Wimbledon (otherwise properly known as The Championships, Wimbledon) is not only a renowned English sporting tradition but also the oldest and (arguably) most prestigious of the four professional tennis grand slam tournaments.
In enduring cultural spirit as well as endearing sartorial characterization a revered representation of the perfectly cultivated nexus of the world’s of fashion and sport, it is, to put it rather bluntly, the quintessential dream sporting event for any gentleman of style and substance.
And fittingly so, as tennis itself is truly the sport of gentleman in that it is an age-old (networking) institution that demands physical perfection, chess-style stratagem, a fashionable uniform, and a distinguished level of sportsmanship and characteristic morality (+ proper social etiquette) from both its spectating patrons and (casual/professional) competitors alike.
Adjudged strictly by those standards, it could be said that no other sporting event checks off every one of those (considered) boxes in quite the same resplendent manner as Wimbledon; it truly embodies all those ideals to the highest order insomuch as its ryegrass courts — which are trimmed daily to an 8mm height — are as smooth and tailored as its accompanying spectating attire is exquisitely refined erstwhile its sporting spectacle is not only top notch but highly respectable and aesthetically entertaining (as well as a charming sight for the eyes).
Taking that to heart, I do staunchly believe that Wimbledon’s on-court marriage of an all-white dress code with that of an expected smart aesthetic in the stands has all but ensured its fashion pedigree remains (having done so for well over a century at this juncture) unparalleled in the athletic sporting realm — it simply rests on an elevated style pedestal above all its contemporary rivals.
To that tune, it warrants particular note that the events strict dress code — which is elegantly genteel, timeless in form, and appropriately measured to optimal effect — is as crucial to the proper staging of its unique character and success as is the manicured ryegrass and the world-class athleticism on display.
Howbeit, adherence to the formal dress code (i.e. casual suiting and smart separates) is expected (without exception) and should not be approached with experimental indifference — ripped jeans, sneakers, sweatpants/joggers, and athletic tees in the stands are understandably prohibited — lest you fancy being shunned and turned away at the entry gate.
The immediate result?
Wimbledon’s attendees overwhelmingly remaining to this day the most well put-together crowd in professional sports; a crowd that is renowned for its fluid display of well intentioned gentleman (and ladies mind you) who are dressed (comfortably) to the nines in their summer finest rather then the average louche crowd of athleisurewear or jersey clad hooligans (although there is certainly nothing wrong with that latter, as most things indeed do have there time and place as it were…i.e. football).
Routinely attracting royal dignitaries from world round, but rarely the Queen of England herself, it has nevertheless (and slowly over time) become an all-inclusive social mixing pot that (whilst making some dress code concessions in 2010) nonetheless expects all its attendees pay respect to the presupposed decree of sartorial elegance and genteel decorum that has come to forevermore mark it.
All that having been said, and should you be the sort who has the intention of taking in the spectacle this year (or hitting the courts in style yourself), what follows below is an inspirational style guide and event dossier that will help you avoid any fashionable faux pas and all but ensure that you ably play your part in keeping the level of style in the stands on par with the athletic product put on display down on the manicured lawns…
: WIMBLEDON UMPIRE BLAZER :
Ralph Lauren ~ £149.99
: VINATGE 80s' SHORTS :
Sergio Tacchini ~ £18.99
: TENNIS/CRICKET JUMPER :
Kent & Curwen ~ $275
: PIQUE POLO :
Lacoste ~ $90
: CANVAS TENNIS SHOES :
Tretorn ~ $70
: TENNIS RACQUET :
Babolat ~ £149.99
: TENNIS BALLS :
Slazenger ~ £13.95
: TOWEL :
Wimbledon ~ £20.00
: SOCKS (not shown) :
Uniqlo ~ $7.90
Attending worldly renowned cultural events such as Wimbledon — those that have an international spotlight cast instantly upon them — can be both a pleasure and a chore when all has been said (as well as captured) and done — especially when discussing matters of personal dressage in this age of Instagram.
Sartorially speaking a social affair wherein classic British (Savile Row) tailoring has always reigned supreme alongside that of a fine contingent of classically handsome warm-weather accoutrements that range from crisp
As for The Championships, Wimbledon itself, it warrants final note that the whole event is properly staged in style with tasteful advertising minimalism being considered and in hand — commercial advertising and promotion is near non-existent when measured in comparison to competing events of like calibre.
As such, Wimbledon is not only quite unique in its enduring sartorial characterization but also endearing in its cultivated marriage of genteel fashionability, minimalist branding, and world-class sporting prowess.
All that having been said, and speaking strictly from a spectators point of view, do be prepared for intermittent rain showers, eating the tournaments iconic strawberries & cream dessert (which by popular theory were said to have been introduced by HRH KingGeorge V but whose summer signalling status actually dates back to the inaugural tournament in 1877) at will, and (perhaps) crossing paths with your fair share of celebrities and royalty alike on top of the expected world class tennis spectacle.
So, here's to serving up style as sharply cut and lethal as a Milos Raonic serve.
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