The uniforms for Team USA debuted at the start of the Tokyo Olympics during the opening ceremony.
The uniforms featured a preppy vibe, with a navy blazer and a navy and white striped tee-shirt. Both the blazer and shirt included embroidered patches of Lauren’s logo and the Olympic rings. Designers completed the uniform with dark blue jeans, an American flag-print scarf, and white sneakers.
In addition to the fashion, Lauren also included functionally to the outfits. The jackets feature a mini air-conditioning system designed to keep the athletes cool while taking part in the opening ceremony.
“The RL COOLING system is seamlessly integrated into the garment and disperses heat from the wearer’s skin through a sophisticated device that monitors and optimizes temperature and uses the same technology to cool the world’s most advanced computer systems,” the company stated about the jackets. “The effect is a cooling sensation that can be immediately felt and is long-lasting, even in the most oppressive heat.”
The materials used in the uniform are all designed to be long-lasting, eco-friendly, and sustainable. Ralph Lauren has designed the United States’ opening ceremony outfits for every Olympics since 2008, in addition to the Winter Games.
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However, the uniforms were not without criticism. Following the opening ceremony, many took to social media to complain about the Olympic outfits. Some wrote that the outfits looked like fraternity brothers’ wardrobes or reminiscent of the attire worn by members of a country club.
During the last Olympics, Lauren designed white slacks for the athletes. However, for 2021, Ralph Lauren introduced blue denim jeans to the mix.
Ralph Lauren has yet to release a specific reason for the designs. Yet, according to Lauren, the look represents all things Americana. The United States sent 621 Olympians to Tokyo, representing 46 of the 50 states in the nation. More than 400 athletes will be first-time athletes at the 2021 Olympics.
In addition to Ralph Lauren, a fellow American brand, Nike also delivered looks for Team USA’s soccer, basketball, track and field, and skateboarding teams.
The athletic-wear brand has provided Team USA’s Olympic podium wear since 2006. Team USA’s skateboarding uniforms included abstract, colorful designs on classic-looking polo and V-neck shirts.
As for basketball, the uniforms include a classic feel, with a red uniform for the women that pays homage to the 1996 team that won gold.
The soccer uniform features blue and red stripes on the away jersey and retro stripes on the white set. Track and field athletes have a sleek, red-and-blue zebra stripe vibe.
For the medal ceremony, Nike introduced an all-white ensemble with cropped pants and jackets that, according to a press release, is “reimagined version[s] of Nike’s famous Windrunner that was first introduced in 1979.”
In addition, the jackets are from recycled polyester, and the pants are from recycled nylon. “Rubber elements, such as the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team logos on the chest, are made with Nike Grind materials consisting of recycled rubber,” Team USA said.