Fashion is all about personal style. It can be style that’s one-of-a-kind or a look that’s worn by the masses. Designers take inspiration from all facets of life to come up with new looks season after season. While some fashion trends are rather off the wall and don’t make it much further than the runway, others have a timeless appeal.
One of the longest running fashion trends is athletic wear and clothing that is inspired by sports, tennis being one in particular. Tennis-wear is its own style genre — and one that has become a fully ingrained style choice even among those who are adamant about not liking sports. When you consider that tennis is a form of entertainment with elements of spectacle, the connection between tennis and fashion becomes a little more clear.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest fashion trends that started on the tennis court and eventually ended up on the runway.
A Bit of History
It used to be that tennis players only wore white. Over time, however, players grew bored of white and started wearing tennis apparel with more color on the court. Eventually, Andre Agassi decided to wear bright neon colors at the French Open, despite the tournament’s board members threatening to make an “only white” rule for tennis uniforms. The designers and clothing companies of that era jumped on the emerging trend and started producing tennis clothes in a variety of styles and colors, making the sport much more fun to play and watch. This fashion revolution can’t be more obvious than when you look through an online catalog today; all the tennis apparel brands showcase a multitude of colors and styles, now including items such as skorts and tennis tank tops.
The Tennis Skirt
If there is one piece of tennis apparel that has taken the fashion world by storm, it is the short tennis skirt. First considered outrageous and scandalous by aficionados of the game, it didn’t take long for the skirt and, later, the tennis dress, to catch on in many fashion circles. The skirt’s shortness was ideal for women who wanted to run around and really play the game, instead of just half-heartedly batting the ball around. And for fashion, well, it does show off one’s legs quite nicely and is great for helping you stay cool during the hotter summer months both on the tennis court and off.
Most people, when they think of sports-related head gear they think of the baseball hat. Yet, tennis visors are just as popular. They are the best way to help keep both the sun and a player’s hair out of their eyes. Many also feature a built-in sweatband that prevents sweat from dripping into the face and causing problems, which is why they are also so popular around beach communities. It’s hard to wear a ponytail and a baseball hat at the same time without looking ridiculous, but with a visor you look adorable and fashionable.
Tennis Court Shoes
Perhaps the biggest gift that tennis has given to fashion is the tennis shoe. Tennis shoes are now ubiquitous in our culture and range in sizes, styles, colors, materials–pretty much everything — and as you might have guessed, nowadays not all are for the tennis court. The first tennis shoes were simply a canvas foot covering attached to a rubber sole that helped players’ feet grip the court. Keds (yep, those Keds) were the American version of those original tennis shoes. Then in the 1960s, designers and manufacturers started to experiment with different styles of support for athletes’ feet and, well…you know the rest. We might call them sneakers or even running shoes now, but they’re all tennis shoes at heart.
It is true that other sports have influenced fashion as well. Nobody is doubting that. One needs only to go to a sports bar with a plethora of jerseys to know that we wear our sports literally on our sleeves. Few sports, however, have conquered the fashion world and become popular outside of a sport’s fanbase in the way tennis gear and apparel have.
Article submitted By Community Writer