the pros, cons, and dress code of the tennis tournament

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge alongside Billie Jean King at Wimbledon in 2011 (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Can you hear? The Wimbledon theme song? We can…

Wimbledon 2022 is finally upon us and as we warm up for what are sure to be two weeks of stellar tennis – those of us fortunate enough to own a ticket are eagerly counting down the minutes.

As with Royal Ascot, however, there are strict rules to observe when participating in Wimbledon. There’s no dress code – as such – but there are certain things you should definitely know if you want to make the most of the day and avoid red-faced moments (and we don’t mean because of the sun – hopefully).

If you’re heading to the big event for the first time and want to know what to do – and what not to do – read on…

dress code

    (Daniel Leal-Olivas/POOL/PA Archive/PA Images)

(Daniel Leal-Olivas/POOL/PA Archive/PA Images)

There is no dress code for Wimbledon spectators, however, dressing smart is encouraged, especially if attending Center Court or Court Number One.

After all, if players struggle with their clothing – within the strict confines of the all-white color code, mind you – spectators should want to follow suit.

What you’re prohibited from wearing are ‘ambush marketing’ clothing – a jacket with your company logo emblazoned on the back, for example. Political slogans are also prohibited…

Panama hats, however, are a great thing – they will provide shade from what will likely be quite a punishing sun, but make sure they don’t block the person’s view from behind.

If you get an invite to the Royal Box, you need to dress smart – look to the Duchess of Cambridge for style inspiration. No hats, ladies and gentlemen, be sure to wear a suit jacket and tie – you don’t want to find yourself, as Lewis Hamilton once did, being denied entry into a pretty important match…


    (Gareth Fuller/PA File/PA Images)

(Gareth Fuller/PA File/PA Images)

We know how tempting it is: a quick “Come on Andy!” how it will serve… But you must refrain. It’s not just a distraction for people like – hmm – Andy, but it’s also a distraction for everyone else. You might even get a scolding from the referee. Wait until the point is played, then yell as loud as you want.

Also don’t cheer in the middle of rallies – total silence until the end.

In terms of getting on and off the court, you can only leave your seat – for a bathroom break or whatever – after the third game of a set, to begin with, and then when players change sides, every two games after this one.

You won’t be able to get back to him until these moments either, so it’s best to hold this Pimms until after the match if you don’t want to miss any crucial moments.

Food and drink

    (Philip Toscano/PA Archive/PA Images)

(Philip Toscano/PA Archive/PA Images)

Food and drink don’t come cheap inside the Wimbledon grounds, so you might want to pack a picnic. People only eat strawberries and cream anyway, so it’s not like you have much to carry.

You can bring your own drink BUT you are limited to the equivalent of one bottle of wine or champagne (750ml) or two cans of beer (500ml) or two cans of pre-mixed snacks (like Pimms) per person. Bottles of spirits are prohibited, so a pure bottle of Pimms is a no-no.

Glass cups cannot be used on the show courts and all corked bottles, including champagne and sparkling wine, must be opened before entering the stands.

Strangely, vials are also not allowed. And neither are travel mugs or opaque bottles.

Remember all these things, and you’re sure to enjoy super sunny (hopefully), strawberry-ed weather, simply in tennis.

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