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The Tennis Dress Is the Look You Should Be Serving Up for 2024

The Tennis Dress Is the Look You Should Be Serving Up for 2024

Marysia's "SERENA DRESS IN COCONUT" $449.00
Carbon38 Tennis Dress
Tuckernuck Tennis Dress White & Red
Wilson Tennis Dress Gree
Tuckernuck Ivory Tech Lace Leylah Tennis Dress +1
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Carbon38 Tennis Dress

As a fashion-forward journalist and racquet sport aficionado, I’m beyond thrilled to dive into the elegance of the tennis dress, especially with the Miami Open just around the corner! Let’s twirl into the history of women’s tennis attire, a blend of elegance and practicality, where the all-white dress code reigned supreme. I’ll share my top tennis dress picks for this year’s tournament – think chic, stylish, and absolutely court-worthy! If you’re looking for more looks, then check out my other articles for skirts, shirts, and jackets, ensuring you’re the trendsetter of the tennis world. In the words of Serena, “When it comes to fashion, you don’t want to be a repeat offender.”

The History of The Tennis Dress

Women’s tennis fashion has been a key aspect of the sport since its early days. In the late 1800s, the creation of Lawn Tennis at the All England Croquet Club brought a need for sophisticated attire for women. Influenced by cricket and lawn dress styles, tennis players were initially required to wear all-white, symbolizing purity and virtue and helping to minimize visible sweat stains. This tradition was cemented in 1890 when Wimbledon mandated the all-white uniform, a rule that continues to this day. Maud Watson, the first Wimbledon Ladies Singles Champion in 1884, epitomized this trend with her ankle-length white corseted dress.

Maud Watson, The First Queen of Wimbeldon (image

In 1887, 15-year-old Charlotte “Lottie” Dod challenged tennis fashion norms by wearing a school uniform-like outfit to win Wimbledon. This attire, free from the restrictive corsets typical of the time, sparked debate and initiated thoughts of redesigning women’s tennis clothing. During the early 1900s, tennis was considered a courtship activity for the upper class, prioritizing style over comfort. Women played in high-collared dresses, floor-length skirts, stockings, and long-sleeved tops, mirroring lawn dresses worn at garden parties, sacrificing mobility for appearance.

The Roaring ’20s to the Fabulous ’40s

In the 1920s, Suzanne Lenglen revolutionized tennis fashion with calf-length skirts, bare arms, and a floppy hat, sparking a trend of more skin exposure. This era saw sleeveless blouses and higher hemlines in women’s tennis attire. The 1930s introduced polo shirts and waist-cinched dresses, with Rene Lacoste creating the iconic men’s polo shirt. Helen Wills Moody became a fashion icon with her curtsied uniform, reflecting the era’s preference for free and rectangular shapes in garments.

From the 1940s to the 1980s, women’s tennis fashion evolved significantly. The 1940s introduced elegant shorts for better mobility, while the 1950s were characterized by cinched waists and pleated skirts. The 1960s brought modern, tailored clothing and the introduction of man-made, drip-dry fabrics. The 1970s saw a shift towards practicality with breathable fabrics and short skirts, coinciding with women’s fight for equal pay in tennis. Designer Ted Tinling played a key role in this era, especially in his collaboration with Billie Jean King for the Battle of the Sexes match.

My Picks for 2024

For 2024, I’ve handpicked some of the most fabulous tennis dresses that blend sophistication with sportiness, perfect for transitioning from work to weekend fun. Each piece reflects the latest in tennis fashion, offering both functionality and style. Stay tuned as I showcase my top 12 favorites for this season, each uniquely charming and bound to make a statement on and off the court. These dresses are a testament to the evolving world of tennis fashion, where elegance meets athletic prowess. Game, set, match!

Marysia’s “SERENA DRESS IN COCONUT” $449.00

“Watskin: Lou Dress in Black and White” – $365.00

“Lou Dress in Deco” by Watskin – $365.00

“White Suzanne Tennis Dress” by Tuckernuck – $98

“Pleated Tennis Dress” from CARBON38 $168.00

“Doubles Dress” from Michi – $211.00 USD


Jones Mini Dress” by The Upside $190

See Also


“RIVERSIDE DRESS” by Wilson – $88.00

“Charmed Tennis Dress” by ALO $118


“Ivory Tech Lace Leylah Tennis Dress” by Tuckernuck – $96

“White and Retro Red Suzanne Tennis Dress” – $74

Gucci x Adidas Cotton Dress Vintage $3,600


As we gear up for this year’s Miami Open, I hope my curated list of tennis dresses has inspired you to enjoy the tournament in style. We’re excited to host Breathe members at the event for an unforgettable experience.

Join us for thrilling racquet events around Miami, from ViBall, a dynamic Live ball tennis game, to our engaging PDL Club padel clinics. Stay updated and follow us for more details. Start playing today and look fabulous on the court with our fashion tips and picks!

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