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The Evolution of Women’s Fashion in Tennis 

Jun 11, 2015
written by: Heather Marrin
written by: Heather Marrin
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Coming down from our Roland Garros high and prepping for Wimbledon around the corner, we couldn’t help but take a trip down memory lane.  To think there was a time when tennis balls weren’t neon yellow, racquets weren’t graphite, and fashion wasn’t well, seemingly comfortable! From floor dusting skirts and polished footwear, to short shorts and neon prints, the pros’ style game continues to evolve.  Don’t believe us? Take a peek:

1900’s: Skirts brushed the courts and necklines were high. Very high.

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Photo: pinterest.com

1920’s: Clothing became a little looser, hemlines crept a little higher and classic pleats were introduced.  Also, this was perhaps the first sighting of what would soon be accepted as “the sweatband’ and (hopefully) the last of fur trimmed coats on the court!

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Photo: pinterest.com

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Photo: pinterest.com

1930’s: Not yet ready for a tennis shoe, there was a widespread love for the two-toned saddle shoe, and yes, women in shorts!

circa 1930:  Actress and star of 'Broadway Vagabond', Joan Bennett.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

circa 1930: Actress and star of ‘Broadway Vagabond’, Joan Bennett. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Photo: pinterest.com

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Photo: pinterest.com

1950’s-60’s: The classic “tennis sweater” draped over the shoulders, and knee high socks complemented by starch whites were served.

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1960’s – 70’s: Heavily influenced by luxury fashion houses, tennis outfits became texturized with appliqués and designs.

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Photo: pinterest.com

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1970’s: The trend continued to even include a lace overlay pictured here on Chris Evert and Billy Jean King at the 1971 US Open (a similar style later to be seen on Venus Williams at the French Open in 2012) and brands started specializing in tennis sneaks!

Tennis: US Open. USA Billy Jean King and Chris Evert shaking hands at net after semifinals match at West Side Tennis Club. Forest Hills, NY 9/10/1971 CREDIT: Tony Triolo (Photo by Tony Triolo /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images) (Set Number: X16146 TK1 R8 F1 )

Photo: pinterest.com

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1980’s: In 1972 the tennis ball adopted some colour.  Naturally, by the late 70’s and early 80’s so did the player’s ensembles.

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Photo: pinterest.com

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1990’s: Brands began to dress the pros from head to toe in the latest and greatest in ‘quick dry’, breathable fabrics.

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Photo: pinterest.com

2000’s: Tie dye, animal print, starch whites; now, anything goes! And better, it all looks far more comfortable than those court dusting skirts and high necklines.

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Photo: pinterest.com

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Have a favourite tennis fashion icon or want to share your own on-court style game? Tweet @TennisCanada your photos using #LiveTheMoment!