In the late 1800's and early 1900's, apparel for women's golf and tennis was made following a very conservative style. The rule seemed to be long skirts and long-sleeved blouses with tight sleeves. When women played tennis, they were also required to wear hats. Golf shirts for women at that time had sleeves that were very fitted, which sometimes posed mobility problems when they tried to swing. The golf club would often catch the shirt sleeves. Even though skirts were slightly raised off the ground, the club would also sometimes catch in the skirt.
Short Skirts Were Scandalous In The 1920's
A female tennis player named Suzanne Lenglen created shock-waves in 1922 when she showed up for a tennis match at Wimbledon wearing a short skirt. She wore no hat and she chose instead to wear a bandeau in her hair, which let her see what she was doing. In 1930, it finally became acceptable for women not to wear a hat to play tennis. Also in the 1930's, another player named Alice Marble surprised the tennis world by wearing a pair of white shorts on the tennis court.
The styles of women's golf apparel improved very slowly. In 1909, women were allowed to wear a cardigan sweater instead of a jacket to play golf. Fabric that women's golf clothing was made from changed from heavy fabrics to a stretchy knit jersey fabric for skirts and blouses. Soon after that, pleated skirts became the popular fashion statement for women. Knickers enjoyed a short period of popularity but were only worn by some women.
Short dresses were also favored for a while but they eventually became less popular. One of the longest lasting trends was to wear a top paired with a pleated skirt. This style is still worn today. The Introduction Of Skorts In the 1960's,