There are many traditions and customs synonymous with Wimbledon. Perfectly manicured grass courts, a visit to Henman Hill (or Murray Mound) and strawberries & cream are just a few. It is also well known that Wimbledon has a strict white dress code, another long-standing tradition at SW19.
The code dates back to the Victorian era when lawn tennis players predominantly played in white, as the light-coloured fabric was deemed more breathable than darker colours.
Men wore flannels while ladies wore stockings under long skirts and although tennis fashion has evolved and coloured clothing has become increasingly common in the Open Era.
The Championships still maintains this tradition. Playing in one colour makes the tournament less about outfit choices of competitors and more about the tennis skills displayed on the court.
The Rules on Court
Players are not permitted to wear clothing that has a solid mass or panel of colouring, but they are allowed a single trim of colour in two locations on a shirt, dress or sweater, no wider than one centimetre. The single trim of colour rule also applies to shorts, skirts, tracksuits, headwear, wristbands and socks. Shoes should be almost entirely white, and soles and laces must be completely white.
The all-white clothing rule hasn’t prevented players from making fashion statements on court. In 1965 Italian player Lea Pericoli wore a Teddy Tinling rose-trimmed tennis dress along with a statement headband and 20 years later in 1985, Anne White sparked headlines worldwide with an all-white catsuit and leg warmers that she wore in her first round match.
At The Championships in 2008, Maria Sharapova opted for a tuxedo look while in the same year, Serena Williams was seen warming up in a mini trench coat and Roger Federer took to Centre Court wearing a Gatsby style cardigan with a gold trim.
The Wimbledon Shop has a wide range of court compliant white clothing that wouldn’t look out of place on Centre Court during Finals weekend. As the only tennis tournament that maintains the all-white clothing rule, we believe we’re specialists in the subject. That’s why our clothing is developed by our team in-house, designed to ensure you’ll look effortlessly stylish whilst staying cool and comfortable even during the most intense of workouts.