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Did you know that the quintessentially English sporting event, Wimbledon, is 140 this year? In all of that time, while Wimbledon fashion has evolved, the dress code for the players hasn’t changed at all. It’s an undeniably well-dressed occasion for anyone lucky enough to get a ticket or compete; players and spectators are expected to dress to impress at all times.
The rule for players is still that they must dress all in white – even down to their underwear! Thankfully the dress code isn’t quite as strict for the strawberries and cream eating spectators and ticket holders.
Different Wimbledon fashion rules for different courts?
Some of the courts are less formal than others, but if you’ve managed to get tickets for a game at Centre or Number One Courts, you have to make a certain amount of effort to dress up for the occasion. There aren’t any strict rules or guidelines even for the posher courts, but you’re not likely to fit in with the tennis-loving crowd if you turn up in your gym gear or tatty jeans.
If you’re a debenture holder – in the best seats – you’ll be expected to not let the well-heeled side down, so ripped jeans, running vests, dirty trainers and everyday sport shorts are banned for Debenture ticket holders. If the weather is hot, don’t panic – tailored shorts are still OK.
Around the bars and hospitality areas you might find that the dress code is also a bit stricter; some of them won’t let you in if you’re wearing any kind of jeans, not just ripped styles. Trainers are also turned away from some areas. In the Member’s Enclosure, the men have to wear a lounge suit or tailored jacket, shirt, and tie and ladies are advised not to wear anything too tight or short – this isn’t Royal Ascot on Ladies Day where the hen parties hang out!
Wimbledon Club Members
In 2012, club members were sent a leaflet reminding them about the dress codes expected of them, along with helpful photos! The Wimbledon fashion guide said that acceptable dress for gentlemen meant a suit or tailored jacket, shirt, tie, trousers and dress shoes, and that ladies were expected to dress to a similar standard. To avoid confusion there were useful photos of people in “unacceptable dress”, including T-shirts, distressed jeans and trainers, bare midriffs, jeans and flip flops. Strapless tops and shorts are completely banned under the AELTC dress code for members, along with zipper jackets, casual or scuffed shoes, hoodies, pumps and short skirts.
Richard Lewis, Wimbledon’s chief executive, has said there are no plans at all to adopt a more relaxed dress code for the championships.
“I think it’s part of the charm of Wimbledon that in some places, like the queue, it’s incredibly relaxed where in others it’s jacket and tie so there are no plans to change.”
Of course, you can always watch outside, where there are no limits on what you can wear!
Wimbledon is well known for its changeable weather – all part of the charm of a tournament held in the UK. It can get chilly if you’re watching a match that’s going on into the evening so be prepared if you go along in a sleeveless top and stash some Wingz in your picnic bag too.
Wimbledon Player Dress Code
The code for players is very strict, although sometimes the players do try and get around it.
- White must be worn. Off-white or cream is not acceptable
- Colour trims are permitted – no wider than 1cm
- Patterns are allowed but any solid mass of colour must be no wider than 1cm
- Shoes must be white – no large brand logos
- Undergarments must be white