Can you remember the first netball attire you ever wore? We did some digging and put together a rough timeline of the netball fashion scene.

Early 1900s: The longs

Netball players from Bournville Club in 1910

Netball players in Australia

In the early days, ladies needed to be modestly covered so they had to play in long woollen box pleat tunics that reached well below their knees.To keep their skin covered and their legs warm, uniforms were completed with wool stockings. As you can imagine, their long skirts, bustle backs, nipped waists and button up shoes made moving around and passing quite challenging.

1920s – 1950s: Gymslips


All-Australian Netball Team, 1948

A gymslip, aka the pinafore dress in Singapore, is a sleeveless tunic with a pleated skirt most commonly seen as part of a school uniform for girls. This was the common attire for netballers throughout much of the early 20th century.

1960s – 1990s: The pleated skirts

England National Team, 1963

World Netball Championship, Glasgow, 1987

The tunics from the previous decades were replaced with sports shorts and the blouses with a polo. Pleated skirts with adjusted side buckles became popular quickly in the 1960s, along with headbands, bandanas and wrist bands. (My first netball attire was a bright blue pleated skirt with a white sleeveless top!)

1990s – 2000s: The (swimming costume) bodysuit

Singapore – PNG Series, 2005

These bodysuits look and feel a lot like regular swimming costumes. They have the added benefit of working perfectly for pool recovery after the games! Also around this time, bibs were modified to have velcro for ease of changeovers.

Present: Well, the regular dress!

Australian Netball Diamonds, 2015

Which is your favourite look from the last century? How do you think the netball attire will evolve in the next 10 – 20 years? Send us some ideas! 😀

3 thoughts on “The evolution of netball uniforms

  1. I have played for teams over the years wearing pleated skirts, bodysuits and dresses. My personal favourite is just the wrap over pleated skirt with a sleeveless top, which I still wear when I umpire and for training I will have you know! Some of the younger girls think I am a trend setter with my retro look and want our next uniform to match it but just in more modern fabrics.


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