Professional tennis, specifically the French Open, has decided to put a dress code into play for next year. It seems that officials are not pleased with some of the choices of attire – and have decided to police the fashion choices of the players.
In particular, the French Open officials have said that Serena Williams’ Wakanda-inspired catsuit will not be welcome. Why? Officials felt that the catsuit did not respect the game.
There is a precedent for dress codes at professional tennis events. Wimbledon does require players to wear primarily white outfits – a throwback to the Victorian era. In those days, players wore white to hide sweat stains – a fashion faux pas. Today, the rule is still in place – with traditional tennis apparel being expected.
Professional tennis has always tried to project an upscale, conservative image. That image has not always applied to specific players though. In the late 1980s, Las Vegas resident Andre Agassi was considered one of the top players in the world. He was a bit of a rebel and a tennis bad boy – and for years refused to play Wimbledon because he did not want to conform to their dress code and standards.
Wimbledon however, is the most traditional of the four majors. The other three majors have allowed colorful and edgier clothing over the years. Why would the French Open decide that they need to pull back now, especially in a country known for their edgy fashion? While Roland Garros officials have not given out the exact dress code yet, they have made it perfectly clear that the catsuit will not be welcome.
Catsuit or not, has tennis fashion gone too wild? Serena is well known for her wardrobe decisions that are not exactly conventional. She claims comfort and medical issues were the inspiration for the catsuit. Maybe so – but tutus at the French Open – hard to believe that those were anything but a fashion slap in the face. Its doubtful a long-sleeved tutu is comfortable in 90+ degree weather – it certainly isn’t flattering.
Maybe the French Open officials are right. Professional tennis does need the Fashion Police. Tell us what you think in the comments below.