Lucky in (40ish) Love: Tennis Fashion Review

My first tennis skirt was from a brand called Lucky in Love that I discovered on Instagram. From the moment I put on that tennis skirt my passion for tennis fashion was born. I’ve spoken about this brand in other posts, and I even wrote an article for Tennis Identity on them, as I honestly think they are unique in the styles they offer. Since last summer I have now acquired a small wardrobe of Lucky in Love pieces and outfits, so last week I decided to do a video on my YouTube channel to showcase them. In case you missed it, you can find the video below. I plan to do more videos like this in the future, including footage of me wearing my tennis outfits while playing on the tennis court, so make sure you subscribe to my channel if you love tennis fashion as much as me!

 

How to Look Preppy on the Tennis Court

For Black Friday I decided to buy myself some tennis apparel that I wouldn’t normally have chosen as it didn’t include a tennis skirt or dress. The reason was mainly because I wanted to start getting used to wearing clothing that covers more of my skin when playing tennis (given my concerns about exposure to the sun, as I also wrote about in my guest blog post for Women’s Tennis Blog).

In the end I selected the outfit in the photo above from Naffta, which is a Spanish tennis and Padel clothing company that one of my Instagram followers recommended to me. I have now played tennis a number of times whilst wearing the outfit (see video below) and I have been pleased to discover it doesn’t make me feel too hot, even inside an indoor heated tennis court. The leggings are also able to hold a couple of balls on each side, which is very handy but does perhaps lead to a rather lumpy silhouette!

What I really like about the outfit is the ‘preppy’ look of the white v-neck top, with navy blue and dark red stripes. Now, I might not be particularly knowledgeable when it comes to preppy fashion, but I do know the main features you need to incorporate to get the look, which are:

  • pleated skirts, polo dresses, tops with collars, v-neck tops (preferably with a stripe)
  • colours that are predominantly white or cream with stripes/blocks of navy, burgundy, dark green, and brown
  • a wooden racket (optional for playing with, but makes great photos for Instagram or Pinterest!)

How to Look Preppy

Here are three brands that can help you perfect that preppy look on the tennis court:

1. Tory Sport

Tennis. Shop by Sport.:

2. L’Etoile Sport

L'Etoile Sport tennis outfits http://www.letoilesport.com/tennis-collection/shop-all.html:

3. Lacoste

 

 

5 Winter Tennis Wardrobe Looks

In Italy we seem to jump straight from summer to winter, with only a glimpse at autumn. As you can see from my Instagram video from earlier this week, I was not prepared for playing tennis in the cold and I slipped back into my general fitness/running/activewear wardrobe. Although tennis is seen as predominantly a summer sport, nothing will stop me from training this winter, even if I do need to do it inside a giant, dark, cold balloon. And nothing with stop me from trying to look my best, though I now realise this will take a bit of planning and effort, and so I have started to prepare my winter tennis wardrobe.

As you will have realised if you follow my Instagram feed, or have read some of my previous blog posts, I like to wear tennis skirts and dresses. So I set myself the challenge of finding two additional items of clothing (I decided to restrict myself to 2 pieces, as I am running out of wardrobe space!) that would allow me upgrade as much of my current tennis apparel as possible, for the winter weather.

The two items I chose were a pair of black leggings (with a zip at the ankles) and a lightweight jacket, both from Oysho and very reasonably priced.

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Winter Tennis Look 1

oyshooysho2oysho3

Here I have simply put my black and white Oysho dress (seen here by itself) on top of the leggings. The jacket will be great for warming up, and then I can play with the dress and leggings alone. Of course this monochrome look goes perfectly with my Idawen tennis bag. The leggings can be taken off if I get too hot, and replaced with the black Lycra shorts that come with the dress.


Winter Tennis Look 2

oysho_ellesse

Here I have replaced the Oysho dress with my Ellesse dress (seen here by itself). Again, I can easily take the leggings off and replace them with shorts, if needed.


Winter Tennis Look 3

oysho_australian

I have worn this black and white Oysho top and black Australian skirt many times together (you may have noticed that it is what I am wearing in my Gravatar) and it lends itself perfectly to the addition of black leggings. In this case it is difficult to take the leggings off, as the skirt has built-in shorts, so I would need to keep this outfit for really cold occasions.


Winter Tennis Looks 4 and 5

oysho-decathlon                lululemon

My colour block tennis skirts (one from Decathlon and the other Lululemon) are very easy to match with these black leggings and a black tank top. Again, these skirts have built-in shorts and so I can’t easily whip the leggings off, so this is a look for the especially colder days.


What I am still missing, however, are some long sleeved tops for when it is too cold for my tank tops (even after I have warmed up) and so I have added some of my favourites to my  winter fashion wishlist, whilst I make some additional room in my wardrobe..!

You can also find a few other ideas for winter tennis gear on the wishlist, and I’ll continue to add to it as I discover more fall/winter tenniswear over the coming months.

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?”

When Tennis Players Become Fashion Designers

There is something about tennis and fashion that goes perfectly hand in hand. Nowadays so many tennis players are getting involved in designing their own “tenniswear”, which is something you don’t see so much with other sports. Perhaps it is because tennis players, and female players in particular, get to experiment so much with the styles and colours of their tennis dresses / skirts / racerback tops and tanks / skorts / shorts. They have more freedom to express themselves through their tennis outfits, whereas the sportswear in other disciplines can be limited by high-performance requirements (think swimmers or track athletes). The strong link between tennis and fashion might also be because tennis is primarily an individual sport, and the players are so well known and recognized that they become important brand ambassadors, which is why fashion brands frequently look to collaborate with them. Venus and Serena Williams both now have clothing lines, and in the latter case the clothes go beyond tennis apparel to everyday wear, and Ana Ivanovic just mentioned a few days ago in an interview with Outside the Ball that she also wants to one day design her own fashion line.

My personal interest lies in the collaborations between tennis players and activewear brands, as female tennis players must have the best first-hand experience on what is needed to make you feel comfortable and fashionable on the tennis court. My favourite collaboration between a tennis player and an athletic apparel brand is Chrissy by Tail between legendary tennis player Chris Evert and Tail.

In this partnership, it was actually Chris Evert that contacted Tail, rather than the other way around (you can read more about how the brand started here). There are currently 8 collections in Chrissy by Tail which are mainly distinguished by a feature colour: Garnet Red, Imperial Purple, Belaire Blue, Allure Red, Pure Gold, Peony, Mauritius, Alegria (some examples are given in the photos below). Most of the pieces are characterised by bold blocks of colour, comfortable looking fabrics, and flattering shapes. Perhaps it is my age that attracts me to Chrissy by Tail (the collection targets the 30-plus demographic), but I actually think these pieces are so classy that they would look good on players of any age, size and shape.

chrissy_by_tail

Who do you think should be involved in the next big collaboration between tennis and activewear brands? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.