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146 Years Later: A Breakthrough in Dress Code at Wimbledon for Women


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146 years after the start of the ancient Wimbledon tennis tournament, known for its strict all-white dress rules, players’ clothing has changed, according to Women Wear Daily.

Women players were allowed to wear dark underpants for the first time during the current Wimbledon Championships, the third Grand Slam tournament that kicked off Monday on grass courts in London.

For the past 146 years, the best tennis players in the world have fought in London for a chance to take home the Wimbledon title. The tournament is known for its strict all-white dress code, but this is the first time it’s getting an update.

— VVD (@wwd) July 4, 2023

The change to the strict dress code aims to alleviate period anxiety.

But the change states that these briefs cannot be longer than the skirt or the tennis “shorts” themselves.

The first Wimbledon tournament dates back to 1877, when male players were also required to wear an all-white uniform.

Women were first allowed to compete at Wimbledon in 1884.

In recent years, tennis legend Billie Jean King, as well as Judith Murray, the mother of Andy Murray and his brother Jamie, have called for a change in the rules for wearing underpants.

In statements to CNN in 2022, King expressed the ongoing concern of female players about wearing white all the time, noting that “it’s important for the menstrual cycle.”

All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton hopes the new rules will help players focus solely on their game on the pitch, removing a potential source of anxiety.

American tennis player Coco Gauff welcomed the updated dress code, telling Sky News that it will “relieve stress for me and of course other girls.”

Many players have previously reported menstrual problems during Wimbledon, and some have resorted to medication.

British tennis player Heather Watson told Sky News: “Last year I took a pill to stop the bleeding because I knew we had to wear white panties and I didn’t want to face any embarrassment.”


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