consistent with Astroturf.

      PS their “Patriotic” strength lessens when they include the Austrian flag prominently placed on the upper right arm, when the right hip is oddly similar to the CSA flag, and when the designer’s brand name is positioned right over the wearer’s heart, to signify their loyalty.

    • KLG says

      Well, Melba, they do look like something you could buy at a Cracker Barrel during the post-holiday clearance. So they have that going for them.

  4. krball says

    I was watching one of the early morning pretend-news shows (all the gravitas of Captain Kangaroo) when they did the big “reveal” of these hideous uniforms.

    It was a real “ta-da!” moment, but then the talking heads proceeded to fawn over the wonderful designs and I thought I’d wretch. The ersatz Brooks Brothers looks of the made-in-China (such a brouhaha) uniforms from the 2012 Summer Games at the very least allowed the athletes a modicum of classic, buttoned-down self-respect.

    This court fool look is just a shame.

  5. etv13 says

    Where are you seeing these Austrian and Confederate flags? I’m just not seeing them, in the sketches or in the photos.

    • Dennis says

      The Austrian civil flag is three stripes, Red/White/Red of equal width. The naval ensign and battle flag add a heraldic eagle in the center.

  6. rachelrachel says

    But it’s not actually a law, so what the hell.

    Actually, it is a law, just one that has no penalty for failure to comply.

  7. James Wimberley says

    The right state of mind to adopt for watching the Sochi opening ceremony will be the one the cognoscenti use for the Eurovision song contest. The IOC should throw in an online nationalist voting system for the worst outfits.