Sporty, stylish, and sophisticated, it seems we just can’t get enough of the tennis skirt look! While the classic pleated tennis skirt is not a new style sensation, it has stuck around well and truly past the summer season, and we don’t see it going away anytime soon.
In fact, the pleated tennis skirt first made its appearance in Wimbledon, becoming a staple uniform for female athletes on the court. With historical heroines such as Lea Percioli, Gussie Moran, and more recently, the William sisters flaunting their feminine side while dominating their sport.
In a nod to the nineties and the early 2000s, the tennis skirt really hit the mainstream, with Hollywood stars (hello Cher Horowitz, Kirsten Dunst, Regina George, and Blair Waldorf!) quickly adopting this stylish athleisure skirt into their on-screen wardrobes. Brands quickly followed suit bringing this iconic skirt to the masses. Today, tennis skirts are a key centrepiece of any woman’s wardrobe, easily dressed up or down to suit every occasion.
The light material, versatility, and simplicity of the tennis skirt is something that contributed to this garment’s rise to fame. Everyone from Instagram influencers like Emma Chamberlain to celebrities such as Vanessa Hudgens are incorporating the tennis skirt into their style.
With recent lockdowns encouraging us to focus more on our health, fitness and wellbeing, the rise in popularity of this comfortable and cute sportswear skirt seemed to naturally follow suit. Its high fashion sports-luxe look and associated aspirational lifestyle have us all dreaming of the outdoors and better days.
The hashtag #tennisskirt on Instagram has now received over 228,00 posts and 83.4 million views on TikTok. Only further highlighting the widespread popularity of the skirt’s infamy. The trend also follows the recent resurgence of 90s inspired fashion.
But how do you style this signature skirt we hear you ask? It really comes down to your own personal style and design tastes. However, we’ve compiled some easy ways to style your tennis skirt like a pro:
Look One – Preppy & Pretty
If you like the look of the preppy sportswear style simply pair a white tennis skirt with a polo shirt tucked in, white sneakers and a visor to match. This exudes tennis club chic that you can rock from the country club all the way to brunch with the girls.
Look Two – Streetwear Stylin’
Another way to style your tennis skirt outfit is to simply tuck in a baggy or oversized sweatshirt like our Lorna Jane Relax Sweat into your pleated tennis skirt. Top it off with a pair of chunky sneakers or loafers, rectangle sunglasses and hit the pavement!
Look Four – City Girl Chic
Urbanise your tennis skirt with a button-up shirt, velvet headband and adding accessories for the ultimate schoolgirl student style, and looking as though you’ve just finished meeting S and B on the Met steps.
Look Five – Active in Athleisure
Ultimately, the looks are endless, as the tennis skirt is truly one of the most adaptable garments to style. Let us know how you style your tennis skirt by tagging us on Instagram @lornajaneactive! We’d love to see your stunning looks.
Outfit Extras & The Inside Scoop on Tennis Skirts – FAQ’s
What is the difference between golf and tennis skirts? And can you wear a tennis skirt to play golf?
One of the main differences between a golf skirt and a tennis skirt is its length. While golf skirts sit at 14 inches (35cm), tennis skirts are slightly shorter around 12 inches (30cm). Typically, golf skirts also feature a pair of built-in skirts inside the skirt, whereas tennis skirts do not. Tennis skirts are often a lot flowier allowing for movement and mobility, while golf skirts can tend to be a bit tighter and slim fitting.
What material is a tennis skirt?
A tennis skirt can be made of many different materials such as polyester, cotton, nylon and more. At Lorna Jane, all our tennis skirts are made from a polyester and elastane blend for ultimate comfort, breathability, and durability.
What to wear under a tennis skirt?
If you’re worried about your tennis skirt being caught in the wind or worse, be sure to wear a pair of comfortable bike shorts underneath. We would recommend checking out our wide collection of Lorna Jane bike shorts in varying lengths and colours to suit your style.
What is the History of the Tennis Skirt?
Did you know the tennis skirt first appeared as full-length, high-coverage and bulky throughout the Victorian era? This is because women first began playing tennis in their ‘street clothes’ which included petticoats, voluminous skirts and other bulky garments. This then transitioned to all-white floor-length skirts, stockings, and long-sleeved blouses following Wimbledon’s mandate for all-white uniforms.
The skirt’s style then quickly evolved to shorts skirts and sleeves in the 1920s. A signature style influence for this period was tennis player Suzanne Lenglen who causes controversy when she played wearing bare arms and a shorter knee-length hemline. This was styled by fashion designed Jean Patou. The creation of cotton shirts by Rene Lacoste then ensued, known as the designer brand Lacoste today.
Another iconic moment for the tennis skirt arose in the 30s to 40s with Helen Moody’s uniform comprising of looser and boxy silhouettes, pleated skirts with a visor.
Dior then took a swing in the ’50s with their ‘New Look’ silhouette, followed by the mod and masculine cuts of the ’60s. This new silhouette introduced by the iconic fashion house aimed to highlight the woman’s hourglass figure with A-line styles, waist pinching and pleats. While the 70s to 80s served shorter cuts, terrycloth headbands, colourful polo shirts and the pleated style element we know and love today.
Check out our full tennis clothing range for more inspo for your day on the court!