Why Tennis Players Often Wear White

Tennis is a sport with a long history. It’s no wonder why some features of the game have already become a tradition. So, the white uniform of tennis players, for example, is considered preferable at many tournaments, and at Wimbledon, it is mandatory.

5-Minute Crafts would like to explain why at the competitions, we see tennis players wearing white so often.

Where the tradition to wear white came from

The white uniform for tennis tournaments was introduced in the late 19th century after Wimbledon mandated players to wear white in 1890. And in the 20th century, such clothes at tournaments became the norm.

The white color was not chosen by chance, but for a number of reasons.

  • Reason 1: White reflects the sunlight well.
    In hot weather, players feel more comfortable in white because it doesn’t absorb the sun, but instead reflects it, thanks to which players keep cool during the game.
  • Reason 2: Sweat stains are less visible on white.
    In the late 1800s and early 1900s, wearing sweaty clothes was considered very indecent. Sweat stains were not that visible on white clothes, so players were very fond of the white outfits, which also looked very elegant.
  • Reason 3: White clothes look expensive.
    For a long time, tennis was a game for wealthy people who could wear light-colored clothes without fear of getting dirty. (Workers could not afford such a luxury). It looked beautiful and noble.
    When people of the middle class also began to play tennis, they wore white outfits too, as did their wealthier counterparts.

The tennis uniform of the late 19th — early 20th century was not very comfortable. According to the rules of etiquette, men were supposed to wear long white pants, and women had to wear a white heavy skirt, bustles, a hat, and a corset which wouldn’t allow them to move freely on the court.

Tennis fashion was very conservative for a long time. The first man who risked wearing shorts for a tennis tournament was Bunny Austin in 1932. Women’s dresses became lighter a little earlier: in 1919, corsets disappeared and lighter, calf-length frocks with short sleeves were introduced.

What happens now

Nowadays, tennis clothing manufacturers use fabrics of different colors. However, the players participating in Wimbledon are required to wear only white.

Tennis players can wear white at other tournaments too although this is not obligatory. Often their choice is a tribute to tradition, but this is not the only reason. Sponsors prefer light-colored uniforms because logos are more visible on them. Thanks to the contrast of the emblem and the color of the uniform, even TV viewers can see who a player is sponsored by.

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