Those who eagerly follow the professional tennis circuit will be aware of the strict dress code imposed at the Wimbledon Championshipsthe biggest Grand Slam tournament of all.
The tournament – founded in 1877 – is steeped in tradition and requires participants to: adhere to a number of guidelines to compete.
However, that hasn’t stopped several players from breaking the dress code over the years, much to the dismay of conservative competition.
The guidelineswhich were updated in 2014 with a 10-part “decree”, including ensuring that clothing is not off-white or cream, but strictly white.
In addition, bands of color that appear on necklines, cuffs, underwear or caps may not be more than one centimeter wide.
Tennis stars like Pat Cash and Roger Federer have publicly rebuked the strict guidelines, with Cash describing them as “archaic thinking†
Here Are Eight Times Tennis Players Caused Controversy At Wimbledon with their clothes:
In 1985, American tennis player Anne White famously wore a white catsuit to compete in the tournament.
She paired her all-white ensemble with a pair of quintessential 80s leg warmers.
White’s opponent, American tennis player Pam Shriver, wasn’t too happy with White’s clothes.
She complained to officials after their match and requested that White never wear the catsuit again during the competition.
Perhaps Serena Williams will bring the catsuit back to SW19, however, after stating that the black catsuit she wore to the 2018 French Open made her feel like “warrior princess†
The lace underwear
American tennis player Gertude Morancommonly referred to as “Gussy” during her heyday, caused quite a stir at Wimbledon in 1949 when her lace underwear became visible during a competition.
Before her performance at the tournament, Moran had asked the All-England Club if she could be allowed to wear a colorful outfit.
However, the organization rejected her request.
The look of Moran’s underwear was considered particularly controversial at the time, given the convention for female tennis players to wear longer skirts.
In 1987, Pat Cash rebelled against the rule that accessories worn at Wimbledon must be predominantly white by wearing a black and white checkered bandana during the tournament.
The bow of the Australian tennis player regulations did not hinder his chances for the championship as he eventually defeated Ivan Lendl to take home the men’s singles trophy.
In 2014, cash spoke out against the “ridiculous” all-white dress code at Wimbledon.
The ’15’ jacket
Though he didn’t break any of the Wimbledon dress codes, Roger Federer went wild in 2009 when he wore a jacket embroidered with the number 15 after winning the Wimbledon men’s singles final against Andy Roddick.
The 15 on the tailored Nike jacket was a reference to the tennis player’s 15th Grand Slam victory.
Some have found it overbearing that a jacket was made to celebrate the achievement before the match was played.
The pink bra straps
2017, Venus Williams was reportedly forced to change her bra halfway through a match when her pink straps were spotted playing.
She changed her underwear during a rain break in the second set of her victory match against Belgium’s Elise Mertens.
When asked about the incident during the post-game press conference, Williams expressed her discomfort at discussing the situation.
“Which pink bra? I don’t like to talk about bras at press conferences. It’s weird,” she said.
“I don’t want to talk about my underwear. It’s a bit inconvenient for me. I leave that to you. You can talk about it with your friends. I’ll pass.”
The red shorts
Russian-born French tennis player Tatiana Golovin became a hot topic of conversation at the 2007 Wimbledon Championships because of the red shorts she chose while playing sports.
Since Golovin wore the red shorts prior to the 2014 dress code update, she was allowed to wear them during competitions.
“They were acquitted in advance by the player with the referee,” said a Wimbledon spokesperson Reuters†
“Since it’s underwear, they don’t have to conform to the predominantly white rule.”
However, the rules now state that the underwear worn by players must be mostly white.
When participating in the tournament in 2008, Maria Sharapova appeared to make fun of the strict dress code when she unveiled her outfit on the court.
She wore shorts along with a tuxedo-style top, which seemed to hint at the rigidity of Wimbledon outfit guidelines.
However, the Russian tennis player said she was inspired by menswear for the look.
“It’s the tuxedo look. I was very inspired by menswear this year and every time at Wimbledon I want to do something classy and elegant,” she said, according to Reuters†
The “risqué” hemlines
Sue Barker, who reached number three in the world during her professional tennis career, was criticized for the length of her hemlines during her participation in Wimbledon in 1977.
Her dresses were described as too “risqué” at the time.
Barker reached the semifinals of the competition that year, where she lost to the Dutch Betty Stöve.
She was reportedly so distraught over the loss that she couldn’t bear to watch the final.