Given the increasingly versatile and physically demanding nature of the sport, tennis has managed to overcome the country-club aesthetic that remained dominant for much of the 19th & 20th Centuries.
Today, tennis gear and attire are known for their relentless focus on breathability, comfort, ease of movement and flexibility, while still keeping in touch with the upscale origins of the sport, and the traditions, rules and etiquettes that come with it.
Such unique set of demands, give rise to distinguished fashion statements, making tennis one of the most stylish sports for amateurs and pros alike, not to mention one of the most expensive. Having dedicated attire for tennis, not only improves your performance, but is also a great way to fit into the circle and community of tennis enthusiasts.
Dress code for tennis tournaments
Tennis players may feel pressure to dress a certain way depending on what the event is. If you are unsure of how to play, then it would be wise for you talk with other people who have attended this type of tournament in order get some tips and guidelines about attire that they can provide.
Wimbledon, the famed tennis championships in England, is home to some of the strictest dress codes for athletes. Wimbledon’s rules require white as a mandatory color and any violation may result in disqualification from play.
Clean clothing suitable for playing should be worn at all times during matches in tournaments.
Players are required to abide by the guidelines set forth in their respective country’s federation or those of major tournaments within their city.
What To Wear To Play Tennis?
So, what to wear to play tennis? There is a range of clothes for men and women of all ages – including shorts, skirts, dresses, t-shirts and sleeveless shirts for playing in the hot weather, or pants, tracksuits and jackets that you can wear when the temperature drops.
You can also complement your attire with your favorite pair of tennis shoes, with matching styles available for playing on hard courts, grass courts or clay courts. Not to forget the accessories, which are mostly essential for pro performance, such as padded socks, palm ribbons, headbands and visor caps.
Here is a short list on what to wear from head to toe:
- A hat or a cap when it’s a sunny day.
- A headband
- Tennis wristband
- A t-shirt or a tank top.
- Shorts or a skirt.
- A pair of tennis socks.
- A pair of tennis shoes.
While playing tennis in a country club or tennis club, you will be required to wear white cotton blend shirts, tennis shorts, which are different from gym shorts and swimming shorts, along with shoes with non-marking soles, so that they don’t damage the court.
There aren’t any hard and fast rules when it comes to playing in parks or general playground, but since tennis is a sport that requires you to run, sweat, twist, turn, and perform maneuvers that you wouldn’t normally do with everyday casuals, a dedicated attire is recommended.
Every court, tournament or club has its own unique set of requirements that need to be complied with, but a universal rule is always personal comfort to suit style of play, weather conditions, etc. It can be stretchy and breathable to allow air to pass through in warmer climates, while additional layers can be added to deal with colder climates.
There are numerous recognized tennis brands, clothing and accessories that comply with most common rules and requirements, so you won’t have to do much research to ensure compliance, all you have to do is ensure they fit your size and style of play.
Tennis Attire For Men
Historically, men were required to wear polo shirts while on court, but off-late, other styles have gained acceptance, including sleeveless and collarless shirts to improve breathability and aid in warmer climates and conditions.
Shorts of various lengths are acceptable as long as they are made for tennis. Having pockets were essential to store balls, but this is mainly for training sessions and warm-ups, not actual tournaments. Some tournaments also require the shorts to match the shirt, in order to reduce any mismatches that could take viewer attention away from the game.
Tennis shoes are an essential aspect of the attire, to help protect from injuries, while also being specially designed to avoid any kind of damage to the court. Players are also free to make use of additional layers and leggings to keep warm during cold weather.
Tennis Attire For Women
Women are free to wear polo shirts, tank tops and sleeveless shirts, as long as they are specifically designed for tennis. Its also essential to consider how your sports bra complements your top, so that it isn’t showing and is well covered.
Players these days prefer wearing skirts for the breathability and flexibility while playing, and many skirts today come with built-in shorts to avoid any mishaps. If the player is looking for pockets, coverage and security, shorts would be more preferred.
Women are also allowed to wear leggings and mid-thigh length compression shorts without a skirt or dress during matches. Women still face sexism in the sport, and are often censured for wearing anything unusual or even accidentally revealing, but things are changing and women are getting a lot more freedom today.
When it comes to shoes, women can choose options with extra arch support, with freedom to explore more colors and shades compared to men’s tennis. The shoe selection should generally be based on the court, with good grip and flatter outsole for grass courts, and durable sides for clay.
Tips for choosing tennis attire:
- All tennis players have slightly different preferences when it comes to apparel, but you’ll always want your clothing to be what feels the most comfortable for you.
- Tennis clothes should always fit well and be made of light and breathable materials.
- You don’t want your clothes to irritate any cuts or scrapes you may have on your body while playing! Find fabrics that are soft enough not to aggravate sensitive skin.
- Durability is a key factor in choosing good quality tennis gear- make sure fabric is strong enough so as not tear apart after a few uses.
What To Wear For Tennis Lessons?
So, what to wear for tennis lessons? If you’re just getting started with tennis, or playing occasionally with friends, you don’t have to spend money on any specially made tennis clothes. Anything that provides flexibility, comfort and breathability, such as sweatpants and t-shirts are completely fine.
You might be asked to bring two pairs of socks and shoes, so as to not damage the court by using the same shoes for practice and your walk to and from the club.
For the most part, your outfit for tennis practice and lessons can be casual, but some clubs might have a dress code that you should check and comply with. Also, make sure to check the weather conditions and dress appropriately, so as to remain comfortable, and neither too warm nor cold.
Tennis Sun Protection
Playing or practicing tennis outdoors involves prolonged exposure to sunlight, resulting in sunburns and various long term health risks. Which is why most professional and club players take care to prevent Sun & UV damage.
To start with, most professional tennis attire comes with in-built UV protection. A dress with UPF 50 would allow just 1/50th of UV rays to pass through, but since you can’t cover yourself head to toe, you can also make use of sunscreen, sunglasses and hats, as long as they don’t affect your play or get too uncomfortable.
Applying sunscreen to all exposed skin is the best way to deal with this, especially with various sport-formulated sunscreens, designed specifically for tennis players and other athletes who spend time in the sun. Make sure to check the SPF rating of the product, it should ideally be SPF 30.
Sunscreen tends to ware off due to sweat and friction over time, so it is essential to keep re-applying them every 2 to 3 hours to prolong protection. If you feel you have sunburn, make sure to abandon training right away, and apply cold water to reduce chances of blisters.
Sunglasses For Tennis
While sunglasses are optional for players, and very few professional stars can be seen wearing them, they are known to significantly improve performance while lowering effects eye strain and prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Sunglasses can also reduce certain long term health issues that sports stars suffer from, such as early wrinkling. They can also reduce the effects of wind or glare, keeping you focused on the game and the ball, without any distractions.
Here again, there are plenty of options specifically catered towards athletes and tennis players, you can go through their features and select the one that best suits your requirements.
Tennis Attire for playing tennis in the Winter
Here are some tips for winter-time tennis clothing:
In winter, it is important to wear long-sleeved shirts and warm suits when playing tennis. These will not only keep you from getting cold but they’ll also allow for free movement as well!
And last but not least – windbreaker jackets that provide an extra layer when needed most after playing indoors on colder days, then taking them off once we finish our warm up.
Alternatively at the start of a match, wearing windbreaker jackets can help shield your hands from the harsh winds until you get warmed up enough.
Gloves made out of rubber are great for gripping rackets without having slippery fingers like in other seasons; these gloves do come with some downsides though – if wet or damp latex becomes stuck to them then it’s difficult to grip anything else afterwards!
Tennis Attire for Practicing
For tennis players, the right apparel can be a game changer. Some of this is about what you wear for practice and some of it has to do with match attire.
Professionals are more likely to have their own individualized look during matches, although they usually dress similarly at practices as well, with a few tweaks to their comfort.
Tennis players need to be able to move freely so they can run and jump quickly. They also have a lot of sudden stops, starts, twists and turns which means their clothes should not restrict them any more than necessary.
For this reason the dress for tennis practice might be different from that worn at competitive events, in other words it’s all about practicality!
For men, shirts without collars are more common; casual attire a slight deviation from the norm that allows them greater movement on court than their typical spiffy whites would allow!
Women go with shorts or leggings: practicality being key when it comes to comfort in all climates – even if skirts aren’t available as an option due to the inconvenience of not having pockets 🙂
Is There A Proper Tennis Dress Code?
Tennis is a sport that requires you to dress in appropriate attire.
But what does this mean, exactly? What are the rules for dressing appropriately for tennis? And how do I know if my outfit is too revealing or not formal enough?
The dress code for tennis players has always been more concerned with elegance than practicality.
This trend is due to the fact that tennis focuses on grace and agility over speed or power, but this doesn’t mean they don’t have their own sense of style in an incredibly competitive sport where every small detail matters.
Can you play tennis in jeans?
Not really. Jeans are not the most breathable material and do not allow for much movement, which is important to tennis performance.
They also tend to be bulky and baggy, which can get in your way while swinging or moving quickly around a tennis court.
If you want to look good on the tennis court, it’s best to invest in at least one pair of lightweight yet durable tennis pants that will allow for free movement without looking like a “sweaty mess” after just a few matches (or even games).
Can you wear leggings to play tennis?
This is a more popular question these days, as it seems that the old-fashioned tennis dress has been replaced with a variety of different tennis outfits.
Some people prefer this change because they feel like tennis pants are too restrictive and hot for long matches in warm weather conditions.
If you want something similar to tennis shorts but without the tightness or heaviness of them, then leggings are perfect for your needs!
They will allow free movement.
You can wear anything from shorts to a skirt or dress, but you’ll want something that will move with ease.
We covered everything from what’s appropriate and not appropriate when it comes to dressing for a game of tennis. This includes considerations such as the weather, color coordination, and accessories.
We also discussed how different types of attire are suitable at various occasions like practice sessions vs competition matches.