Last night I tweeted this pic of the newly-announced US 2012 Summer Olympic Opening Ceremony outfits by Ralph Lauren:
Since several fellow Olympic enthusiasts/ankle sock non-enthusiasts tweeted me back immediately with comments on its ability to somehow be both dictator AND flight attendant in inspiration, I am following up with a bit more info/some thoughts.
- Minus the berets, I have no real problems with the guy outfit. It's preppy and patriotic and very Ralph Lauren. I'm not sure there's a lonnnnng list of real-life situations to wear white pants and white shoes, but it's the Olympics, people. Go big or go home.
- Speaking of "very Ralph Lauren," I'm pretty sure the RL logo on the blazer is bigger than the USA insignia. Good thinking, guys: remind the other countries about capitalism.
- Classy tie.
- The girl outfits. Oy, the girl outfits. That skirt is just wrong. Worn with a blazer and at that length, it has has to be a pencil style to be even remotely flattering, but that's all a moot point if it still ends in ANKLE SOCKS. What was the mentality there? "Let's pick something juvenile that also makes the leg look horrendously fat. Yep, there we go. Ankle sock. Boom."
- Scarf is jaunty, patriotic and totally approp. No complaints there.
- I'm ready.
- To talk.
- THE BERET.
- Berets are considered the wheelhouse of a scant number of populations, to include "military/police/dictator" and "stereotyped French caricature." I have to assume we aren't going for any of those inspirations, so the only logical conclusion is that these are supposed to look good. This Slate piece does a good enough job of explaining why that is not the case, so you can rely on that or just, you know, YOUR EYEBALLS to understand why the beret is not super attractive. All I can add is that if I had trained my entire life to represent the absolute pinnacle of success in my chosen athletic field and was then handed a BERET to wear in front of the entire watching world mere days before the biggest competitive moment of my life, I'd be pretty fired up. And maybe that, folks, is the Ralph Lauren endgame: fueled by beret rage (aka "berage"), our US Olympians will experience heretofore-unknown amounts of adrenaline and rocket to the top of the podium faster than you can say "oops, I misplaced my hat. Bummer." You heard it hear first, people: expect record-setting numbers of gold medals this year.
Ralph Lauren is actually selling an Olympic collection featuring pieces of these outfits. So FYI, ladies: you can get the blazer for $598, the shirt for $198, the skirt for $498, shoes for $165, scarf for $58 and the beret at a comparative steal for $55.
So if you're a huge Olympics fan and have an extra $1,572 lying around, know what you should do?
YOU SHOULD GO TO THE OLYMPICS.
AND NOT BUY THIS OUTFIT.
In conclusion: still love the Olympics. Still love America. Still hate berets and ankle socks. World: keep turning.