My latest piece for Ralph Lauren Magazine allowed me to learn about how the US prepares for the Olympics, as well as bringing the opportunity to interview gold medal wrestler Jordan Burroughs. RL has a close relationship with the Olympics, having provided the uniforms for a number of years.
But the games in Rio are occuring at a particularly polarized point in American history, characterized by high-pitched digital outrage over everything that can be seen as traditional and classist. When the new uniforms were unveiled last month, sites such as Mic, Slate, and The Huffington Post threw every preppy slander they could come up with. Jezebel probably sums up the sentiment best with its headline “WASPy bullsh*t.“
Actually, we’ve been down this road before.
If we here in Tradsville were going to offer any critiques, it would probably be that the 2016 uniforms are quite on the casual side. Then again, Brazil in the summer is probably pretty muggy.
Here are some of the better (that is, non-cowboy) uniforms over the years. — CC
Top image, 1960. Below, 1952:
The toggle coats of 1956:
Post Ivy heyday 1968:
Yuppie ’80s in 1988:
Back in 1932, it was cricket/tennis sweaters and berets:
Berets and double-breasteds for 1936:
Short jackets for 2012:
And finally, 2016: