Tennis dresses used to be popular 30 years ago. Who can forget the young Tracy Austin with her hair in bunches and the American flag pockets surrounded by diamante, or the newcomer Martina Navratilova in her shift shirt dress.
Then dresses were replaced by the sexier short skirts and tops, but now tennis dresses are making a comeback. Every tournament except Wimbledon allows colours and dresses are getting brighter ranging from scarlet and shocking pink to Venus’ Williams bright yellow ribbon dress at the 2011 US Open.
Nike has brought out a selection of stylish and practical tennis dresses including the Maria Sharapova NYC Night Women’s Tennis Dress in Midnight Blue.
It is highly fashionable yet stands up to the demands of competitive play. It has sweat-wicking internal support and strategically placed mesh panels to ensure coverage and breathability. The dress is made of dri-fit material to keep players dry and comfortable and has a built-in bra for support.
It has a racer back and a drop waste and the skirt is double-layered with jersey and mesh overlay. The dress retails for £60 but is currently on sale for £47.99 on the Nike website.
Nike also sells Maria Sharapova’s Open Ace dress which she wore at the 2011 Australian Open. In grey with a fold-over top in grey and yellow it retails at £57.00.
If you want to make a statement on the court Nike’s Set Point women’s knit dress in shocking pink has a drop waist and pleated skirt, with a white racer back and it sells for £36.
Nike’s Down Under Smash dress is more traditional in white with a 2” blue border at the hemline of skirt and costs £52.
Fila has brought out a traditional white shift dress with red piping tapered at the waist which sells for £34.99.
Young designer Sophie Hulme has produced a pure silk tennis dress for ASOS in black and white. It has a white top with a high-waisted black skirt with a belted design and scoop neckline. This sells for £80 but is available on the ASOS website for £64 for a short period.
If you want a cheap and cheerful tennis dress for your daughter John Lewis has brought out a new multi-coloured tennis dress with a button-up collar. This is in the 1970s style of tennis dresses and is covered with blue, pink and green spots. The dress is designed for 2-12-year-olds and sells for £14-£16 depending on the size.
The Wimbledon shop also sells a Plaque Tennis Dress for girls with the Wimbledon rubberised logo on the front. The dress is white and trimmed with the Wimbledon colours, purple and green, round the neck and sleeves.
It is part of the Wimbledon collection by O.H. Hewett Ltd and is part of the official licensed Wimbledon apparel collection exclusively approved by the All England Lawn Tennis Club. It is 100% cotton and sells for £30.
Asics has brought out a Virginie Ladies Tennis Dress for £29.99. These are performance dresses with an asymmetric neckline, and feature moisture management and thermo regulation properties. The dress is suitable for indoor and outdoor use and is black with pink binding to the sleeves and neckline. It is a comfortable fit with flat seams and mesh pleats at the bottom.
Reebok’s Vibrance Statement Dress in black will certainly make a statement on any court. The moisture-wicking play dry fabric keeps players cool on the court, while the T-back allows for a full range of movement. The dress has a flirty sweetheart hemline and press pleating detail under the bust. It has a built-in shelf bra for added support and a scallop neckline and sells for £55.
Adidas has brought out a new style of dresses in the traditional style. The Adidas W Adizero Dress in purple and green and belongs to the 2011 Spring Collection. It was worn by Ana Ivanovic and Daniela Hantuchova at the 2011 Australian Open.
The dress is made in three parts, the dress, bra and contrasting short underneath that adds extra dynamics to the outfit. The climacool fabric provides heat and moisture management through ventilation channels and the open mesh keeps cool air flowing in and moisture flowing out. The dress sells for £50.95.