Tennis is a huge international sport and one of the only sports where male and female pay is equal. The multi-billion dollar industry has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Some of the earliest forms of tennis came from France, played in the courtyards of monasteries, and used their hands instead of rackets. Originally called “lawn tennis”, the game was created in the mid-19th century after a Spanish merchant and British major combined the games “Rackets” and “Pelotas” together. The merchant and major opened the first tennis court and club in 1874, where both men and women could play mixed doubles. The evolution of fashionable tennis attire stemmed from the late 1800s and was inspired by cricket attire and lawn dresses. During the first Wimbledon Ladies Singles Championship in 1884, women wore ankle-length, corseted dresses in white, as that was a mandatory requirement that is still in use today at many clubs. In 1887,15-year-old champion Lottie Dod wore an outfit that similarly resembled a school uniform during her Wimbledon win. Many of the spectators believed that this gave her an advantage over other opponents, so designers helped create more functional clothing. With there being more leeway in women’s fashion gear, French player Suzanne Lenglen decided to try out wearing a calf-length skirt, which made the public freak out but also made her a tennis pioneer. Lenglen’s style continued into the 1930s and women began to wear things such as polo shirts, low-waist dresses, and embellished belts. Stylish and modern fashion emerged among players in the 1960s, and women started to wear tailored tennis outfits. The outfits were made to be practical, so they included short skirts and sports tops with breathable fabric and small logos with the sponsors of the players. In the 1980s, player Annie White made a statement by wearing an all-white bodysuit to her match. There was so much controversy with the bodysuit that the match was postponed until she wore something else. White’s statement changed the game for women's tennis fashion and opened up a more individualistic vibe for female players. Fast forward to now, tennis has taken a liberal approach to style with women. An example of this is Serena Williams’ Wakanda-themed catsuit at the French Open. Unfortunately, this look was banned by the French Tennis Federation, and Williams had to change to a black tutu skirt by Nike and Off-White. Most current tennis gear is made up of sweat-wicking materials with fashionable cuts and slits. Women’s tennis fashion is constantly changing and being influenced by everyday wear and the power of its fashion is something to watch out for in the fashion world.
What are tennis clothes?
Wearing appropriate gear for tennis is super important for your performance during practice or a match. Not only for fashion purposes but also to adhere to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) guidelines, which state that players must wear gear that prevents injuries and creates better performance and comfort. The items include shirts, shorts/leggings, dresses/skirts, socks, sneakers, and an optional hat. Whether it’s a tank top or a polo, find tops with sweat-wicking, lightweight fabrics like Alala’s Tie Back Polo or Flyweight Tank. For matches and practices, many women opt for shorts or skirts. Many skirts have some sort of compression shorts, also known as “Skorts”, to ensure that women feel secure with the movements. Our Rally Skort conveniently has built-in shorts with stash pockets on each thigh for your phone and tennis ball, perfect for running around the court in comfort. Many people question the reasoning behind tennis players keeping balls in their pockets/shorts. When you miss a serve, you need another ball quite immediately. Because women’s tennis gear alters differ from men's, the spare ball may be in direct contact with your body, but isn’t an uncomfortable feeling- many don’t even remember that the ball is still in their pocket. In addition to this, you can get seriously injured if you step on a ball out of your sight, an instant broken or twisted ankle. Keeping the ball in your pocket saves so much time when playing. You have 25 seconds to serve another ball, which goes by very quickly during all the other preparation that has to be done within that time. Tennis is a mental sport and any aspect of the game can cause distraction and disadvantages. Try to save your time and choose compressed bottoms with built-in pockets. Similar to the structure of skorts, shorts are durable and can be worn recreationally or professionally as per ITF guidelines. There are two kinds of tennis shorts for women- tennis shorts and two-in-one shorts. Tennis shorts are worn primarily for comfort, to absorb sweat, and to keep you supported on the court. Two-in-one tennis shorts have built-in compression liner and sweat-wicking shorts on top that provide support and breathability for tennis players. Our Court Short are the perfect shorts for tennis, as they have a flattering style and mesh detailing that will keep you comfortable throughout your match. They’re also perfect for all-day activities and the inner shorts will stay in place all day and not ride up with every movement made! Socks are usually overseen, yet are a vital part of any workout, especially tennis. Most players opt for high socks, as they are fashionable and look great on the court. Comfortability is another aspect when choosing the appropriate footwear. Ankle socks can be quite difficult when playing tennis as they don’t cover your shoes and can cause friction on the back of your feet. Higher socks are guaranteed to stay in place during any match and won’t cause you pain. Finally, socks help reduce any muscle soreness and damage. The Varsity Socks were built for maximum comfort and coolness for any activity, especially tennis. The higher length and breathable material will not only prevent you from getting blisters but will make every run, jump, or sprint go seamlessly during your game. One of the most popular trends right now that everyone seems to own is tennis dresses! Also known as “performance”, “active” or “athletic” dresses, tennis dresses can go from tennis-club chic to street style instantaneously. So what exactly makes a tennis dress a tennis dress? Most of the time, they have built-in shorts and sweat-wicking materials that are designed with performance and training in mind. Tennis requires agility, speed, and many jumping movements from across the court. Wearing a durable dress or a skirt is essential to perform all sorts of movements in this sport. The versatility is intriguing as it’s quick one-piece apparel to throw on and is practical for any occasion. Nowadays, most people who throw on a tennis dress don’t even play tennis and use this as a more retro-modern look. Ode to the Queen of tennis herself, our Serena Dress boasts Grand Slam-level style and tech. With a slim fit to hug the body, classic racerback, fabric that provides SPF50+ protection, and a variety of colors and sizes to choose from, you will be guaranteed to receive compliments in and out of the courts.
What makes tennis gear best for the sport?
Professional tennis players always walk onto the court with big bags on their shoulders with everything they need to give their best game. But what exactly are in their bags? It is essential to come prepared so you can spend more time focusing on pivotal moments of the match that’ll help you win. Having the right tennis gear can amp up your performance instantaneously. It takes more than just having the best equipment available, the technology included should make a visible impact on your stamina. First off is your apparel. The dress code is vital in the tennis world. Whether you’re playing club or an actual match, you will be required to wear specific kinds of clothing. Many clubs will ban “regular” workout clothing like t-shirts, gym shorts, etc. because of the principal rule that players should always look presentable. Even the smallest bit of casual wear can be banned at a club or match, especially in regards to color. There used to be a time when the ITF mandated that players must wear white both in matches and clubs- this was because sweat stains were considered improper and harsh on the eyes, so wearing white minimized that visibility due to sweat being more apparent on other colored clothing. From the 1800s to now, “tennis whites” was coined, and everyone had to wear white to Wimbledon. If you want to channel your inner Wimbledon, try our range of tennis whites such as Serena Dress, Seamless Polo, Court Skort, or our Tie Back Crop Tee. Sports bras are also another aspect to consider when playing in a tennis match or practice. High-impact sports bras are meant to give you a great range of motion, which is perfect for tennis players! Our Eclipse Bra will hold you in all the right places, which is a perfect combination of comfort and support during your match. Another grand slam would be the Barre Cami Bra- with a keyhole center and crossover bra straps, this is your go-to bra for every practice or game! Although we are constantly, looking for moisture-wicking, practical, breathable fabrics, tennis attire has its standards in regards to its functionality standards. Tennis was [and still is] played by members of Royal families, which is why it is so important to dress more presentable on the court versus when we go to the gym. Fashion will forever be linked to the art of tennis- whether you’re a professional tennis player or someone who plays recreationally, there are countless ways to show off your personality on the court. When you pick out tennis clothing, you have to factor in your ability to move freely with every movement, to be worn in both warm and cold environments, and lastly, feel confident in what you’re wearing! When we think about tennis wear we automatically think about polo shirts and skirts/skorts and dresses for women. As of 2019, the Women’s Tennis Association, also known as the WTA, announced that shorts or leggings could be worn for tennis matches without a skirt or dress attached. In 2020, leggings and shorts were worn by a multitude of female players during the French Open. Our Barre Seamless Shorts are a winner for your next tennis match. With a complete range of motion and seamless support, it will feel like a second skin! With an average of over one million viewers watching or spectating tennis matches, fans and designers are constantly searching for the best-dressed players. Many style choices are inspired by past tennis players and the outfits of their time. In this day and age, brand marketing has been in most clothing pieces on and off the tennis court. Players and fans alike are influenced by what they see on the court, as it becomes so much more recognizable on the street. Make a statement with our Ace Jacket, the perfect layering piece over any of our other pieces in the Tennis Capsule. The pindot mesh ventilation panels will keep you cool, comfortable, and stylish on and off the court. There are so many pieces of equipment that are used for tennis that is used to help you, whether it’s for practice or recovery. Invest in high-quality pieces (as linked above) and we’ll guarantee that your performance will be enhanced and you will win more matches. Tennis is all about having fun while staying active, so don’t be afraid to mix and match your pieces to create your style on and off the court.
Why are tennis pieces in style?
Tennis fashions and aesthetics are at their all-time high and does not seem to be coming down anytime soon. Throughout these past few years, we have seen so many incredible looks including tennis dresses/skirts, polo shirts, caps, and mid to high-length socks, all paired with an oversized sweatshirt or vintage t-shirt. Social media has coined a term for this popular trend, and they call it: “tenniscore”. Recently there has been a “core” style or aesthetic for almost everything, so what exactly is the inspiration for this new trend? It stems from the traditional tennis fashion, with a mix of preparatory uniforms such as white pleated skirts or button-up cardigans. This aesthetic wasn’t necessarily created for athleticism purposes (even though it can be!), but more so for the luxurious, preppy vibe that has always been connected to tennis and traditional tennis fashion. In the 1990s, Princess Diana popularized this off-duty tennis player's look by combining some of her favorite things, tennis skirts or biker shorts with an oversized, varsity sweatshirt and cap. Fast forward to now and celebrities are doing anything to hop on the trend by wearing tennis-inspired pieces. Over the past few years, tennis-related fashion pieces have increased by 87 percent on online searches. Influencers, especially on TikTok and Pinterest have been rocking this tennis athleisure look. The #tenniscore hashtag has over 100,000 views on TikTok, being one of the internet’s newest fashion crazes. Tenniscore will help amp up your style while keeping you comfortable and cool during your daily routines. Tennis skirts have made a comeback through social media and are here to stay. Marry country club style with high-performance design and you’ve got our Rally Skort. Pair this with our Seamless Polo or an oversized crewneck to channel your inner off-duty model on and off the tennis courts. A preppy top will give you that on-the-spot club sports look. It can be dressed up or down, leaving so much versatility when it comes to planning out looks. If you want to serve iconic tennis outfits and look like you just won a match at Wimbledon, then you need our Diana Top. Inspired by the infamous Princess Diana, the smooth and sheer fabric of this chic top makes this piece lightweight and super soft next to your skin, letting you feel like a million bucks. Hats can really tie a look together and create a statement. Not only are they cute, but hats also so an important role when playing tennis as they shield your eyes and face from the sun. Top off your look with our classic Logo Baseball Cap- a must-have that goes with everything in your entire wardrobe. The relaxed look and adjustable strap offer the perfect fit all day, every day. Polo shirts are one of the most timeless articles of clothing that signify tenniscore and all of its glory. The polo shirt was created in the 19th century in India and later reconstructed by the French. The shirt comes in a variety of colors and cuts for sportswear and fashion. Alala has a range of polo shirts to choose from like the Tie Back Polo, Diana Top, and Seamless Polo- add them all to your wardrobe for a vintage-inspired aesthetic that influences people to try the looks on their own. Tennis dresses are the perfect tribute to classic tennis style. Along with being more breathable and comfortable, tennis dresses will allow you to go from tennis practice to a brunch with your friends instantaneously. Whether you wear this to work out or for fashion purposes, this dress is an essential asset in a tenniscore wardrobe. Throw on a graphic t-shirt or an oversized jacket with our Serena Dress to dress your fit up or down, the choice is yours! The reason tenniscore has become so popular in the media is that it has been a lot more common to style exercise wear in everyday looks. With Summer coming to an end and fall soon approaching, go for a sleek, grand slam, all-black look. Our Ace Jacket, Court Skort, and Barre Seamless Tee will leave the spectators speechless. You can also try layering pieces like the Pace Tank, Flyweight Hoodie Tee, and Barre Seamless Shorts for an athletic yet cozy Fall look. Tennis fashion is nothing new but is widespread in regards to female tennis players and the attention of the media. If you’re looking for new pieces to enhance your style and all things tennis fashion, Alala is in your court.
Our Final Thoughts
Tennis wear pays tribute to all that is glamorous- old money, tea parties, and even access to country clubs. It celebrates the female tennis players before us who broke fashion’s boundaries and made tennis wear what it is today. Looks that we see on the runway or on the court have come a long way since its humble beginnings and seem like it’ll be here for the long haul. Thanks to this trending aesthetic, so many brands and influencers have put their own spin on what they believe in “tenniscore”, making it versatile for every woman and her needs. If you want to be a champion and embrace all that is tennis-inspired, shop our first-place selection.