Today marks the start of the tennis season’s premier event and also the defence of Britain’s first title in 77 years, won last year by Andy Murray. Winning the title is still regarded as the pinnacle of the men’s game and the two week event is seen as one of the most traditional events in the whole sporting calendar, let alone the tennis or British one.
Considering that the tournament was inaugurated in 1868, it is little wonder that this event has become one of the most patriotic and historic events that there is. It is the longest serving of any current competition on the tennis circuit around the world and has been played at its current home, the All England Tennis Club in London, since 1887. The competition has a number of unique characteristics which include being one of only a handful of tournaments taking place on grass courts.
The All England Club is known for countless traditions and quirks such as the all-white dress code for players. It is a sophisticated affair with a knowledgeable crowd who love to drink Pimms as well as eat strawberries and cream. Unlike many sports, men and women share the centre stage at Wimbledon which is practically unheard of in other sports but equally true of other Grand Slam tennis tournaments.
For many Brits, Wimbledon is the true measure of summer arriving and despite the weather not always reciprocating that sentiment the dress code does with many spectators choosing to wear an off-duty, but tailored look- a classy style- which can be achieved with linen suits, chinos polo shirts or a relaxed button down Oxford shirt. Some might describe this as an Ivy league or preppy look but just like the tournament itself it is a unique dress etiquette with lighter summer hues.
Whilst other tennis tournaments and indeed sporting events in general have sold-out to commercial sponsorship deals Wimbledon has kept its courts free of company logos, giving it a vintage look which has helped it become a quintessentially English and beacon of British culture. This reputation translates heavily to the fans who make a lot of effort to arrive well-dressed to the event in much the same way we do for other traditional sports like horse racing where there is a gentlemanly reputation.
Lots of fashion brands, designers and photographers for magazines look to Wimbledon for style inspirations and most will agree that a breathable fabric is the first port of call for putting together an outfit for this year at SW19. Pastel colours are always highly preferable too because they’ll go hand in hand with the sunshine and champagne, of which only the latter can you be guaranteed to enjoy.
Below: What is it that reminds you of Wimbledon?
Despite avoiding the commercial world of the 21st century so far it is fair to say some brands have still managed to become synonymous with the annual competition. Evian Water, Robinsons fruit juice are common sights on court, as are clothing brands such as Ralph Lauren, who are the official suppliers of clothing to Wimbledon officials such as umpires, ground staff and ball-boys and girls. Both Nike and Adidas are a big presence in footwear and clothing just like they are in near enough every sport. French brand Lacoste was created for and from tennis and they too remain popular amongst players; their timeless style and iconic logo will make them hard to miss at this tournament as ever, while Rolex supply the official timings so you may come across their branding too. And finally, before Andy Murray, the last British male to win the singles title at Wimbledon was Fred Perry who has since been celebrated with a statue in the grounds to mark his achievements. It is a great testament too that his clothing brand has proceeded to become one of the most highly regarded and prominent British heritage brands in fashion, the classic wreath should remain a visible symbol of the 2014 tournament too.
Below: The Ralph Lauren official Wimbledon uniforms
At Mainline Menswear we have created our own look for Wimbledon 2014; here are our key styles and looks for the tournament.
Keep in the spirit of things: (above) you can stay in the spirit of Wimbledon by adopting the tournament colours with one of these polo shirts.
There are several essentials for the next two weeks and they will be dominated by pale, fresh colouring. Whether you are court-side, in the clubhouse, absorbing the atmosphere in the village or even playing, there are a few basics to keep you prepped at all times. Dress up with the Vivienne Westwood Blazer or wear the Lacoste Short sleeved shirt alone to just as good effect. It is just as effective to dress up your polo shirt by adding a blazer for a look which strikes a chord between smart and casual perfectly. The driving shoe is a perfect choice for the summer’s day and will provide unrivalled comfort should your match turn out to be longer than expected whilst the light weighted chino in a light colour will complete the look.
What do the celebrities wear at Wimbledon?