Tennis-core takes the win with pleats, clean whites, and piped edges

Apologies to those who were expecting a column about Andy Murray’s Wimbledon prospects upon seeing the word “tennis” in the headline, as this is not the case. (Fingers crossed for Murray, though!)

Let’s set aside tennis and focus on tennis-core. Think knife-pleat skirts, visors, and collared polo shirts. The aesthetic is crisp white with pops of deep green, stylish dresses paired with socks and trainers, and creamy sweaters casually draped over the shoulders. Tennis fashion is undeniably a fantastic look.

Tennis boasts a remarkable fashion legacy with a glittering trophy cabinet. It introduced iconic classics like the Stan Smith Adidas trainers and the polo shirt, pioneered by René Lacoste.

The sport exudes glamour and elegance both on and off the court. The graceful and powerful movements of players serving aces or gracefully diving for volleys mirror the elongated and elegant lines found in fashion illustrations by René Gruau.

Since 1978, a timeless diamond bracelet has been commonly referred to as a tennis bracelet after Chris Evert’s incident during the US Open when it broke mid-match, leading to a pause to collect the scattered stones. Unlike most sports, spectators at tennis tournaments don’t dress merely as fans; they don The Vampire’s Wife dresses or stylish tailored outfits.

Moreover, in no other sport would you find ballboys and girls adorned in the quintessential leisure-lifestyle brand, Ralph Lauren, as seen at Wimbledon.

Tennis is a captivating, character-driven drama performed by individuals at the pinnacle of physical fitness. The contest’s gladiatorial nature is reflected in the contemporary game through an array of distinct and individual looks.

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While tutus, sweatbands, jumpsuits, and blazers have consistently shone the fashion spotlight on tennis, it is the timeless and classic aesthetic that fashion will forever hold dear, surpassing the avant-garde updates.

In the current era, tennis-core epitomizes the essence of athleisure. With streetwear having reigned over fashion for two decades, preppy style is experiencing a resurgence. At the practical level of everyday wardrobes, this translates to refined collared polo shirts replacing oversized football-style shirts, discreet color combinations instead of flashy ones, and understated club-style logos rather than bold slogans and graphics.

All of these elements truly capture the essence of tennis, aligning perfectly with the sport’s aesthetic. (When it comes to mastering 21st-century preppy style, nobody does it better than Roger Federer.)

The sport that epitomizes “Silence on Centre Court” perfectly aligns with the concept of quiet luxury, which is fitting for the current year. Wimbledon’s dress code represents the pinnacle of quiet luxury, particularly as immaculate white serves as its own symbol of refinement.

Crisp pique whites are to this summer what Gwyneth-Paltrow-ski-trial knits were to winter, offering a touch of Succession-opening-credits cosplay, so to speak.

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