Why Female Tennis Players Wear Skirts

Anyone who has followed tennis for decades has seen quite a difference in apparel. Gone are the days where nearly every tennis player wore mostly white, conservative clothes. That all started to change in the 1980s and 1990s, and it has evolved into a true fashion show on the court at times since then.

On the women’s side, players have more freedom than ever. With that said, a lot of top players still wear tennis skirts, and that fashion is still strong at the recreational level as well.

Why do female tennis players wear skirts? Skirts are very popular among female tennis players due to their freedom of movement and lady-like appearance. Female tennis skirts are not only stylish, but many also include a pocket where balls can be placed. This makes skirts ideal for all female tennis players

What Makes The Skirt So Popular?

Very few articles of clothing stay in style for more than a century. Sure, the tennis skirt has evolved, but it is still very popular. Why do pros and casual players continue wearing skirts when they play? There are a variety of reasons, but it mostly comes down to three.


Women tennis players have more options than ever now, but it’s pretty telling that a lot of them still prefer to wear skirts. One of the reasons? They are comfortable. Most women will wear spandex underneath the skirt, allowing for a full range of motion. The skirt goes over nicely and doesn’t get in the way.

There are varying lengths considered to be in fashion right now, but most of them are going to be about mid-thigh. Anything longer might become a bit restrictive when moving around on the courts, but going to short might expose a little bit too much underneath.

Athletes who don’t usually wear skirts might think that it is impossible to compare shorts to them. Shorts might look the most comfortable from the outside, but they are very similar when worn.


A skirt is not for every player, but there are still a lot of women tennis players who love the look. With so many different color options, as well as designs, it’s easy to make a skirt look modern and feminine at the same time.

The early days were pretty restrictive as far as options. All skirts virtually looked the same, but that has changed with more companies getting into making tennis apparel.

A solid, basic color can also complement a colorful top very well. Skirts are stylish, and also one of the easiest options to customize. Going with a basic, relatively plain color can allow for more creativity with the top.

Unique to Tennis

There aren’t other major sports for women out there with skirts being worn consistently. It’s something that is very unique to the sport, and a badge of honor to be just a little different.

The tradition of wearing a skirt in tennis goes back for decades, so no one thinks twice of it at the pro level or even the local tennis club. Try doing that for softball, and there will be some definite glares. Tennis players embrace the difference, and it gives a unique way to play a sport with a stylish look.

Tennis seems to fully embrace this feminine touch to a very physically demanding sport. Athletes coming from other sports might feel like a skirt is not the best fashion choice to move around in, but tennis players insist that they are not restricted in any way.

The History of The Tennis Skirt

Dating back to the very early days of tennis, women have been wearing skirts on the court. They have changed in length, colors, and over the decades, but they are still considered skirts.

A short skirt in the early days of tennis, or everyday life for that matter, was considered to be calf length. It has become more socially acceptable for women to show more skin, and it helps for my performance standpoint as well.

Skirts started to shorten up a bit first in the 1920s. Suzanne Lenglen was one of the first stars to push the envelope with different looks, wearing short sleeves, a headband, and a shorter skirt. Of course, the definition of a shorter skirt in that era meant showing a bit more calf than the norm. It was still well below the knee.

She was the first one to consider performance instead of strictly sticking to the normal look off the court. Tennis is a sport that involves a lot of running around the court, and a long skirt gets in the way. It’s also very hot outside during tournaments, so women didn’t want to play in bulky clothing covering their entire bodies.

The Evolution Of Tennis Skirts

Each decade after the 1920s, skirts became shorter and shorter. However, there were not a ton of risks taken with colors and styles until the 1970s and 1980s. White is still always worn at Wimbledon, but pro players became experimenting with different looks. There have been some memorable looks, and some infamous ones, but nothing that doesn’t take place in other worlds of fashion.

Fast forward to the modern game, and the best players in the world still wear skirts pretty frequently. Serena Williams has tried a ton of different looks with her skirts, going from very form-fitting styles to bulkier ones. As long as the skirts are not so short that they resemble underpants, the WTA Tour is very accepting of all the different styles companies come out with.

The Future of Skirts

There are no concrete numbers when it comes to how many women wear skirts over other options, but it has been dwindling a bit over the years. The biggest factor? The plethora of options. There are simply more options than ever for women who want to play tennis and stay comfortable out on the court. That is bound to eat into the number of people who wear skirts.

In today’s tennis world, women go with either skirt, shorts, or full dresses as the three main options. Everyone has their preference, but skirts are still preferred by many.

No one sees skirts going away at all in the near future. This is something that will have a special part in tennis for years to come. Technology with clothing has already gotten to the point that skirts are extremely comfortable to wear, and companies will continue to come up with fashionable designs. For the perfect balance of performance and style, it’s hard to top the tennis skirt.

You can also read:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *