Decoding Tennis Spectator Style

One of my all time favorite sports is the game of tennis.  I love the elegance, agility and outfits (ha) that come with the sport.  So when a friend offered courtside tickets to last year’s Rogers Cup, I was thrilled!

Given that I had never been to a major tennis event before, I was completely perplexed about what to wear.    Googling “what to wear to a tennis tournament” yielded a surprisingly low number of results.  Most of the links were related to on-court outfits worn by top 10 tennis players or photos of celebrities sitting in VIP seats wearing fedoras and sunglasses.  I wanted some clear assistance on how to dress for this chic event so I conferred with a friend who is an expert tennis spectator and she offered the following general tips:

  • Court side attire is very much influenced by what the tennis players wear – sporty chic or country club casual
  • Day wear is usually more relaxed then evening match style.
  • Opt for natural fabrics like cotton & linen when you’re at a hot weather tournament.
  • Bring a hat and sunscreen!

Here are a few style suggestions inspired by the outfits I scouted out at last week’s BNP Paribas Tournament in Indian Wells.   For additional court side looks, check out my Pinterest board: Tennis Tournament Outfits.

Easy Breezy Dress

On blazing days of court play, wearing an unfussy tunic or shirt dress made of natural fibers is the way to go.

Cotton Top

If you’re not a dress wearing kind of gal, opt for a short sleeved blouse in linen, or a casual, cotton v-neck tee shirt to go with streamlined pants or shorts

Chic Comfy Kicks

If you’re going for full days of tennis action, wearing comfortable shoes is a must.  Last week’s Indian Wells’ temperatures were scorchers.  Open toe sandals or tie up low heeled sandals are good option for keeping your feet cool.  I wore these gorgeous, splurge-worthy rock stud espadrilles and my feet felt great after 8 hours of tennis watching and walking around.   Wedge sandals were also in abundance at BNP.   Alternatively, if you prefer a sneaker, choose a pair with clean lines or go a little trendy with this metallic number.

Clean Cut Pants/Shorts

Daytime tennis tournaments are often very casual,  so shorts (or rompers) are completely acceptable.   Flat front shorts look sporty with a pretty blouse.  If you don’t want to wear shorts, a cropped pant in linen is a nice alternative.

Toppers & Accessories

Bringing sunnies to a tennis match is a no brainer and I would add hats to the must have list as well.  Most tennis spectators wear some form of hat to protect the top of their heads from getting sunburned and a simple fedora adds chicness to your outfit.   There are many venues offering water and snacks at the BNP Paribas tournament so you don’t have to be saddled with carrying a large tote.  But I would definitely consider bringing an extra layer for evening play – whether it’s a denim jacket, or light sweater, evenings in the desert get nippy.

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