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What to wear for tennis? (Fashion and Function Guide)
Mar 18, 2022

Tennis is an upscale sport with lots of rules and regulations. It's also known for appealing to the "country club type," which often results in a unique fashion   statement. The proper tennis clothing recognizes your game and helps you fit into the tennis circle.


What should I wear when playing tennis? Although tennis is known for its country club aesthetic, many of the clothes worn on the court are chosen for their ability to improve movement and protect the wearer. A good outfit includes:

  • Tennis shoes
  • socks
  • Visor, sunglasses, or hat
  • Cotton T-Shirt
  • Pair with shorts or a red tennis skirt
  • cotton wristband

If you want to take the sport seriously, you must know the ins and outs of proper tennis clothing. This guide will take you step-by-step through the wardrobe of a real tennis player.

What should I wear when playing tennis?

The key to tennis clothing is breathability, easy movement, and of course, proper court etiquette. If you're casually playing on a budget, you might just grab your running gear and tennis shoes and get along. Formal court dress, however, was quite different.

A typical court will ask for the following:

  • Tennis shoes
  • socks
  • head/sun protection
  • A cotton tennis shirt
  • Matching Shorts/ red tennis skirt
  • cotton wristband

Learn about tennis fashion culture

Tennis is one of the unique sports in the world, especially when it comes to its sports culture. Traditionally, the game was played between European elites. The sport is known for its culture heavily influenced by country club life.

Traditions associated with tennis mean it's a game that draws on the rules of country club culture -- including the fashions players are allowed to wear on the court. Most private and public clubs still strictly enforce the laws of tennis fashion. There is also a

particular social element to following the rules. It's important to remember that playing tennis is seen to connect with the elite around you.

Are tennis apparel designed specifically for tennis?

Yes and no. Tennis shorts and shoes are. A single piece designed for women tennis players also has the sport in mind. But the cotton T-shirts, visors and sunglasses you might see aren't just for tennis. If you're worried about having to buy a new wardrobe for your sport, don't be put off by it. Most tennis gear can be repurposed for casual wear if you have an excellent preppy style.

The versatility of fashion is a byproduct of the old wealth lifestyle. The concept of maintaining clothing versatility while maintaining high quality is a staple of most country club members.

How much do I need to spend on tennis clothes?

There is no mandatory minimum price tag for your tennis clothing. After all, that would be a very "upstart" thing, and tennis is a game more associated with old money. If you find a great piece of clothing in the bargain bin, be sure to buy it!

Buy tennis shoes

When shopping for tennis clothing, tennis shoes are the first item you should consider. Tennis shoes are lightweight, low-top sneakers designed for comfort while running.

No matter where you decide to play tennis, tennis shoes and socks must be worn at all times. This means that if you try to enter the court wearing basketball shoes, you are likely to be turned away.

Tennis shoe etiquette

Part of buying the right shoes is knowing the etiquette of your local tennis club. At many clubs around the world, players are required to wear white-soled shoes to protect the surface of the pitch. Although this practice has been relaxed, it is best to proceed cautiously.

Your clothes: shirt

When it comes to tennis clothing, the most important thing people look at is how they dress. Generally speaking, both men and women should wear cotton T-shirts. When choosing a shirt, it's a good idea to keep the following tips in mind:

Always choose cotton

Make sure the fit is tight or slightly loose. This helps keep you from being bulky and cumbersome as you move around the court. No long sleeves! You can wear a warm-up shirt when playing on and off the field.

Can I wear sleeveless shirts?

Sleeveless shirts are just starting to appear on the court these days, and honestly, that's a good thing. They provide excellent movement and also help keep players cool in the heat. That being said, not all courses allow sleeveless shirts. If you're unsure, it's a good idea to check your court attire.

How about a one-piece suit?

If you're a woman, you're a little more forgiving when it comes to shirts. One-piece garments are considered fashionable and easy to use for tennis players. They are also regarded as acceptable in most courts.

Your clothes: shorts and skirt

Choosing shorts (or a red tennis skirt) for your outfit is another big deal in the tennis world. When choosing shorts, it is crucial to select shorts designed for tennis. This is due to the strict regulations of country clubs and the way they sweat. Ladies who want to wear tennis dresses are always allowed to do so. Tennis skirts designed for the sport will have shorts built-in underneath, so make sure you have shorts if you want to play.


It's not a secret.

In summer, the sun can even be made by weird people! Therefore, tennis courts strongly recommend some form of sunscreen.

This classic 80's look is present in tennis clubs.


Sunglasses are often considered the go-to line for country clubs.

Hat. Be sure to ask about your club's policies before going, as this is a more controversial option.