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Manufacturers ‘love the challenge’ of Wimbledon’s all-white dress code

UK News | Published:

Tournament bosses say the restriction enables designers to bring in a new range of clothing.

Wimbledon 2019

Sportswear designers love the challenge posed by the strict all-white dress code imposed on players at Wimbledon, the club’s commercial director has said.

Wimbledon’s dress code dates back to the 19th Century and was intended to spare crowds the indelicate sight of sweat stains on the player’s heavy cotton clothing.

Over the years, players that have tried to bend the rules have been sent back to the dressing room to change.

Anna Kournikova was told to swap her black shorts for white in 2002, while Roger Federer’s orange soled trainers upset the umpire in 2013.

To prevent further infringement, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) published its updated 10-point dress code in 2014.

In an almost anarchic move for the AELTC, it allowed players a coloured band of trimming on hems and cuffs no thicker than a centimetre.

But despite the update, almost none of the top names have opted to brighten up their outfits at this year’s tournament.

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Wimbledon 2019 – Day Eight – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Barbora Strycova (PA)

The AELTC’s Mick Desmond said: “I think the major kit manufacturers quite like the fact that Wimbledon is very different to the rest.

“It allows them to bring a completely different range of clothing out in white and I think what they are all being is very clever in terms of less about the colour but more about the design that they are putting into it.

“The manufacturers love the challenge of bringing out very different look, fit and feel.”

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The rule book states: “There should be no solid mass or panel of colouring.

Wimbledon 2019 – Day Eight – The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club
Johanna Konta ‘s outfit had traces of black and neon green (Victoria Jones/PA)

“A single trim of colour around the neckline and around the cuff of the sleeves is acceptable but must be no wider than one centimetre.”

This year, Johanna Konta’s tennis dress featured a black and neon green trip on the hem and arm holes, while Ashleigh Barty’s featured a few streaks of peach piping.

Elsewhere, Novak Djokovic’s hat fell foul of the rules for its black lining.

Serena Williams, famous for her fashion choices both on and off court, has so far stuck to pure white.

During her infamous clash with Naomi Osaka at the US Open last year, Williams wore a black-layered skirt resembling a tutu.

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