Tennis Fashion for Spring/Summer 2018: My Picks

This has been a long, drawn-out winter and I am starting to get cabin fever from playing tennis week in, week out in a large, stuffy heated balloon. But luckily I live in Italy and I know that very soon we will have lots of warm, sunny days, and the clay court will quickly dry out, and I’ll soon be back to playing in the fresh air in my favourite summer tennis outfits.

It will soon be time to relegate those black leggings and black hoodies to the back of my activewear chest of drawers, and bring my colourful skirts, dresses and tops back to the forefront. I might even add some pastel pieces, as these feature heavily in the latest tennis fashion for spring/summer 2018. I particularly like the salmony orange colours introduced by adidas in their 2018 Roland Garros collection, and the Hawaiian feel of the latest Lucky in Love collection has me dreaming of long summer evenings (playing tennis and drinking Aperol Spritz!). Check out my spring/summer tennis fashion picks below and let me know what you think.

Please note that the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. This helps to support my blog, and comes at no additional cost to you. You can actually get a 10% discount on all these products from Tennis Warehouse Europe by using my VIP code 40ISHLOV10 – happy spring/summer tennis shopping!

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30Fifteen Meets 40ish-Love: Smash Hit Tennis Fashion

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the best dressed tennis player of them all?

Well, thanks to 30Fifteen, I am feeling pretty well dressed right now! They sent me a number of outfits from their new tennis fashion collection to review, and I have to say I am a big fan of this Cleo dress which comes in pink, blue, black and white.

30Fifteen Cleo Dress

My partner raised an eyebrow (or two) when I first put the dress on, as it is rather short at the back due to my not-insubstantial derrière (nicely cropped out of the photo above!)… So to ensure thoughts of overexposure wouldn’t distract me during play, I have been wearing the dresses with leggings, and I actually think they look very stylish. They also allow me to wear some of my thinner leggings that have, shall we say, ‘transparency issues’.

30Fifteen Cleo Dress

Another item from the latest 30Fifteen collection that has been accompanying me to many of my tennis and Pilates sessions is the Kara Match Jacket that comes in both black and white. It has a bomber jacket style and according to one of my Instagram followers, makes me look ‘sharp’. Enough said!

Let me know what you think of these looks below!

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What to Wear To Play Tennis in the Spring

Although it is still a bit touch and go, the weather has certainly improved in Italy and I have already trained outside at least 3 times (take a look at my YouTube video to catch some clips of me training for the first time outside on clay this year). As we move from winter to spring, my everyday wardrobe starts to lighten up and I begin to replace black and grey with navy blue and white (I know, super adventurous!). I now need to do the same with my tennis wardrobe, and slowly wean myself off the dark hues I have been sporting these past few months, so that come Wimbledon I will be ready to don my tennis whites like a pro!

This task has actually been made very easy, as Tennis Warehouse Europe have just sent me a range of new spring tennis outfits to review, all by an Italian brand called Australian. Living in Italy, I was actually already familiar with this brand – my tennis coach is usually decked out in one of their tracksuits and I bought a black skirt from them last year as a last-minute addition to my wardrobe for tennis camp (it was one of the few tennis items I could find in my small town in the middle of August!) The brand is immediately recognizable from the cool kangaroo logo, and you may remember seeing it on the outfits of the Italian female Fed Cup players.

I decided to make a video of me trying on the outfits for my YouTube channel (see below), as I think that gives you the best impression of what the pieces look like when worn. To be completely honest, I don’t know if I would have picked out these items for myself from the photos alone, but now that I have tried them on, I am so impressed with the quality of the material, the fit and the flattering colours. They are also all very reasonably priced. So my spring tennis wardrobe is now sorted – the only trouble is, I’m now going to have to treat myself to some new tennis shoes to match all these beautiful spring tennis outfits! 😉

If you like this video, please do head over to my YouTube account and subscribe to my channel, so you get notifications of all my upcoming tennis videos.

Cool Cover-Ups To Protect Your Skin When Playing Tennis

I recently reached out to Women’s Tennis Blog, one of the most established and successful tennis blogs on the web that focuses exclusively on women’s tennis. The Editor, Marija Zivlak, very kindly suggested I write a guest blog post for them and I immediately jumped at the chance. I decided to write about something that is of particular concern and importance to me: the need to protect ourselves from sun overexposure when playing tennis, and so I compiled a list of 5 easy sun protection tips for tennis players. So please do head over to Women’s Tennis Blog and let me know what you think of my post.

Now, the one tip that I know I should really implement next summer, but that I have most difficulty with, is the need to cover up my skin with long-sleeved tops and leggings. As I have discussed on this blog before, I am now obsessed with wearing tennis skirts and dresses and I also suffer the heat a lot during the height of the Italian summer (and so I have swapped leggings for shorts when running). In order to be able to continue to wear my cute skirts and dresses, I will have to try and play as much as possible in the early morning and late evening next summer, but on those occasions when I will need to play in the middle of the day I know I really should try and cover my skin for maximum protection.

In order to get used to playing in this ‘covered-up’ wardrobe, I could probably even begin practising now as they have started to turn the heating on in my local indoor tennis courts, and sometimes it almost feels as hot as summer!

I have thus started researching which brands offer stylish, high-performance, sun-protective tennis clothing (i.e. cool cover-ups!), and I wanted to share some of my favourites with you.

I love the way the UPF 50 long-sleeved sheer top from Yaffa Activewear (shown below) has been styled with a side knot in the photo at the top of this blog post. It comes in a range of colours and whilst white is probably the best colour choice, to help reflect the sun’s rays, the hot pink should also keep me cool and looking, well, hot!

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Sticking with the white and hot pink combination, I have found this UPF 40+ long-sleeved top from Tail Activewear, but I think I like even more the UPF 40+ cropped long-sleeved top which I could imagine slipping on top of one of my tank tops:

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Chrissie By Tail (the collaboration between Tail Activewear and Chris Evert, my favourite tennis player turned fashion designer) also have a cute white UPF 30 long-sleeved top with a mesh hem:

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When it comes to leggings, Yaffa Activewear have these great UPF 50 leggings with a holder for the tennis ball, though I do wonder if I would feel too hot wearing black/grey:

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Whilst I wouldn’t necessarily feel that comfortable in white leggings (they are likely to be too transparent, cause problems of VPL, show my cellulite, and white is obviously not known for its slimming characteristics), what I would really like to see next summer from the top tennis brands would be more sun-protective (predominantly) white skapris and skeggings  so I can feel comfortable, keep cool, look cute in a skirt, and cover my skin from the sun, all at the same time. These white skapris from Fila would be perfect, though I’m not sure what level of UPF they offer.

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If you can recommend any sun-protective tennis apparel that doesn’t make you feel too hot in the summer, then please do share it with me in the comments below.

How Does the Tennis Ball Stay Up?

After playing tennis with my partner’s 10-year-old son a few weeks ago, he asked his dad before going to bed “How does the tennis ball stay up Helen’s dress without falling down?” I had been wearing my Oysho black and white tennis dress (see photo here), and he just saw me magically extracting the ball from under my skirt before each serve and couldn’t understand the trick. Well, of course, they come with a pair of black Lycra shorts that have a holder for the tennis ball. All of the tennis skirts I have so far purchased (from Oysho, Lucky in Love, Australian, and Decathlon) have in-built Lycra shorts and even though they don’t all have holders for the ball, it is easy to tuck the ball under the shorts and, given the tightness of Lycra, it doesn’t fall down. However, two beautiful dresses that I have recently acquired (one from Sweaty Betty bought in the sales during a recent shopping trip to London, and the other from Ellesse that I won in an Instagram competition – see photos below) do not come with white shorts and so, in addition to problems of VPL*, there is nowhere to keep the ball.

Continue reading “How Does the Tennis Ball Stay Up?”