The popularity of women’s tennis has grown considerably since it first took off in the early 1900’s. Players like Maria Sharapova, Anna Kournikova, and the Williams sisters have done much to revolutionize not only the game, but the fashion as well. Tennis skirts have gone through many changes over the years and many different design choices exist today. When purchasing a tennis skirt for yourself, consider the cut, material, and color.
Choosing the Skirt’s Cut
1. Try a pleated skirt for unrestricted movement. Tennis skirts are traditionally pleated. They often have kick pleats, which are inverted pleats that are used to allow you to move more freely despite the narrowness of the garment.
2. Go with A-line to look attractive and feel comfortable. A-line skirts and dresses are fitted at the hip and gradually widen towards the hem. This makes them look similar in shape to the letter “A.” A-line tennis skirts are flattering on most body types and also don’t cling to your legs, which makes athletic movement more comfortable.
3. Try a straight cut skirt if you like a tighter fit. This type is often considered sleek and fashionable. While it’s narrow and clings to your legs, it usually has slits in order to allow for comfortable mobility.
4. Aim for a length close to 13 inches (33cm). Tennis skirts vary in length, but most are between 11 inches and 15 inches long (28-38 cm). Typically, the skirt’s length is the distance between the top of the waistband and the bottom of the skirt on the center backside. Go with a length that you feel most comfortable in.
5. Get a skirt with built-in shorts or panties. Due to the athletic movement involved in tennis, form-fitting skirts ride up your legs during play and loose skirts blow about in the wind. Having attached underwear or shorts prevents the accidental chance of exposing yourself to bystanders and spectators while playing.
Deciding on Material and Color
1. Pick a lightweight fabric for quickness. For maximum comfort and mobility, you want a tennis skirt made of a light and durable material, such as polyester, spandex, cotton, nylon, or a combination of these. Lightweight materials keep you from feeling weighed down.
- Skirts made of polyamide and/or elastane are also good options.
2. Get a stretchy skirt so that you can easily move. Stretchiness allows you to move in any direction without being held back by your clothing. Look for the words “stretch” or “stretchy” somewhere in the description or carefully pull the fabric a little to see if it expands without much resistance.
- For maximum stretchiness, go for a skirt made of spandex or a polyester-spandex blend. It’s especially important that your waistband is stretchy. Look for a skirt that has an elastic waistband.
3. Go for a moisture-wicking material to stay dry. While you’re playing tennis, you’ll most likely be sweating quite a bit, especially if it’s warm outside. Get a skirt that’s made of a moisture-wicking or quick drying material to ensure maximum comfort while playing.
- Look for cotton-polyester blends marketed under names like “Dri-Fit” or “Dri-Control.”
4. Choose a skirt with mesh vents to stay cool. Mesh paneling promotes airflow. This can greatly improve your comfort level by keeping you cool while you play. It’s especially beneficial to pick a skirt that has mesh vents if you play tennis in warmer weather.
5. Go with white if you want a classic look. Traditionally, tennis apparel was all white, so wearing a white skirt is always a safe bet. While white skirts may be more difficult to keep in pristine condition, they also hide sweat marks better than the alternative.
- Some tournaments and competitions, such as the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, still have a white dress code.
6. Stand out with a bold color or pattern. While it didn’t use to be considered appropriate, most country clubs and other facilities now accept a wide variety of colors and patterns. Pick a skirt that’s your favorite color or show your originality with one that has a unique pattern, such as geometric or tribal.
Purchasing Your Skirt
1. Head to an athletic retailer. The best place to find a good selection of tennis skirts is at a sporting goods store. If you’re interested in getting a less expensive, gently used tennis skirt, consider heading to a secondhand athletic store such as Play It Again Sports.
2. Try on different skirt styles. As with most clothing, you don’t want to buy a tennis skirt that ends up being too tight, too loose, too short, too long, or uncomfortable. Try a few different cuts to find the one that fits the best.
3. Walk around in different skirts. Once you’ve found a skirt that you like, walk around the store in it and pretend to play tennis. This will help you see if you’ll enjoy wearing it on the court. Your movement should not feel restricted at all while wearing the tennis skirt.
4. Measure around your waist and hips before buying online. If you want to buy your skirt online, it’s a good idea to get out a tape measurer and measure the circumference of the narrowest part of your waist and the fullest part of your hip area.
- Most brands and stores provide sizing charts where you can determine what size is best for you based on your measurements.
5. Browse for online options. Look up different brands online and figure out which sound the most appealing to you and which are available in your size. Make sure to check the item descriptions for the length, materials, and other details.