Musings On Tennis Court-drobes Today and Tomorrow.
Looking back at 2008's on-court styles, both pro and recreational, it is clear that there is truly no across the board "court-drobe," only strong individual opinions as to what works for game-time and image. Aside from whites-only restrictions, some players are strongly influenced by what the top pros are wearing. Others look for high-fashion influences or designs that express their personalities through color and print. Some still see tennis as akin to a general workout and dress weight-room accordingly.
Most everyone is looking for performance however, and new fabrications that move with every twist and turn, wick moisture, prevent bacterial growth and offer protection from the sun have taken over the market. There are of course aberrations. Recent trips to regional USTA tournaments indicate that the 100% cotton tee is not dead, especially among male teens who use the shirt to communicate attitude not necessarily related to the game
Sneak peeks at 2009 tennis lines indicate that the pattern will continue and court attire will evolve with the same varied consumer interests in mind. Fila plans to offer a full line of retro feel attire that takes the company back to its tennis roots and will certainly appeal to those who love the look of Borg (minus the super short shorts). adidas and Nike have great looking performance collections planned with color and cut defining style. The power house apparel players look to be taking a less risky mass appeal path (driven of course by the top players), leaving the bold graphics, stripes, checks, florals, paisleys and animal prints to the smaller tennis vendors who will capture this group whose desire to express themselves is strong.
Tennis clothes do get tired after a lot of play and a little tennis shopping pick-me-up can be a good thing. Some lucky people play so much they simply need a lot of tennis clothes. Who doesn't feel their best in something fresh? Does this feeling make us play better? Will wearing Sharapova/Federer's Slam gear make us hit a better ball? Did your princess costume make you feel like the real deal? It certainly doesn't hurt and with a game as mental as tennis, anything that helps the mind-set is a good thing.
There is a great variety out there and as 2009 unfolds, we'll let you know what rolls out for the courts. You decide what will work for your good game and style, whatever it is.