LONDON – Wimbledon players must wear all white. It has been the tradition and rule for decades. Remember Andre Agassi? He would wear cut-off jean shorts, ripped t-shirts, and flashy outfits at tournaments. But Agassi toned down and followed the all-white rule at Wimbledon.
Now players are starting to push the limit and Pat Cash, former Wimbledon champion, complains that some women have to go bra-less because of the rule.
“Some of the girls have been told to go back and change their bras and tops because they had slight colour on them,” he said. “I believe some of the girls didn’t have suitable sports bras and had to go without them. It has absolutely gone ridiculous.”
But history serves as one of the reasons why Wimbledon plays so special. Clothing expectations, like the Kentucky Derby, remain part of the tradition. The majority of the spectators dress casually, but not shabbily. Many women wear dresses and high heels and a few men don suits.
Wimbledon flexes the rule a bit and allows a little color, mainly for endorsements on the garments. Venus Williams, one of the most successful tennis players at Wimbledon, said she likes the rule.
In the above picture, Venus wears one of the dresses she designed for her company. Notice how the label of the company appears in a light gray while white makes up the rest of her outfit, including her undergarments. Even though Wimbledon allows color for labels, she made her company’s label as light as possible.
“I think it’s a nice change,” she said. “I think everyone just kind of glows in white. Obviously not all year, because anything every day is boring. But during these two weeks, it’s nice.”