You would think that the All England's directive for an all white outfit when competing would result in players looking the same...but that could not be further from the truth.
Whether it's Anne Whites' catsuit, Roger Federer's cardigan, NIKE's 'Premier Slam 'dress or Mattek-Sands' ball jacket, players have done a great deal to stand out from the crowd.
In this article we will look at some of the most famous (and infamous) outfits worn on the SW19 courts.
First it's worth looking back at why the white clothing rule was introduced. It is believed that the rule was introduced when the All England Club (then known as the All England Croquet Club) was founded in 1868. As tennis was perceived as a sport played gently at social gatherings, the sight of sweaty clothing was considered a big no no! So to avoid the embarrassment of pit stains as the champagne is toasted, players opted for the predominantly white clothing which disguised any signs of sweat. Ever since it has been a tradition that the club has taken extremely seriously. They have issued a number of clarifications to their guidelines over the years including "White does not include off-white or cream," "coloured trim can be no wider than one centimeter," and "undergarments that either are or can be visible during play (including due to perspiration)".
We may as well start with one of the most iconic outfits ever worn at Wimbledon. In 1985 USA's Anne White took to court in an all-in-one catsuit complete with leg warmers! It was argued that her appearance actually distracted her opponent Pam Shriver who went on to make an official complaint to officials that Anne should not be allowed to wear the outfit again! A tad harsh we think!
Next up is Roger Federer's infamous 2008 cardigan. Although it wasn't worn during the epic 08 final, it certainly turned heads when he stepped on court wearing the cream and gold knitwear. There isn't much doubt however that if anyone can get away with such an item it would be Roger Federer!
It just so happened that the cardigan wasn't worn again...perhaps it was bad luck?
We now take a look at another controversial piece of clothing from 2016. When NIKE kitted out their female athletes in the "NikeCourt Premier Slam" it certainly turned some heads and caused a bit of a stir at SW19. Already leaving little to the imagination it was clear that a gust of wind could make the uniform even more revealing which certainly worried the Wimbledon officials! NIKE denied recalling the dresses although it admitted changes were needed. "The product has not been recalled and we often customise products and make alterations for athletes as they compete," said a NIKE spokesperson.
Finally we remember THAT tennis ball covered jacket. In 2011 America's Mattek-Sands took to court in a rather extravagant jacket covered in tennis balls... yup, they really were tennis balls. The creation was a result from her cooperation with Alex Noble who was behind a number of Lady Gaga outfits. Rather than speak more about it we may as well let you study it yourself and take it all in! Bravo Bethany!