White clothes – the unique quality of Wimbledon for 145 years

Wimbledon players have been required to wear white since 1877.

Wimbledon 2022 takes place from June 27 to July 10 in the UK, attracting sports fans. Founded in 1877, Wimbledon is not only famous as the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world but also attracts attention for its athletes’ dress codes.

Queen Elizabeth II congratulates tennis players at Wimbledon in July 1957. Image: AFP

Follow Independent, white uniforms have become the identity of the tournament. Since the 1800s, tennis has been considered a sport reserved for the nobility. At that time, white clothes were considered a symbol of class, for the upper class. In addition, the British also think that wearing colorful clothes will reveal sweat stains when playing sports, so they look less luxurious.

In the book Tennis Fashions: Over 125 Years of Costume Change, Author Valerie Warren says the white dress rule applies especially to female athletes, because “it’s impossible to imagine a girl being seen sweating”.

The All England Club – the organizer of Wimbledon – has set this rule and has maintained it ever since. In 2014, the league announced a set of 10 dress codes, in which costumes are required to have no colored borders more than 1 cm wide. In addition to white clothes, accessories such as shoes, socks, armbands, headbands, underwear, medical equipment on the field must wear this color.

Serena lost to a Vietnamese-born player at Wimbledon

Serena Williams and Harmony Tan wore white uniforms in the match on June 28. Video: Wimbledon

Regulations have caused many problems for tennis players. In 2005, Rafael Nadal wore white knee-highs and a blue blazer to the tournament and was rejected by the organizers. A representative of Wimbledon said: “For a long time, players have come to Wimbledon to wear long clothes. Therefore, Nadal’s ‘slightly oversized’ pants are acceptable. As for the shirt, we make concessions to the type. short-sleeved detail, but not blue. Wimbledon rules are very clear, all clothes must be completely white.”

At Wimbledon in 2013, Roger Federer was warned by the referee because the soles of his shoes were orange. The organizers asked him to change his shoes if he wanted to continue playing in the next matches. In 2014, Martina Navratilova also fell into a similar situation when the blue hem on her skirt was over 1 cm wide.

The players have also spoken out many times, criticizing the unnecessarily strict rules. Above BBCFederer once said: “I love Wimbledon but not in this way. The rules are getting ridiculously strict.” However, there are also many supportive opinions. Venus Williams once commented that when wearing white clothes, all athletes shine.

Roger Federer was warned because of the orange sole.  Image:

Roger Federer was warned because of the orange sole. Image: Wimbledon

In addition to white clothes, Wimbledon also requires not to wear sexy. In 1985, the referee reminded Ann White for her short, tight dress. Russian tennis star Anna Kournikova was “whispered” for not wearing underwear. In 1991, American tennis player Andre Agassi received a ban from playing because the outfit violated all regulations.

On the first day of this year’s tournament, Kristina Mladenovic caused a stir when she wore a mini skirt and a revealing top. Above Twittertennis player Eugenie Bouchard wrote: “Mladenovic played with what today is called a crop top, but when I played Wimbledon, they called it a bra. Wimbledon doesn’t object to them now. I remember back in the day, many The player got into trouble because the skirt was too short.”



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