Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Wimbledon Style

Oh dear, I had such a reactionary moment watching Serena Williams play Victoria Azarenka at Wimbledon today.

I am very conflicted about womens' tennis these days which is probably why I don't watch it very much. This afternoon, however, I sat down in a shady room and decided to give it my all. Did, I? No I didn't. I used up half my concentration getting unreasonably cross with Azarenka for pinching somebody else's top in the locker room and hitching it up with a couple of safetypins. Then, because it may not have been her fault, I imagined writing a rebuke to Nike for making this quite attractive woman look and feel such a mess that she went out in straight sets.

Look at this, look, look.. what is that band of elastic above her tits all about? It is integral with the shoulder straps but its sporting attempt at deconstructing neckline styles fails fails fails. At the back, there is another clumsy band that keeps you guessing about the locker room theory. Is the hem meant to ride up randomly around her navel? That mean little skirt clings to her non-existent hips and adds no grace to her workaday physicality.

OK , Ok, this is where I am conflicted. I would really like my tennis players to look like this

or this

but we have moved on from cotton piqué and frilly knickers. The game is far more athletic , the women are more powerful and if you're making like a battering ram on the baseline, you want to look as well as sound as if you mean business. I can't fault that argument. But what is it about the rotten little skirts? I can only conclude it's that they rarely show your underwear. But dear oh dear, look at these...

What an absolute dog's dinner once again

These women have given up on looking very sweet or very chic like this..

(but don't get me started on the pearls..)

so why don't they wear shorts and be done with it? I love shorts. Martina Navratilova looked fabulous in them

and she tucked her shirt in. So this is a plea: shorts and a shirt tucked in or a tennis dress that
moves with the body and doesn't part in the middle. I may sound like my mother or the gym mistress but frankly I don't give a damn.

Teddy Tinling was acknowledged to be numero uno in the tennis dress game during the halcyon days of gracious Wimbledon. But hard to imagine that anyone ever took him seriously.

Besides her searing tennis today, Serena William's looked fabulous. Her dress was supportive, it was modest, it had cheeky detailing at the back, it flicked and billowed with her movement and above all it proudly showed her BigWhitePants. No wonder she beat poor old Azarenka 6-2, 6-3. She was at the top of her game. Look good and you do good is what my mother used to say.

Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert prepare to slug it out at Wimbledon in 1978 in this video It 's worth watching for a snatch of Dan Maskell's commentary, Evert's lovely dress and lacey underpinnings, wooden racquets, the endangered serve-and-volley and Martina's colourful brilliance that led her to victory.

Thanks to The Guardian online, LIFE and The Daily Mail Online


  1. wonderful post- I love a fashion rant! Amazingly few women look good showing there middle-even the tight ones- god forbid the not so tight- it does appear many love to show what they've got- sometimes the more to show- the lower they go.(eeeek!)

  2. What a fab rant. That's more like it RCLV! You are so good at finding the pictures too.
    Thanks for the lovely card that accompanied the penalty charge notice in the post. More than worth the £60 anyday. I hate this city sometimes.. perhaps CCTV and Surveillance could be a topic to cover. We are sleepwalking towards a bad place.
    Oops, aesthete's only on this blog please..

    W x


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