So your body is not a perfect ten and the close fitting athletic styles out there just don't suit your frame. According to the USTA, there were nearly 185,000 female players registered in their 2008 Leagues between the ages of 31 and 75. That's the bulk of USTA team-playing women. Every one of them needs tennis clothes; not all have Ana Ivanovic's body.
Sam Goldberg, a tennis fashion consultant to players and teams around New England, makes a living fitting women who play our game. Goldberg's clients (primarily league teams) are all are avid tennis enthusiasts, most have what Oprah might term a real woman's body.
"I can size someone up and hand them a great looking outfit within a minute of meeting them," Goldberg says. "Nike and adidas are not well suited to most older women. My favorite brands for this player include: Bolle, Jerdog, Lejay, Fila, LBH and Tail. My clients don't usually want to wear skin tight clothing.They want well-made, comfortable, athletic attire thatis figure forgiving."
Five tips for size 14+ fit success:
1.) V-neck or scoop neck lines are more flattering to a larger frame than crew style necks. Pictured left, for example, is the Bolle Flower Power Court Tank, $45. The longer shirt length is good too.
2.) Pay attention to skirt lengths as well. Manufacturers are making them to suit each age group. "14 inches is nice for coverage" (see the Bolle Basic Skirt left, $40). Goldberg's favorite skirts are the longer ones from Bolle and Tail.
3.) Separates are best for players with "problem" bottom areas. "A small waist/ wide hips concern is very common," she says. "These women should look for a skirt that does not offer the built in shortie (called a skort). Skorts tend to sit too low on the waist for this body type."
Most manufacturers making skirts offer a shortie separately.
4.) "Tennis clothes are not vanity sized. If you wear a size 14 in street clothes you need an XL in tennis. Size 16? Buy a 1X." Buy the right size and you will not be subject to the effects of skin-tight.
5.) Look to mono chromatic two-piece sets for a look with the most slimming line visually. Contrasting separates tend to break up the body into two chunks.
Sam Goldberg of "Something Special" is available for consult by emailing: gold513 (at) aol.com. She will fit and buy for you or your team. She is based in Rhode Island.