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136 Years of Wimbledon Style

posted on Tuesday, 25th June 2013 | find under Fashion , Nutrition
The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum features a “Whites of Wimbledon” collection of tennis ensembles from the 1880s to the present day. For any tennis fan, this confirms that court-side fashion has a prominent place in Wimbledon’s history.

The all-white dress code is one of the Championships’ trademarks. The players’ proposed clothing designs must comply with the rules, and are sent for approval several months in advance.

A century ago, female players were required to wear full-length and long-sleeved dresses on the court – not the most practical kit. Luckily, even Wimbledon rules are made to be broken – take French player Suzanne Lenglen. In 1919, she stepped onto the court evoking flapper glamour in a knee-length, sleeveless dress.

In 1949, American player Gussie Moran displayed an eyeful of lacy French knickers beneath a shorter-than-standard dress. She was dubbed ‘Gorgeous Gussie’ by the public. The All-England Club’s Reaction? Her fashion choice had brought ‘vulgarity and sin into tennis.’ Apparently, the faux pas even incited a debate in Parliament!

Another favourite is Anna White’s 1985 jumpsuit, which her opponent Pam Shriver called ‘distracting.’ Shriver went on to request officials ban her from wearing it. They did, telling her to slip into something ‘more appropriate.’
More recently, Bethanie Mattek-Sands’ 2006 jacket was Wimbledon’s hot topic. The creation of Lady Gaga’s go-to designer Alex Noble, it was covered in tennis balls and dangling fringe – not quite the tasteful and demure fashion Wimbledon is accustomed to.

We’ve arrived at day two of Wimbledon and haven’t noticed any headline-grabbing fashion choices – yet. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping an eye out and consolidating our tennis inspiration on our #Wimbledonworthy board. For a chance to win £150 in tennis kit, inspire us on Pinterest

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