Women Tennis Fashion Over The Years

There is more to Women’s Tennis fashion now than it being just a game and the price money. It is where the fashion designers have begun to showcase the apparel suitable for the game.

Tennis has always been a graceful and elite game like golf. Unlike golf, however, this game offers an opportunity to display the fashionable garments. The seating arrangement at the courts offers a great view of the tennis players.

Women Tennis Fashion And Celebrities

Tennis attracts high profile celebrities from all over the world such as Kardashians, Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Victoria Beckham and British Royal family members.

Many famous singers like Justin Timberlake and Beyonce have attended several tennis matches. Apart from that businesspersons, actors, and aspiring tennis players have also been to plenty of those games.

The other reason for such attire becoming fashionable is because leading fashion moguls such as Anna Wintour, Stella McCartney, and Bernard Arnault are often seen sitting in those front rows of Tennis Grand Slam events.

For those who do not know who they are, Wintour holds the post as editor of a fashion magazine, US Vogue.

Bernard Arnault is the CEO of Louis Vuitton; the famous fashion house in France. Stella McCartney has made it big in the fashion world and is presently Adidas partner in tennis attire designing.

In fact, many of the fashion designers link themselves to leading sports goods manufacturing brands such as Nike, Adidas, Lacoste, Lotto, EleVen and Fila.

Tennis spectators are offered a fashion treat designed by these designers along with the game for the money they spend on the ticket.Players too stand to gain as wearing such designer tennis clothing increases their value for commercials.

What Is Covered In Women Tennis Fashion

adidas Performance Women's Barricade Team 4 W Tennis Shoe, White/White/Solar Red, 9.5 M US
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Tennis fashion is not confined to mere Tennis clothes. It includes accessories such as

  • Watches;
  • wristbands;
  • hair bands;
  • Socks;
  • Shoes;
  • Caps or visors;
  • Overcoats;
  • bags, and
  • Jewelry

Of course, jewelry cannot be that striking from distance. But still, fashion designers try to make them striking enough so that they match with what the lady is wearing.

Women Tennis Fashion – Journey From The Past To The Present.

Women have been playing tennis since the 19th century. Trends in fashion since then can be broadly viewed as follows

  1. From 1885 to 1925    

Women Tennis players wore long dresses, and skirts with hemlines that reached their ankles. Blouses or vests had prominent collars, which were firmly fastened around the necks.

Women wore belts at their waists.  Their blouses invariably had long sleeves, i.e., full-length sleeves reaching the wrists. They used pins to keep their hair tied firmly in place, and at times wore scarves or bands to hold the hair back.

They often wore caps or hats to keep away the sun’s rays.  But the transition towards shorter skirts and sleeves had begun towards the 1920’s.

  1. From 1925 to 1965

In the initial period, hemlines of dresses and skirts had moved up to what is best described as the non-mid calf. Close necks became history.  With receding hemlines, longer stockings or socks came into the picture, but they did not last for long.

Vogue featured an image of woman tennis player on the cover of its June 1927 edition. The hair was tied back firmly with cloth scarf or band. The fashion in women tennis got its recognition.

Sleeveless blouses became common around 1932 though conservative people in Berkley continued to wear longer shorts and blouses with collars and half sleeves.

Visors arrived on scene around this period as did short shorts.  A woman tennis player was depicted on 1932 Vanity Fair magazine and her dress had no sleeves.

One striking creation was curve hugging tennis wear for women made from knitted fabric. It came around 1934.

Gussie Moran shocked the conservative Wimbledon spectators in 1949 when she let others get a glimpse of frilled knickers.  Australian women tennis players, however, favored those shorter skirts even as far back as 1937.

Women wore thick woolen jackets in late 1930’s and 1940’s designed like coats of three-piece suits.

By 1950’s short skirts or shorts had become a norm, and belts were used by women tennis players. Collars disappeared completely and sleeves receded considerably onto the shoulder, though many women players continued to alternate with the sleeve lengths.

  1. From 1965 to 2015  

These 50 years saw many changes that can only be termed as a fashion rebellion. Billie Jean King often wore shorts and sleeveless vests. It is around her period that socks went into hiding by reaching as close to shoes as possible.

Initially, ladies wore dresses and blouses with longer sleeves as well, but they’ve almost disappeared after Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert Lloyd. Halter necks arrived on the scene, as did spaghetti straps.

These are usually reinforced, with additional straps affixed at different levels to help in absorbing the stress.

Different materials are used to make the tanks and increase breathability, flexibility, and comfort levels of women tennis players. For example, Adidas “Spring Adizero” is made from extremely light fabric but has an insert of sheer mesh for keeping it breathable and fashionable.

adidas Women's Training Techfit Molded Cup Bra

Sports bras and shorts are also considerably more advanced with technology being used to study stresses and strains on different parts of tennis apparel, as well as accessories to give the perfectly engineered design which is functional as well as aesthetically appealing.

Dresses have become more curves hugging varieties as women tennis fashion keep changing than even what they were during the era of Steffi Graff. A bevy of beauties like Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic have increased the interest fashion world has in sports fashion, especially, tennis.

Women tennis fashion has also become colorful. Traditionally, white was favored for such attire, with few stripes making an appearance here and there. Now, such clothes are available in different colors such as bright yellow, orange, pink, red, blue, green, black, purple, brown, maroon, etc.

The list includes metallic, neon, electric, or silver colors as well. In addition, there are laser prints. Even shoes, hats, socks, and wristbands have similar of matching colors.

Tennis Shoes have become scientifically advanced. There can be prints such as stripes, bands, a mix of colors geometric designs etc., on fashionable tennis clothes and accessories today apart from the signature of brands like Adidas, and Nike.

There is no restriction on the type of prints either. Serena Williams wore a striking leopard print in tangerine color, which is uncharacteristic of any former Tennis attire for women.

Women Tennis Fashion And Brands

  • Ana Ivanovic

Ana Ivanovic has adorned quite a few of Adidas creations, like the Adizero tanks and skirts as well as Adidas “Fall All Premium Dress”. In fact, the purple colored Spring “adizero dress” she wore received raving reviews.

Ivanovic also wore Yohji Yamamoto’s creation at a French open. This creation by the Japanese designer was black in color but had floral designs which were hand painted.

Adidas also introduced a bold white “Roland Garros Y-3” version of the same dress. Other women’s fashion creations from Adidas include Adilibria and Barricade.

  • Garbine Muguruza

Nobody expected that Garbine Muguruza would defeat Serena Williams in 2016 French Opens. Muguruza wore Adidas’ range of tennis fashion outfits for women designed by Stella McCartney in 2015, and so is Caroline Wozniacki.

  • Venus Williams
  • Women High Waist Solid Pleated Mini Slim Single Tennis Skirts ( S, Purple)

Venus Williams wore “EleVen” creations in 2015. The patterns of this brand were identified as Ola, Kaleidoscope, Ndebele, etc.  This set included printed legging, full sleeved vest, and headband with the same print as the legging.

  • Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova may have been banned for a few years, but till 2015, she wore tennis clothes of Nike brand as did her arch-rival, Serena Williams.

While Sharapova always opted for dresses and skirts, Eugenie Bouchard, the young Canadian player, has been wearing vests and shorts from the same brand.


When it comes to women tennis and fashion, there is no room for mediocrity. The players wearing them are seeded, and designers are well-known.

Famous designer Calvin Klein also has a range of tennis apparel for women. In fact, women tennis fashion includes clothes designed for court officials by famous designers such as Ralph Lauren.

Effectively, tennis courts became a ground for fashion creators, followers, and critics. These courts also blurred the barriers between fashion industry, sports industry and entertainment industry with Serena Williams playing a cameo role with Beyonce.

Serena, incidentally, has figured twice on Vogue cover so far and dresses impeccably, both on and off courts.

2 thoughts on “Women Tennis Fashion Over The Years

  1. I’m always looking for new tennis fashion blogs and so I’m happy I stumbled upon yours! I have been a tennis player since I was a child. I reached my peak at tennis when I played Tracy Austin in a USTA juniors tournament in CA so you can pretty much guess my age:) You are right that the style on the court has really changed over the years. I remember when women needed to buy tennis panties to wear under the dresses and when ruffled panties a la Chrissie Evert made the ruffled panties a fad.The trend now that i’m seeing is that matchy matchy is out and players mostly wear skirts/tops not necessarily meant to go together. What are your thoughts on that?

    1. Lol Erica

      Dont get me started on the ruffled panties,wore this for my tennis matches,thinking back now,make me feel old and it seems like forever.Thank goodness the ruffled pants are history,dreadful

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