Venus Williams in 2011: shocking EleVen dresses and wardrobe malfunctions


Venus Williams may have played only 11 matches in four tournaments during 2011, but the abundance and shockingness of her outfits makes me have an impression she played at least 15 events this season. The tennis champion is a graduate in fashion design and has her own EleVen clothing line, but I advise you to dull your receptors before checking out what she had on offer during the 2001 season.

Even though Venus’ designs in 2010 raised quite a few eyebrows and made a lot of tennis fans say “what?” and “why?”, right at the beginning of the year the American pushed her own boundaries of tackiness with a dress whose top is some yellow net and bottom a blur of undefinable colors.

Even though she played only three matches at the January’s grand stage, Venus had a different dress ready for each one of them. Fellow tennis fashion shocker Bethanie Mattek Sands may admire Venus for the fact that she designs her own clothes, but I can only assume that Bethanie is speaking for the minority.

After retiring with a right hip injury from the Australian Open (her first retirement in 251 career Grand Slam matches), Venus made a long break, returning only in June on the grass of Eastbourne and sporting a white dress similar to her two Australian Open dresses in blue and black. But it was only the calm before the storm.

For Wimbledon Venus prepared a white undefined piece of clothing which could be called a jumper dress, moving awkwardly during play.

Venus’ liking of trashy dresses didn’t wear out towards the end of the season. For the US Open the shiny tennis star designed a black dress with a white lace back adorned with a pink zipper. The appearance at Flushing Meadows was Venus’ last competition of the season, due to Sjogren’s syndrome she’s been diagnosed with, but she did later return for exhibition matches.

In a November exhibition match in Colombia Venus played against sister Serena and beat her 6-4 7-6(5). The dress the elder sister wore for the occasion looked promising in the front, but when you got to see the back you were again struck by lace adorned with a black zipper matching a black bra.

Unfortunate fashion continued when on December 3 in Milan the Williams sisters played an exhibition and Venus’ strap broke in front of full stands. Venus had to leave the court and change the outfit.

Do you remember that Venus made much more subtle dresses in 2009What’s your opinion? Why did she make her style so extreme? Or do you happen to like her choices?

The entire list of Women’s Tennis Blog’s retrospections of WTA players’ clothing, dating back to 2007, is available here. This year so far we’ve featured Caroline Wozniacki in Stella McCartney, Petra Kvitova in Nike and Andrea Petkovic in classic Adidas.

(photos: © Neal Trousdale, Queen of Sports, Yoghurt_MonsterLiannedijkhuizen, hannah_huck, WTA Tour)


  1. Nope, I don’t like a single one of the outfits of this season.. Couldn’t make it any better.. Let’s hope for a better 2012! 🙂

  2. The US Open dress is fine from the front…but apart from that it’s all a bit too much. Her designs were so much better in 2008 and 2009.

  3. I totally Agree Sam! That outfit is more subtle… But, since she’s wearing a longsleeve with the dress, we can’t see the back of it 🙂 I too like the front of the US Open.. but the back makes it too much for me.. 😛

  4. Ugh… just trashy and ugly, and I don’t understand why? I like her style outside the court, most of the time, but this is just… Ugly. And it’s a pitty people talk these days more about her outfits than about her tennis. I loved most of her Eleven dresses in ’07, ’08 and ’09, she should stick to that. I really don’t know who would want to buy this stuff.

  5. You seem to have forgotten that lovely lace number she wore during the 2010 Roland Garros, it’s my personal favourite. 🙂

  6. I always like Venus’s outfits, but I would like to see fashion retrospective of tennis drama quiens : S.Williams and J.Jankovic.Would that be possible ?

  7. I agree with all of the comments. There are not enough words to describe how awful Venus’s 2011 outfits were. I hope she tones it down for 2012, which I think should be her last year on the tour.

  8. Maisee, she’s a graduate fashion designer 😛

    Sam, Liz, yes it’s just a long sleeve so it doesn’t count. 🙂

    Vera, 2010 Roland Garros?

    Stef, I plan to include both Jelena and Serena. Stay tuned!

    Brenda, yeah, although her university is getting publicity, it’s not really favorable.

  9. What I’ve noticed since Venus began wearing her own designs is that they are ill fitting. She is always pulling them down or adjusting them. I think this is because some of the designs and fabrics aren’t suitable for playing sport and they don’t move well.


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