Winning style – fashion on the tennis court

Rita Hayworth photographed by Peter Stackpole, 1941.Check out the nails!

My problem with tennis is that I can’t just watch a little bit. It’s like Melrose & Mortgage’s cherry madeira cake and not being able to stop at one slice. Watching tennis might be better for me than eating cake, but playing tennis is even better.  I am rubbish, but I love it. You will not see a more eager beaver on the court on a summer’s day. I look exactly like this.

I’ll get to the sartorial bit in a minute, but first I have to tell you that a drop-in session at Will To Win at the Regent’s Park Tennis Club will be the best £10 you’ve spent in London. An hour’s (group) coaching, followed by an hour’s doubles, a coffee and a bloody good laugh.

Maybe I’ll see you there, sporting one of these.

Top tennis looks

1. 70’s cool

Nobody rocked a tennis outfit quite like Farrah Fawcett. An oversized shirt or polo shirt (long sleeved) tucked into a simple skirt or skort and a 70’s blow dry is what you need.

Or just wear your old kit with towelling sweat bands and a bandana tied around your neck in that oh so casual way.

You’ll have to hunt for the good ones, but Ebay and Etsy have original tennis dresses and t-shirts – look for Adidas, Lacoste or Fred Perry.

Fred Perry vintage tennis dress. Image courtesy of

2. Classic white

I love whites for sport and this is where new beats vintage. This skort by Sweaty Betty gets my vote for being feminine, cute and functional. They sell out fast, which is how I ended up having to settle for the grey/peach version last year. The built in shorts are just the right length and the skirt fulfils my ra-ra skirt fantasy a bit too. The ball pocket is a nice surprise and makes you feel like a pro.

Sweaty Betty white tennis skort

Me in Sweaty Betty tennis skort. I did warn you about the grin.

3. One-piece

The ‘I have really got my shit together’ tennis dress comes courtesy of Stella McCartney for Adidas at Throw this on and in doing so you’re also wearing a sports bra and shorts. A clever person would wear this.

Tennis dress by Stella McCartney. Image courtesy of

4. Make your own

For something really original, find an old pattern and get out your sewing machine.

5. Cool feet

Tennis shoes need to have more ankle support than your average trainer. Stan Smiths won’t cut it. Beware also, that some courts insist upon white-soled shoes. These New Balance court shoes are just about perfect.

New Balance 1296v2 tennis shoes

6. New brands, please.

Personally, I am waiting for Laain (my athleisure brand of choice) to do a killer tennis outfit – or if Zimmermann decided to make tennis gear we would all be wearing exceptionally pretty pieces like this.

In the meantime, I hope you have a good weekend. I will mostly not be playing tennis and not moving from my spot in front of the TV, which I will be screaming at. Enjoy Wimbledon.