It was in the late 1860`s, during the Victorian age that women starting getting involved in the sport of tennis. At that time there was no standard uniform for women tennis players so the attire for female competitors became fitted jackets, long skirts, gloves and hats.
In 1905, Mary Sutton decided to wear her father`s shirts at Wimbledon and was the first women tennis pro to voice her opinions about her “hot” long sleeves. It was then that women`s tennis fashion began to evolve from conventional to convenient.
After World War I, female tennis players began to explore their fashion options on the court. In 1922, Susan Lenglen began sporting short skirts, brightly colored shirts and a bandeau instead of the conventional hat at Wimbledon.
Women`s tennis fashion continued to evolve over the years and in 1949, American born, Gertrud Moran, decided to bear lace-trimmed panties underneath her white dress at Wimbledon.
In the 1980`s, Anne White was warned never to show up again at Wimbledon wearing her all-white, form-fitting body suit. Although she was scolded by Wimbledon officials, she was applauded for her daring decision.
In the late 1990`s, sisters, Venus and Serena Williams took the tennis world by storm and brought their own fashion sense to the scene. They sported colorful outfits, dangling earrings and flashy hair beads. In 2002, Serena even wore a leather-like cat suite at the U.S. Open. Both sisters now have their own fashion lines!
Women`s tennis fashion has come a long way over the years, from long sleeves and gloves to cat suits and headbands!