Fashion Rules and Freedom in Sports


Fashion is present in various areas of our lives one way or the other, whether we treat it as something to reflect our unique personality or more like a necessity. Such translates into the world of sports where athletes sometimes want to stand out from the crowd as well. While there is not always much flexibility in that manner, there is a tendency for a little color and diversity to show up occasionally.

Typically, professional competitions have strict rules as to what participants can wear. Other than the convenience factor — making the clothes more comfortable — sporting attire must be similar for everybody as much as possible. Of course, to achieve an edge over the opponents, there are attempts to make some favorable adjustments. But the changes usually lie in details as dictated by the official guidelines.

However, there are other modern sporting disciplines where stylists have more room to shine. For instance, apart from a few general pointers and basic decorum regulations, there is no reason why professional card players shouldn’t be able to follow their sense of self-expression in how they look, as at the poker tables, it’s a priority to feel comfortable. And as individual players evolved with the game and changing times, so has their style. One of the most titled and the most TV-friendly of them, Daniel Negreanu, is an excellent example. Though the star of the Netflix documentary “KidPoker” preferred a more casual look in his early days, he replaced baggy clothes and sports jerseys with suits and elegant blazers, which generally seem to be a dominant style at big tournaments. Some players are also keen on fashionable accessories that serve more decorative and practical purposes.

On the other hand, more traditional domains seem to have a lower susceptibility to sudden changes. While the game of tennis, for example, witnessed some bright personalities over the years (the colorful 1990s), a dress code still determines how players look on the court to a large extent. That’s especially true of the historical Wimbledon, with its “all white” uniform policy presenting the strictest approach. It’s similar to golf where the most prestigious events allow little freedom in the garments department.