The “Wimbledon Lingerie Dress” and other tennis fashion controversies

The lead up headlines to this year’s Wimbledon were dominated for a few days by the controversial Nike “lingerie” dress. Yes – there is such a thing – google Wimbledon lingerie dress and you too will see. But in the meantime here is a pic.


So its not that horrific at all and oh yes it got Nike in the headlines – tick! But it did attract much criticism from both the players that wore it for being too flouncy (especially when serving) and from others who saw it much less as active wear then a blatant attempt by Nike to prove the old mantra that “sex sells” (dresses). Nike recalled all the dresses they had issued to their stable of players pre-tournament to add an inch or so to the hemline.

This got me thinking. What other tennis fashion faux pas have there been? And so here for your viewing pleasure I present to you the highlights of my research.

This outrageous outfit worn by Gertude Moran in 1949 caused outrage at the time due to the flash of frilly knickers. Put it away Gertrude!

This one is something else. Worn by American Anne White in 1985 it caused an official complaint from opponent Pam Shriver who called it “distracting”. You have got to give it to her though – that’s some body confidence right there.

Even the King Roger had a “moment” at Wimbledon in 2009 with a full blown safari suit complete with gold trim.



So many interesting choices to select but a shout out needs to go to the modern day tennis equivalent of Lady Gaga, American Bethanie Mattek-Sands seen here at Wimbledon in 2011.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands in her warm up outfit at Wimbledon in 2008 (Picture: AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Now there’s nothing wrong with a bit of personality and prettiness but let’s all give a nod to Andy Murray’s mum Judy who said in relation to the Nike “lingerie” dress: “The important thing for any clothing manufacturer who is sponsoring top players is to make sure that the clothing is functional for the job in hand.”

Preach Judy.

But can we just add a pinch of sparkle?

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