Sweaty Betty blog: Tennis
Empowering Women Through Fitness
A little-known sport in the UK (there are just 7 clubs in England with specifically-designed courts), Padel is garnering more and more popularity in the US, particularly in the fitness-loving states of New York and Los Angeles. Here, Sweaty Betty gets the lowdown on what Padel tennis is, why it's becoming big, and what the Edinburgh team thought of the game...
Alize Cornet of France smashing her way to success over 5-time Wimbledon champion Serena Williams, for one! Seeded 25, not only did the French player surprise the world with her skills on the court, but she also caught the eye of the Sweaty Betty team for her ribbed-collar sleeveless tennis dress complete with on-trend mesh detailing (that is not unlike our own Ace Tennis Polo - currently in sale!)
With her look so flawlessly combining flattering style with sporting functionality, Sweaty Betty took a look back through the archives at how the traditional Wimbledon whites have changed and evolved from long skirts and corset tops, to the fashion-centric pieces we see today…
Getting in the Wimbledon mood, we sat down with the Sweaty Betty tennis designer, Lisa, to find out more about the collection, that gives the traditional tennis whites a contemporary style update with neon trims and flattering, feminine shapes. Read on for Lisa's inspirations and her tips on how to wear it...
1. Be comfortable
Choose kit that you can move in and don't have to adjust while you play. The Deuce Tennis Vest and Match Play Tennis Skirt will be my choice at Wimbledon this summer for the perfect combination of freedom of movement and style. The skirt even has built in shorts so rhythm between serves isn’t disturbed with a search for the second ball.
Favoured by the British aristocracy tennis became popular in the 1860s. Played in corsets and long skirts, there was little difference between a lady’s daywear and her activewear (we can’t imagine what that would be like!).
Like Sweaty Betty, Claire McCardell was flying the style and performance flag, but in 1960 where many refuted her view that women should look good but also be able to move!
Take the time to enjoy our fashion timeline showing key looks – from Gussy Moran wearing lace trimmed ‘panties’ and causing a frenzy, to Andre Agassi returning to Wimbledon after his stand on colour freedom for his tennis apparel, and finally to Nadal and Federer taking their rivalry from court to kit!
Style on court continued... Style of play is not the only thing on a player’s mind this tournament, or those gone before. What about the all important question ‘what to wear?’ A look back into the history of the Wimbledon wardrobe...
In 1985 Anne White strolled onto court, warming up in a tracksuit. Nothing to be noted here. As play began and both women took their place on court, White revealed her outfit: off with the tracksuit and out came an all in one skin tight cat suit! Play began to the dismay of crowd and commentator and continued until stopped due to weather conditions at one set all. Bad light allowed the umpire and officials to have their say regarding style on court: the jumpsuit was deemed unsuitable and White was asked not to wear this for the rest of the tournament. White now admits she may have been ahead of her time, sporting a body con all-in-one, I think she may have been right.
Not only did five time Wimbledon champion Suzanne Lenglen reapply her make up at court changeovers, she was also named the ‘the divine one’ by French press – charged with flamboyancy, trend setting and the rise of celebrity in sport. Lenglen wore a daring calf-length, short-sleeved cotton attire with white stockings under her skirt The French tennis icon experimented with wearing colourful skirt chiffon, a headband, and shiny white stockings. Her ‘revolutionary’ tennis attire caused a stir on the tennis court as spectators were used to the modest, and toned down attire of female tennis players. She also won 25 grand slam titles between 1919 and 1926. Wow.
Up until 91, Andre Agassi imposed upon himself a Wimbledon ban. He was a man where style came first, a man of colour and panache although Wimbledon did prove too tempting post 91 where Agassi lay down his fashion gauntlet for the white Wimbledon policy. Clearly the man where style came first…. Did someone say denim?!
The William’s sisters do respect the demure white ruling of Wimbledon but credit must go to the gutsy outfits Serena has showcased in the past – like this PVC black catsuit.
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