What to Wear to Play Tennis

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I have always been a great believer that wearing a stylish and comfortable outfit is the best motivation to hit the court regularly, even on those days when you just don’t feel like it. However, when picking what to wear to play tennis, there are some things to keep in mind, such as material, dress codes, weather, new trends, etc. 

Your tennis clothes should fit you comfortably and allow your skin to breathe while you run and jump around the field. Luckily, nowadays, there are many brands and designs from which to choose, but this whole process can become overwhelming, especially if you are not very into clothes and fashion. 

There is a quick choice for that: building a capsule wardrobe with a tennis practice outfit so that you can always have something to wear. Here are some suggestions on what to wear for tennis that will make your life so much easier. Keep scrolling! 

Tennis Attire Dress Code

When choosing what to wear to tennis practice, the first thing to consider is the attire dress code. Yes, there is an official dress code, as in many other sports, and it actually makes things easier by relying on simple rules.

Even as a beginner, you have probably noticed that tennis has a certain aesthetic related to it; however, the rules are not written in stone. You can go for the “all-white” classic or mix some stylish pieces together for a more modern look. 

what to wear to tennis practice

The dress code is especially important when playing tennis on country clubs, which usually have some strong rules about it. If you are a newbie there, it would be better if you avoid gym clothes or casual workout footwear because they might go as far as banning you. 

The gym shorts and oversized t-shirt might be cute, but it is better to keep them for those days when playing on a public court or at the park with friends.

Here are some of the basic pieces a tennis player’s wardrobe should have to fit in with the dress code. 

  • Shirt – you can pick a polo shirt, a sleeveless tank, or a simple training tee like you might have seen on professional players already. These are the usual choice for both men and women players when it comes to shirts. Always make sure to pick lightweight materials that are breathable and can absorb sweat. In colder climates, you can always add layers to your outfit by wearing a jacket or sweatshirt on top to keep yourself warm. 
  • Shorts or skirts – more often than not, men go for shorts, and ladies for skirts when hitting the court, while also making sure to match the color with the shirt. It makes players look like they are wearing a uniform. Most women also choose to wear comprehension shorts under the skirt for that extra comfort. 
  • Dresses – also a popular choice for the ladies when choosing what to wear to play tennis. A tennis dress is comfortable, allows the player to move freely, and can be quite stylish, as well. Comprehension shorts can also be a life safer with dresses to make you feel more comfortable and secure when running or jumping around the court. 
  • Leggings – colorful and comfortable. This is a great choice for players that prioritize comfort and want extra protection from weather elements like the sun or the cold. 
  • Shoes – before hitting the court, make sure to pick only the best tennis shoes for you that provide comfort, stability, good traction, and support. 
  • Socks – a good pair of socks can make such a difference. Make sure to pick a pair that not only goes with the type of tennis shoes you are wearing but also provides support, a good fit, and some cushions for comfort. 
  • Hats – are such an essential accessory, whether you are playing indoors or outdoors. It will protect you from the sun, absorb sweat, and can add a stylish element to your tennis court outfit. 

Proper Tennis Attire for Women

The typical tennis outfit for women players is the combination of a skirt with a sleeveless tank and a polo shirt. As mentioned, skirts are often worn with comprehension shorts underneath, which is called a “skort.” Dresses are also a popular choice, but they must be designed specifically for tennis play. 

Nowadays, leggings are also a favorite for many ladies for their comfort and support on the court. Unlike what many might think, athletic outfit options are not limited at all in terms of style and fashion. 

Many brands are constantly delivering new designs, with attention to detail and cool color ranges. Here are some ideas on what to wear to play tennis that will make you feel like a real star on the court. 

Tennis Skirt Outfits

There are not many sports where you can wear a skirt for the sake of performance, but tennis is one of them. Just make sure to have the right size that fits you well and provides comfortable coverage. You can try it out at home to see if it works well for you. 

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When shopping, go for flexible, lightweight fabrics that can absorb sweat and moisture. Usually, there is a wide range of skirts with build-in compressions shorts, if that’s what you prefer. 

After picking the right size and model, you can think about style and fashion. There is no rule when it comes to this, so experiment as much as you want with bright, popping colors. If you are into a more classic look, then it would be better to stick with neutrals or the classic black-and-white combo. 

A white tennis skirt will never go out of style and can be worn all year round. You can layer it out with different tops, like polo shirts, light jackets, or sleeveless tanks. Shoes and hats are a great way to add a bit of a personal fashion statement, too, so be creative. 

Dress Outfits 

Tennis dresses are becoming more and more popular, even beyond the court, thanks to fashion magazines. Can you blame them? Every woman with a little experience on the court knows how versatile and comfortable these dresses are. It’s a classic on tennis; it makes it easy to meet the dress code and allows the player to move around freely. 

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They are perfect to be worn on a hot day, and during winter, they can always be layered with a jacket. If you are looking to buy your first tennis dress, go for a black one. It’s timeless and very practical since you can easily hide stains and sweat marks after an intensive training session. 

To add some color to your outfit, you can add a pop of color with a bright-colored jacket or shoes. It’s all up to you. 

Leggings and Shorts Outfits

Not until recently, the women players allowed playing by wearing simply leggings or shorts, unless they had a dress or a skirt on because it wasn’t considered appropriate tennis attire. Well, since 2019, the tennis rules have changed, so now you can opt out of this activewear, whether for a training session, friendly games, or a regular match. 

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When shopping for leggings and shorts, make sure to check out how they fit your body.

Stretching materials with quick dry-out technology are the best choice when hitting the court. Fashion lines have a wide range of different colors, prints, and patterns. However, if you want something more practical, go for a good pair of black leggings or shorts. It will be easier to style it by adding different tops and accessories, so you can always look fashionable without actually spending that much. 

Proper Tennis Attire for Men

The typical tennis outfit for men players is a combination of shorts with a polo shirt with short sleeves and a collar. However, the style has changed and what is acceptable on the court is more flexible nowadays. 

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Men players can opt out of sleeveless, non-collar tops, too, as long as they are designed specifically for tennis play. The same thing goes for shorts, which come in different length ranges. Pockets can be practical since you can store tennis balls, but it’s not mandatory. 

These are pretty much the rules when it comes to proper tennis attire for men. You can always make a statement of style by using colors and patterns. For a classical look, the safe options are always the base colors for shorts; black, white, red, and blue. You can add layers to the top with a light jacket or use shoes and hats for a pop of color. 

What to Wear to Play Tennis in Cold Weather 

We all love a game on a sunny day, but for most good weather can not last all year around. However, if you are serious about tennis, it’s important to stick up to your practice session, even when it’s cold. During the winter season, oversized sweatshirts, cropped hoodies, sporty jackets, and leggings are going to be your best friend. 

what to wear for tennis

Don’t be afraid to put clothing layers over your regular tennis attire to keep yourself warm and comfortable. 

The moment you’ll get that first adrenaline rushing in and the blood pumping, you won’t feel as cold anymore, so you’ll be just fine even if you remove those later. 

Most professionals wear at practice sessions almost the same kind of attire that they do in matches. However, men will switch to shirts without a collar and women to leggings and shorts for more comfort. The choice is yours, but in case you attend a tennis club, always make sure to check with their dressing guide, just in case, so that you can avoid an awkward situation. 


The above guide should arm you with all the necessary information about what to wear when playing tennis. To make sure that you are fully prepared and knowledgeable, here are some of the most frequently asked questions:

Q: Can I wear leggings to play tennis?

While there is no rule explicitly prohibiting the use of leggings when playing tennis, it is strongly discouraged. Leggings can restrict your range of motion and cause chafing or discomfort – both of which are major drawbacks for any tennis player looking to remain agile on the court. 

For optimal performance, clothes specifically designed for tennis should be worn instead. Shorts allow for longer strides and greater flexibility, while shirts made with moisture-wicking materials will keep you from getting too hot during intense rallies or long matches.

Q: What kind of shoes do you wear to play tennis?

Tennis shoes are typically constructed with a more flat sole, providing improved traction and stability on the court. The outsoles also have specifically designed tread patterns that enable smooth pivots and quick turns in any direction without slipping or sliding.

In addition to having anti-slip features, tennis shoes also offer great shock absorption which helps protect your feet from sudden stops, jumps and impacts during gameplay. This prevents painful joint issues that could otherwise occur throughout intensive play periods. They also feature reinforced upper materials like synthetic leather or mesh textiles for added breathability, durability, and support as you move around the court quickly.

Q: Can you wear sneakers for tennis?

No, you should not wear normal sneakers for tennis, as there is a big difference between sneakers and tennis shoes. Regular, non-athletic sneakers are not designed to properly support the lateral quick movements and agility that is required in playing tennis.

Additionally, they lack the grip needed on a court surface, which can lead to slips and falls — increasing your chance of injury. On the other hand, if you don’t have access to proper shoes for a game of tennis (which we understand can often be hard to come by), then it might be better to play in regular sneakers rather than not at all!

Q: Can you play tennis in a sports bra?

Yes, you can certainly play tennis in a sports bra. The majority of women choose to wear racerback sports bras when playing tennis because it provides them with extra support and flexibility during their movements on the court.

The most classic of sports bra shape, the racerback comes in around the shoulders, fits snugly under the bust for added support and keeps straps from falling down. It is also designed to give your full range of motion while preventing bounce caused by running or jumping around on the court.

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I am Mario, a tennis player passionate about encouraging others to join the sport.

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