Why Do Tennis Players Wear White At Wimbledon?

Why Do Tennis Players Wear White At Wimbledon?

by Nurein Ahmed

Tennis has evolved on so many levels, but Wimbledon's all-white dress code remains a tradition that has stood the test of time for over a century.

Wimbledon is the oldest tennis tournament in the world, and it's regarded as the most sacred of all the four Grand Slams. Witnessing the prestige attached to it - from strawberries and cream, the ad-free iconic Centre Court, the queue - all of it is set in stone.

One of the most notable features of the Championships is the clothing where all players wear white while playing during matches or practicing. Well, the reason for this is that it's a mandatory dress code instituted in Wimbledon's code of laws which still remains to date.

Wimbledon is synonymous with maintaining a century-plus code of laws that were administered during the tournament's formation in 1877. Wearing white at Wimbledon was a rule that was founded to conceal sweat stains because colored apparel makes sweat noticeable. Sweating was considered improper and hideous to the eye and called the need for white clothing.

"Competitors must be dressed in suitable tennis attire that is almost entirely white and this applies from the point at which the player enters the court surround."

Wimbledon's rule on dressing code

Wimbledon also clarifies that entirely white, in this case, does not include off-white or cream colors. Some slight deviations of trim colors around the neckline and sleeves or outside seams are allowed, but these trims cannot be longer than a centimeter.

This one-centimeter rule for the trim applies to players' caps, wristbands, sweatshirts, or any undergarments that are visible during play. Some players have pushed the boundaries of the all-white dress code in the last few decades, wearing clothing with solid mass or panels of coloring, or donning colorful shoes, but Wimbledon has taken immediate action for those flouting its dressing policy.

In late 2022, Wimbledon announced that it would allow competing women to wear dark-colored undershorts for the forthcoming tournament, a move that is meant to lessen anxiety around periods. This clause, however, adds that the undergarment should not be longer than their skirts.

"Exception provided for female players who are allowed to wear solid, mid/dark-colored undershorts provided they are no longer than their shorts or skirt."

Wimbledon revised part of its dress code 


You may also like