Skip to main content

spotlight-studios
23rd February 2015

Skirting around the issue

Adrienne Galloway on tennis’ soft spot for skirts
Categories:
TLDR

The This Girl Can ad campaign by Sport England aims to show that all types of women can participate in sports, and is a celebration of active females all across the UK. Interestingly, this example of empowerment in sport features a glimpse of a netball match in which a small minority of players are wearing netball skirts. The debate about women in sports is ongoing, but what part does dress code have to play?

Female athletes on the world stage such as Venus and Serena Williams have been seen wearing some outrageous outfits on court over the years, but this doesn’t detract from the fact that they are extremely talented tennis players. Although there is no overarching rule in tennis regarding skirts, a lot of players choose to wear skirts or dresses—and get plenty of endorsements for doing so. However, when female boxing was finally declared an Olympic sport in 2009, it was proposed that female boxers wear skirts to allow the spectators to distinguish them from men. Although this campaign gained a lot of support, after receiving criticism from boxers and the wider public it was scrapped. There are many other ways to distinguish a boxer than by a skirt—their face, their team colours, or simply by looking at the names of the players competing.

Years ago, women had to wear corsets whilst playing tennis; this was later abandoned because of the obvious restriction on physical activity. I personally believe that if the outfit allows you to be comfortable then go for it, but when it is unnecessarily forced then it becomes a tad ridiculous. Aimée Grant Cumberbatch reminisces about P.E. in secondary school, lamenting the stupidity of dress code rules, saying: “We used to be made to wear netball skirts over our tracksuit bottoms.” Seem a bit pointless to you?


More Coverage

Horticultured: Manchester Fashion Movement brings great clothes to the great outdoors

First Chanel’s Metiers D’Art took place in Manchester last December and now RHS Bridgewater’s Horticultured unfolded in Salford showcasing some fantastic local and sustainable brands

My favourite jeans: Student journalists share their top denim picks

Looking for the perfect jeans? Look no further! Our writers and editors share all their top tips and fave pairs

Celebrity Style Guide #8: Dua Lipa and Callum Turner

We explore the style of up-and-coming couple, musician Dua Lipa and actor Callum Turner, from their day-time outfits to their after-party looks

Glossier: Cult brand or profit machine?

Glossier were famed for their Balm Dotcom and Cloud Paint Blush, but with product prices rising during a cost-of-living crisis will their cult status last?