Wimbledon is upon us and while the players are dazzling to watch on the court for pure performance's sake, tennis fashion is a big part of the sport as well. We’re big believers in the power of style to enhance the game.
Historically, discussions of tennis fashion have long been sewed into the very fabric of women’s sports. The first style scandal took place at Wimbledon in 1919, when Frenchwoman Suzanne Lenglen dared to bare her calves in an “indecent” (and fabulous) short-sleeved dress, brazenly leaving her corset at home. She went on to win the tournament five years in a row, according to The Atlantic.
Lenglen’s shocking change in silhouette — leaving behind corsets and constricting dresses for more flowy, functional pieces — soon became a hallmark of the sport, with hemlines rising and waists being nipped in or let out depending on the decade. Despite all the shapeshifting garments, one thing has remained the same: Wimbledon’s all-white dress code.
A relic of the Victorian-era, the tennis whites regulation was born as a reaction to the proper politics of the time: white was believed to best mask offensive sweat stains, which were, of course, utterly unbefitting for a lady engaged in strenuous physical activity.
These days, sweat-wicking materials take care of any potentially unsavory stains. At L’Etoile Sport, our performance-enhancing tennis wear pays tribute to the ever-evolving styles of the pioneering women in tennis. From Gurtrude Moran’s lace bloomers to Serena William’s pleated skorts. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the most iconic Wimbledon looks of the past century and how to sport an updated version with L’Etoile Sport.
Chris Evert, 1978
One of the most stylish players to ever grace the court, Chris Evert lightly pushed against Wimbledon’s all-white dress code when she took on legend Billie Jean King in 1978. For the occasion, she sported a white dress with red trim and buttons. Our Knife Pleat Skort, inspired by vintage silhouettes and featuring two red stripes, is a classic that we think she’d approve of.
Venus Williams, 2007
Venus kept things very short and sweet with white micro shorts in 2007. That year, the tennis superstar took home the women’s singles title — not to mention, the first equal-sized champion’s paycheck–after fighting for pay equity. One of our tennis fashion essentials right now is our Racer Short, which features mesh side pockets for balls, phones (and proper paychecks!). You can wear them under a L’Etoile tennis dress or on its own.
Maria Sharapova, 2012
Exuding star power right from the start, Maria built a reputation as a glamorous and talented player. Channel one of her best WImbledon looks with neon yellow straps with our best selling Ballet Bra. It boasts the same cheery color combination (inspired by our favorite ball!) and is loved by tennis players.
Li Na, 2013
The Chinese tennis player has famously favored classic collared shirts when hitting the court before retiring from the sport in 2014. Our Lace Polo is a fun take on the quintessential tennis top, with bands of Brazilian lace and a traditional collar.
Garbiñe Muguruza, 2016
Back in 2016, Spanish tennis player Muguruza tore up the court on Day 1 of Wimbledon in a white lace skort that brought together fashion and function. Get the look in our Pointelle Team Skort, which features a similar lace pattern, undershorts and a sliver of neon yellow edging.
Serena Williams, 2019
The 23-time Grand Slam winner loves to show off her style on the court, from catsuits to trench coats and everything in between. One of our favorite fits was 2019’s cut-out Nike dress, which showed off the star’s toned abs. Our Long Sleeve Twist Tee is perfect for channeling the champion.