Why Wimbledon tennis players are forced to wear white clothing

Wimbledon is unique among tennis grand slams in that it forces players to wear all-white clothing throughout the tournament? Why is that and what is the dress code for the royal box?

At any other tennis tournament, players can wear whatever they want. Your sponsors can outfit them with any clothing line they want to showcase and use their customers as mobile billboards.

However, this is not the case for Wimbledon.

The All-England Club has a strict dress code for players, which dictates that they must wear all white clothing, including underwear, socks, laces and sweatbands.

But why is it that players are forced to wear all white at Wimbledon?

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All white clothing at Wimbledon for the players

The Wimbledon dress code states:

  • Competitors must wear appropriate tennis attire that is almost entirely white and this applies from the point the player enters the court environment. White does not include off-white or cream.

Only one thin line of color is allowed on the neckline, sleeves, skirt and headbands, but it must not exceed 10 mm.

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The reason for the all-white dress code is that the Victorians believed that white was the best color for players.

The championships were first held in 1877, with the general belief that white would be best at hiding players’ sweat stains and cooling them down – as white reflects heat.

Rules have been tightened over the years, with referees pausing games to ensure players are following the rules.

There have been calls for the all-white dress code to be dropped at Wimbledon – particularly for players who may struggle with the strict rules when on their periods.

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Royal box dress code

For the average weather, there is no dress code at Wimbledon, so all-whites can stay home and mix and match as they please.

However, a different dress code applies in the Royal Box on Center Court, albeit unofficially.

Anyone invited to the royal box must wear a suit and tie and be reasonably presentable.

In 2015, Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton was denied entry to the Royal Box for Roger Federer against Novak Djokovic in the final because he was not dressed correctly.

The then two-time, now seven-time world champion wore a shirt and hat but no suit and tie and was refused entry, although he was invited back – seen below in 2018 with Anna Wintour.

Photo by Chaz Niell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In other news, Wimbledon 2022: The British players taking part from Murray to Raducanu

https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2022/06/28/white-clothing-players-wimbledon-tennis/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=white-clothing-players-wimbledon-tennis Why Wimbledon tennis players are forced to wear white clothing

Zack Zwiezen

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