Worldwide shutdowns have resulted in a backlog of the planet’s biggest sporting events. This summer, pent-up athletes are finally getting to rage on the courts, tracks, and fields of the Olympics, Wimbledon, and the Euros. While titans do battle on the field, court, or pitch, we've been deliberating over what outfits we’ll watch them in, whether in attendance or armchair coaching.
Wimbledon begins today, a near-150-year-old competition that's probably the most prestigious in the tennis calendar — if not the best dressed. Would-be dandys have been using the courts of this South London institution to get their sweater-round-the-shoulders looks off for decades, putting a formality of fits into play that they wouldn't be able to pull off anywhere else.
On-court, Wimbledon has a notoriously strict set of rules for its athletes when it comes to what they wear. Most importantly, competitors must be dressed near-completely in all white. You won't see Serena Williams in custom Off-White™ here.
Then there's the fact that the umpire, linesmen, ball girls, and boy balls are all decked out strictly in Polo Ralph Lauren gear. It's been that way since 2006, when the All England Lawn Tennis Club made Ralph the first clothing brand to be exclusively partnered with the tournament.
Thankfully, the crowd doesn't have to abide by such strict sartorial rules, though there's an unspoken code of dressing up that hangs over the Wimbledon grounds. That is unless you're Drake, of course.
In recent years, we've seen the likes of Kendall Jenner, Beyoncé, and David Beckham all offer their own takes on formal lawn style at Wimbledon, with crowd-watching at the event as entertaining a pastime as watching the actual matches. It's fair to say the pressure is on for those deciding what to wear to Wimbledon.
If you're lucky enough to be attending in person (15,000 people will be permitted to attend the final on Centre Court) or are watching from home like me, we've put together three approaches to Wimbledon style — from tennis whites through to a subversive take on the Ralph dress code.
Your guide on what to wear to Wimbledon is below.
Tennis sweaters were well on their way into the spotlight last year, only to lose in straight sets to a canceled Wimbledon and a highly indoor summer. Revive the look and match the umpire with a knit polo sweater — albeit a little more punk than theirs.
The all-white-only part of the Championship's dress code is an infamous rule that's led some participants to flat-out refuse to play. Seriously, denim shorts-loving Andre Agassi didn't take part in Wimbledon between 1988 and 1990 because of it, despite being number three in the world at the time. Wimbledon White deserves to be a Pantone color if it isn’t already and if you want to pay tribute to this iconic statement in the most pro of ways, Prada Linea Rossa does the full set.
2021 is the time to make our grass-court dandy dreams come true. And if the polo and sweater combo isn't quite dandy enough for you after hiding your formal closet away for a year, then a Junya suit is how you take things up a notch. A striped Oxford shirt is a Wimbledon staple — ours comes courtesy of Japanese quality supplier Beams.
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