After a two-year pandemic-enforced break, Wimbledon is back tomorrow. I’ve always loved Wimbledon fortnight – tennis is my favourite sport and Wimbledon is the most stylish of the grand slams, largely due to the traditions of the All England Club and its Royal patronage – it’s the only tennis grand slam with a strict dress code for the players who are expected to wear all white. Respecting the principles of tradition, history and style are what makes the English carry off their seasonal events so well – not changing for change sake, and upholding certain traditions that are important to the attraction of the event. (The most important of these are strawberries and Pimms, of course! 😉 ) Ahead of opening day tomorrow, here are eight Wimbledon-inspired dresses fit for a sunny day out at SW19.
Inspired by the ‘all white wear’ rule that tennis players are obliged to adhere to at Wimbledon this week, The Lady’s Maid has picked out her favourite white pieces for summer. White is a very versatile colour to have in your wardrobe in summer and winter – from crisp white collared shirts to broderie anglaise summer tops. Like black, it’s a colour that never goes out of fashion and can be paired with almost any other colour. The only downside being that white shows up marks and stains more easily so The Lady’s Maid also recommends some products to care for your precious whites.
Top Tips for Washing Whites
- Treat stained areas properly prior to washing – rinse stain in cold water first and then treat with an appropriate stain removal product eg. Vanish or Stain Devils.
- Wash as hot as the garment label allows using a powder detergent rather than a gel or liquid (powder detergents contain brightening agents)
- Keep your washing machine clean – run the machine on the hottest wash with a cup of white vinegar once a month.
- White tops will suffer more than colours from perspiration stains – so wash more frequently than colours to prevent permanent yellowing.
- Add a whitening powder to the wash for even brighter whites e.g. Vanish Gold Oxi-action for whites powder.
Wimbledon – that most English of sporting occasions – is upon us again. In sporting terms, Wimbledon is one of the four “grand slams” – the most important tennis tournaments for professional players. But most players will admit that Wimbledon is the top tournament and the one which they dream of winning as a child. This has something to do with tradition, history, and style. Respecting these principles makes the English carry off their seasonal events so well – not changing for change sake, and upholding certain traditions that are important to the attraction of the event (although the Lady’s Maid did weep a little when the players’ pre-/post-match bow to the Royal Box ended. Admittedly, it did start to become more likely to see David Beckham in the Royal box than a minor royal, so it saves the embarrassment of tennis players mistakenly bowing to footballers). But other stylish traditions are still alive and well – white sportswear is still the only colour allowed to be worn by players, for example. So strict is the “all-white wear” rule that officials at the All England Club even enforce it for undergarments – heaven forbid that a coloured knicker ruffle should be flashed.
For on-lookers the dress code is thankfully more relaxed. For general ticket-holders there are no specific rules. It is advisable to wear loose-fitted clothes that are comfortable for sitting down all day – five-set matches can go on late into the evening. And a jacket or some form of cover-up if you are staying all day.
In the debentures area the dress code has been relaxed in recent years to allow denim, although ripped jeans and trainers are still banned.
In the members area the dress code for men is lounge suit or tailored jacket, shirt, trousers and dress shoes, so ladies would be expected to match this; e.g. smart day dresses, or smart two-piece outfits.
Here are some of the Lady’s Maid’s suggestions for Wimbledon Wear – let’s hope the sun is shining on Centre Court.