From its earliest days to its top moment, tennis has always been influenced by fashion and has influenced it in turn. The kind of tennis wear we know today is far from the formal attire worn by players during the early days of the sport. Social changes have shaped the trends in tennis apparel and over time, players have become more daring in the way they dress up and so have tennis clothes.
Men vs. Women Tennis Apparel: Now and Then
Some of the first tennis clothes for men were made up of cardigans, shirts and long flannel pants. In the 1930s, the long flannel pants were replaced with shorts and since then, the standard apparel for male tennis players included white shorts and pants. Later on, they were changed by introducing lycra shorts to the tennis courts. Modern tennis clothes for men these days keep pace with the boldness of modern tennis apparel for women.
Women joined tennis games for the first time in the 1860s and they were wearing modest clothes made of heavy materials, such as a flannel. In the early days, tennis clothes for women included corsets with high collared blouses and neckties, long skirts and hats.
Over the years, fashion trends were changing and women tennis players started wearing clothes that made playing tennis easier and more comfortable. These days, tennis players have more freedom than ever when it comes to clothing choices. You can find a wide range of tennis wear and choose the best pieces that will make you look good and help you play well.
Tips on How to Choose Your Tennis Clothes
Tennis is a game that requires lots of movement, so the tennis sports apparel must be sturdy and comfortable and the fabric should be breathable. Many sports brands offer trend-forward tennis pieces that are equal parts stylish and technical. So, whether it’s your first time stepping on a tennis court or you are just simply looking to improve your tennis outfits, here are some tips and ideas that can help you feel confident and comfortable on the tennis court.
Men’s Tennis Attire
Most of the time, men are required to wear a shirt while playing tennis. To feel cooler throughout the match, you can opt for a cotton blend shirt, with sleeves or sleeveless. It’s always a good idea to check the rules and regulations of the court before the game starts because some courts don’t allow sleeveless shirts. Polo is another option that can help you stay fresh while playing, thanks to its cooling technology.
To meet the requirements of proper tennis etiquette, you need to make sure you match your shorts with your shirt. Choose good quality shorts as they can wick away perspiration and support heavy movement during a tennis match.
All tennis courts require shoes worn with socks. Tennis shoes are flat and have specifically designed patterns on the sole. To choose the right shoes, consider the type of court you will be playing on first.
Wearing a hat, visor or headband while playing tennis is important as it can protect your face from the sun, but also, it can prevent sweat from getting into your eyes. None of them is required but can be quite helpful.
Women’s Tennis Attire
It’s always a good idea to choose a shirt or tank top that will keep you cool during the match and allow you to move freely. Many women tennis players opt for a top tank as it gives more room for movement.
Tennis dresses are becoming more popular lately as they are comfortable pieces of clothing that allow a lot of movement while on the tennis court. Same as choosing a shirt, make sure you opt for a tennis dress that will keep you cool while playing.
Skirts are very popular among female tennis players as they offer freedom of movement and a stylish appearance. Most tennis skirts these days come with built-in shorts underneath and are a great choice as they allow for maximum flexibility.
The tradition of wearing a skirt in tennis dates back to the beginnings of the sport, but more interestingly, there are no other major sports for women where skirts are being worn consistently. Skirts are unique to tennis and a badge of honour to be a little bit different.
Many women choose to wear shorts while playing tennis mainly because they come with more pockets and/or more coverage.
If you remember Selena Williams’ catsuit controversy, then maybe you would like to know that afterwards, the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) has added a new rule, which modernised its dress code. It says that during matches, women can wear leggings and mid-thigh length compression shorts without a skirt or a dress.
Similar to men, wearing a hat, visor or headband is a good idea to ensure protection from the sun during the match and to prevent sweat from getting into your eyes.
Same as with choosing men tennis shoes, make sure to consider the type of court you will be playing in before buying your shoes. Also, keep in mind that women have higher arches in their feet when compared to men, so you may want to look for some extra support underneath your foot’s arch.