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Uniforms a la mode

By Sarah Edworthy   on   Sunday 29 May 2016
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Members of tournament staff at Roland-Garros project a collective aura of understated elegance.

For members of the tournament staff at Roland-Garros, 'what to wear' is not a daily dilemma. From event officials and court workers to the ball girls and boys and staff in Les Boutiques, workers here are kitted out with a capsule wardrobe in coordinating colours for all weathers, bespoke for each role. The collective aura of understated elegance is the perfect expression of French style.

Visitors, be warned. Such is the impact of this tableau of style, you will leave with an irresistible urge to start wearing terracotta chinos or an above-the-knee orange pleated skirt and make it the cornerstone of your own personal uniform - or consider adopting a more subtle tribute to French Open elan by dressing forever more in a palette of navy blue, white and clay red.

Fashionistas like to know the 'hero' pieces of each season's collection and we can safely say 2016's must-have garments are the classic navy blue blazer, a crisp polo shirt and pristine leather trainers. It is all about being stylish yet informal, traditional yet adventurous.  

On court, for example, the umpires and line officials are dressed by Lacoste. The chair umpires' authority is enhanced by their polo shirt and chinos in bleu marin, well-cut grey blazer and grey suede brogue-y trainers.

Fittingly for those who make a living out of their sharp vision, the line officials get a pop of colour in the form of a bright turquoise polo shirt worn with navy chinos, a grey ribbed V-neck cardigan and grey trainers with white trim. Like the umpires they are also equipped with a practical navy blue waterproof jacket with bold white trim.

Each court's posse of ball boys and girls also look immaculate (in royal blue shorts and polo shirts supplied by Adidas) as do the court workers who wield their brooms to brush water off tarpaulin or clay dust off white lines in a combo of terracotta shorts, white polo with blue collar and trim, white socks and navy trainers.

It is the prevalence of smart uniforms around the grounds, though, that give Roland-Garros the edge in the fashion stakes. More than 400 hosts and hostesses greet people at the stadium gates and at the court stairways and also escort players around the stadium. It is their regalia that sets the tone.

The young men wear terracotta-hued chinos, a navy blazer, white polo shirt and cream leather trainers; the young women look splendid in cream or orange short pleated skirts with ballet pumps.

At les boutiques, the purveyor of official Roland-Garros branded clothing, the assistants model the preppy chic items that are for sale, most strikingly the quintessential Mousquetaires blazer and cable-knit sweater (for men) and pleated skirt (for women).

Even the staff who man the information kiosks wear enviably chic navy cigarette trousers set off by white fitted hoodies and white trainers with a grey trim. The security staff, too, wear a black suit, white shirt with stand-out clay-coloured tie.

As for regular visitors to Roland-Garros, they take pride in wearing the long-established fashion tradition - the Panama hat. True to the flair shown in all accessories here, they come in two colour options.

Three guesses? Yes, navy blue and clay.

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