Why Do Tennis Players Wear White? Is it a Strict Dress Code in Tennis?

Tennis players wear white because it covers the dress code at Wimbledon. The officials expect the players to adhere to the rules and traditions of Wimbledon. The players should be in white from head to toe. It is a significant part of tennis. Furthermore, it is a serious deal for the players.

The officials are concerned about this to a great extent. Therefore, tennis players have to wear white to show their love and discipline in the sport.

The obvious reason for wearing a white dress in tennis or tennis whites is that it is a dress code and we have to follow the dress code and rules of tennis.

But there is also some reason behind this all-white dress. Let’s see it in detail!

Tennis Dress Code

Just like other sports tennis also has a proper dress code for the competitors. The players are required to wear white clothes at Wimbledon. Or we can term it as ‘Wimbledon White Rule’. However, we also see that in female players, tennis skirt is a trend.

Their dresses are chic and decent at the same time. Tennis players have to stick to the rules regarding the dress code.

Furthermore, the accessories too have to be white. The tennis dress code is not maintained just for the sake of fashion and style.

It is important to be in comfort while playing. Therefore, these dresses define style and ease during the game. The officials and ITF has set this tennis dress code to make sure the players do not face injuries.

Good News: If you are playing at a local level, at local tennis clubs, or even on a smaller tennis court, you don’t have to follow the strict dress code. However, there are still some dress rules that you have to follow. Read our tennis apparel guide here about what you should wear to play tennis.

Why Do Tennis Players Wear White?

Why Do Tennis Players Wear White?

The white color is for grace, style, richness, and more Wimbledon! It gives a neat and professional appearance to the tennis players where they wear completely white from shirts, tops, hats, skirts, to shoes.

Therefore, the ITF has chosen white dress color for the players. In 1880, it was decided that white will be the color for tennis dresses.

One of the main reasons was to minimize the sweat stains since they are more visible in other colors.

There won’t be grace and decency in any other color except for white color. But the dress code of tennis is not about the white color only. Additionally, It is designed for the comfort of the player and flexibility during the game.

7 Reasons Why Tennis Players Wear White?

There are some reasons for the white attire of tennis players.

  1. Unlike other colors, the sweat marks are not visible in the white color. The white marks of sweat during the game look unpleasant therefore, it is the first reason for the “Why?”.
  2. It represents a summery look and feels light. In addition, the white color does not absorb heat. It gives a soft and cool feel. It is a perfect color, especially for sunny days.
  3. The white dress code shows the Wimbledon tournament since it is not common in other matches. The other tournaments of tennis do not have a white dress code. Therefore, it represents the players at Wimbledon.
  4. The white color is a hallmark of historic social trends. It has been a part of the tennis sport for decades and it became a part of the 17th century.
  5. It is part of the club traditions and Wimbledon follows the traditions strictly and expects the same from its players.
  6. Above all, it reflects the heat as all light colors are good at reflecting heat. Therefore, it is best to wear white during the match in summer.
  7. The white color reflects the wealth and the elite class. They most often wear light colors because they do not need to work. So they do not have to worry about their white outfits getting dirty.

Controversial Tennis Outfits

Controversial Tennis Outfits

Some tennis players do not feel comfortable adopting an entirely white outfit. However, it is an important part of playing at Wimbledon. In addition, several players have opposed white outfits and become controversial.

Gertrude Moran is famous for her great fashion and styling sense. But in 1949, she wore a very short skirt that even her panties were showing. This became the talk of the town at that time.

Furthermore, Anne White back in 1985, wore a jumpsuit during the match. The officials told her to change it for her next matches.

The famous tennis player Rafael Nadal wore his sleeveless T-shirt and paired it with Capri. This was very unpleasant and the crowd did not encourage it at all. Moreover, it was against British etiquette.

Besides, several other famous names such as Maria Sharapova, Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Roger Federer, etc. These tennis players also became debatable among the audience in past years.


The long and short story is that tennis players have to wear completely white tennis outfits. Wimbledon expects the players to carry out its rituals and traditions. There is no way Wimbledon will change them at any point. It’s a kind of tennis uniform. However, we have also seen some shades of orange as well like the bottom sole of tennis shoes.

Furthermore, it has several good reasons as well. Whereas some players do not prefer wearing white but the rules are rules and we have to follow them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q) Is wearing white a strict rule in tennis?

Yes, it’s a strict dress code in tennis that a player has to wear full white when they walk onto the court to play tennis. This rule is more strict at Wimbledon.

Q) Do I have to wear white to the local club?

It’s not required to be in all whites if you play tennis at a local club. However, you must check their dress code guidelines. Wearing white is a strict code at Wimbledon championships only.

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