This week at Wimbledon, a dress ran away with headlines as players and fans reacted to what has been dubbed the “Nike nightie.”
Nike’s $100 Premier Slam grand slam dress has proven to be anything but a slam dunk with players and fans. The breezy design was supposed to allow athletes a full range motion as well as being cooling and breathable, but mostly players who wore the dress found their midriffs exposed as the flimsy garment floated into the air during strong plays.
Players weren’t the only ones distracted by the skimpy dress. Tennis fans also flooded social media with cries of indecent exposure.
Nike had already been making alterations to the cotton, polyester dress (they sewed up the slits on the sides) based on player concerns, but apparently it just wasn’t enough.
The chatter about a recall got so bad, the company issued a statement disputing it.
“The product has not been recalled and we often customize products and make alterations for athletes as they compete,” a Nike spokesman said according to The New York Times. “We work closely with our athletes to provide them with product that helps them perform and feel their best on the court.”
Wimbledon fashion scandals date as a far back as the 1920s when a female player hit the court in a sleeveless top. And certainly, other makes of athletic gear have had their faux pas.
Remember when Lululemon recalled those see-through yoga pants back in March 2013? And how Chip Wilson (aka CEO of stupid) made things worse by suggesting women who didn’t have a gap between their thighs just shouldn’t wear the pants?
Maybe it is time to ask why the women of Wimbledon are still wearing dresses at all. Just as they got equal pay for their play, they should be able to dress as they please without fear of public reproach– even when it doesn’t involve a dress.