Table tennis has seen major advancements in recent times in all departments but when it comes to clothing it has little progress. Many suggest if table tennis needs more spectators it might think of doing something about it. Table tennis has many aspects to it when it comes to winning a match, player’s skill and preparation helps him win the matches but his clothing does make a difference in his comfort level in the match.
Clothing of players in any sport has been changing according to the latest fashion and technology, keeping in view the demands of the game and the players. We have seen many international tennis and football players associating their sports gear to a particular company which designs the gear according to players’ sense of fashion and comfort.International brands of table tennis equipment include Butterfly, joola, stag etc. which have been the major supplier of dresses and equipment and they work proactively on designing the latest and fashionable style of dresses.
Earlier, when table tennis was just played for recreational purposes, there was not much emphasis on the style of dresses and clothing.People wore heavy dresses. Major clubs which organised these events also did not put any restrictions on the style of dress or demanded a particular type of dress.
men and women alike wore dresses which is unimaginable now, given the current form of table tennis. They did not think cloths had much to do with the game you play, which may be partially true.
Today, players wear shorts, skirts, sleeveless shirts which is according to the mentioned guidelines in the ITTF rulebook which specifies a player’s clothing.But, ITTF rulebook does not mention anything about style and fashion of clothing. It provides general rules such as both the player must not wear the same colour of shirt or the colour of the shirt should not be of the colour of the ball etc.
Claude Bergeret, when she was the executive vice president of the ITTF pushed the agenda for more fashionable clothing.She even organised a show for the best dresses to be selected for players.She said in a New York Times interview,“It’s just a question of being well-dressed,“ as We say in French, ‘ne pas être habillée comme un sac à patates.’ which means do not be dressed like a sack of potatoes.
Well, does clothing helps in attracting spectators?
There are no direct correlations but many agree to it by citing the example of Lawn tennis and beach volleyball where female players dress makes headlines and fashion statement.
Wang Chen had shared her view in news18 saying I think women should wear dresses like tennis players and I think our outfits are so boring, not sexy.”
Lau Sui Fei, a player from Hongkong had a similar view, she said “That is a very good idea, actually a must. Look at those tennis players — miniskirts, tight shirt”.
She also remarked about the relationship between dress and spectators, saying “When I play for a European club, my boss required me to dress pretty. Otherwise, how can you attract more spectators?”
But, What about men’s clothing and fashion sense?