Style versus substance at Wimbledon

July 1, 2006 at 1:27 PM   |   Comments

WIMBLEDON, England, July 1 (UPI) -- Designer Ralph Lauren's umpire uniforms at Wimbledon were coming apart at the seams -- literally -- with pant seams splitting and buttons falling off.

On the opening day of this year's tennis competition in London, the American clothing designer had to re-sew the pants of 60 of the tournament's 335 umpires, the Times of London reports.

The trendy uniforms, originally hailed as a stylish replacement for the umpires' frumpy traditional garb, were evidently too fashionably slim, the Times said.

Lauren drafted in a tailor, who moved buttons and re-sewed seams.

"All the trousers had to be recalled and double-stitched," said umpire Stuart Taylor.

A Ralph Lauren spokesman said: "We have had a few problems with the odd few seams or buttons down at Wimbledon. We have had someone on site to fix these things."

It was the first time the All England Club gave the job of clothing its officials to an outside firm. The five-year contract is believed to be worth more than $18 million, the Times reported.

Topics: Ralph Lauren
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