This Is What Team USA Will Wear at the Paris Olympics

4 minute read

There are some constants when it comes to the way Team USA dresses during the Olympic Games. Count on seeing red, white, and blue, and almost certainly the letters USA. And since 2008, Ralph Lauren has designed the Opening and Closing Ceremonies looks, as well as the outfits athletes wear in the Olympic Village when they’re not competing.

The American fashion house unveiled the 2024 uniforms today, which include tried and true silhouettes as well as more modern ones that some athletes say they are excited to wear.

For Opening Ceremonies, Team USA will wear navy blazers trimmed with red and white ribbon over a blue and white striped oxford shirt paired with an American staple—jeans. The outfit is finished off with a light taupe suede buck shoe for a classic look that honors the formal and ceremonial nature of the event while celebrating a distinctly American casual flair.

Courtesy Ralph Lauren

“We’ve really tried to tell a story about the American spirit,” says David Lauren, chief branding and innovation officer at Ralph Lauren, of the company’s aesthetic. “We work closely with the athletes to understand what makes them feel comfortable but also want them to feel like ambassadors [of the country] on the global stage, so having a certain level of formality and yet a spirit of sportsmanship and ease that they feel comfortable with.”

For Closing Ceremonies, which are more relaxed, the athletes will don an auto racing-inspired jacket color blocked in red, white, and blue, as well as white denim pants. Both the Opening and Closing uniforms were manufactured in the United States.

“Representing the United States is a big confidence booster in general,” says Kamren Larsen, a BMX racer and one of the athletes Ralph Lauren sponsors, who modeled the Opening Ceremonies uniform. “But wearing nice outfits and feeling comfortable and confident will only help us perform better.”

Courtesy Ralph Lauren

A running theme of this year’s collection is sustainability, and pieces in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies uniforms were made with recycled polyester and U.S. wool grown to the Responsible Wool Standard certification, which includes adhering to requirements on animal and social welfare and proper land management. All Team USA athletes are also provided with a full kit of apparel to wear outside of their competitions, including a polo shirt made from innovative recycled cotton fibers that have been welded together. Ralph Lauren partnered with Natural Fiber Welding to develop the material manufactured with no plastics or toxic chemicals and in a low-carbon process. “It creates a cotton that has a performance attribute that no one has ever seen before, and it’s a quality that could become the future of the way we see clothing in America,” says Lauren. “A lot of the ingenuity and technology that we test at the Olympics, we’ll use as a prototype to see how well it performs with the athletes, and we’ll get their feedback. And if it’s positive, we’ll begin to incorporate it into all parts of our products."

As much as Ralph Lauren represents American style, however, the company’s designs have been criticized for promoting an elitist version of that style—one that’s more typical of prep schools and vacation homes than what appeals to most Americans. “Our job is to understand what American culture is about and to reflect that,” says Lauren, who says that the company solicits feedback from athletes on what they would like to see in their uniforms. Consistently, they think blazers or jackets are appropriate for Opening Ceremonies to convey a formal dignity, while a more relaxed look, including more popular bombers and racing jackets, are appropriate for Closing Ceremonies and the Olympic Village. “We’re looking at the future of America, and what American represents far beyond sports,” he says. “And to outfit this team in Ralph Lauren reflects what America is about today.”

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