Long before the days of Lycra and spandex, ladies wore the height of fashion to cycle like Olympic record holder, Victoria Pendleton who wore a long-skirted white dress and tall bonnet trimmed with flowers. Women players wore corsets, painful and restricting, until 1925 when Suzanne Leglan wore a simple (and daring) one-piece cotton frock, without a petticoat or corset in sight.
Stockings were discarded in 1929, and by 1939 tennis fashion became recognisably sportier and maybe a little more masculine. French player René Lacoste, nicknamed “the Crocodile” for his fierceness, introduced the Lacoste tennis shirt in 1929 with its embroidered alligator logo. That piqué, collared shirt became a wardrobe staple for men and women, and the foundation of the Ralph Lauren empire.
Wimbledon is known in part for their rules regarding uniforms. All players, are required to wear mostly white and any variations of that must be minimal at best , but an edge of coloured lace around Gussie Moran’s panties was a nifty way around this rule. Ted Tinling, the designer behind this and continued to design for famous tennis players till late 1970’s.
1985 may have been the year that Wimbledon fashion reached its apex when American player Anne White took to the court wearing an all-in-one spandex catsuit.
Anna Kounikova , who wore a small shirt and skirt that exposed most of her midriff and legs and Maria Sharapova,in her tux-esque attire ,along with Billy Jean King, Steffi Graf, go down in the history of fashion and sportswear as glam girls.
Sports and fashion focus on the body, so an overlap between the two was perhaps inevitable. Sports stars now project a healthy and powerful image but can also be very glamorous. Its hard to imagine that there was a time when we could say that sports and fashion were at the extreme ends of the style spectrum. When fashion emphasized looks and trends, mainly targeting female consumers . And sports delivered performance and... [continues]
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