Fashion and tennis have been rallying inspiration to and fro for centuries — fodder for a long-lasting and highly successful doubles partnership. From the flannel skirts and strategically placed furs of the 1800s to Katharine Hepburn’s tennis shorts and the Williams sisters in all their neon, spandex-clad glory, courtside style has seamlessly blended into our daily lives for ages.
And, in honour of fashion’s long-standing role in the chicest of sports, we’ve counted down our top tips for mastering spectator style worthy of Centre Court. But don't worry: Not a single one of these looks will get you mistaken for a ball girl…
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Do effortless cool with a two-piece.
Wimbledon might epitomise polite and well-heeled Brit decorum — but sometimes you need to shake it up a bit. Co-ords are back with a sporty flavour — which makes them the perfect choice for taking in a match, especially if you don’t fancy going down the pearls ‘n’ tweed route.
Photo: Courtesy of Topshop
Luxe it up with accessories.
Finishing touches are everything. Team sporty separates with heels and blingin’ jewellery, and there’s no way anyone’s going to expect you to chase that ball across the tennis court. Just remember this mantra: Minimal fashion and maximal accessories mean the top trophy will be yours.
Photo: Courtesy of &OtherStories
Never underestimate the importance of a chic waterproof.
Sure it’s high summer, but we are talking about the British summer. Bitter experience (and countless mud-drenched Glastonbury excursions) proves it is an unpredictable beast at the best of times. On this basis it’s prudent to assume that rain, hail, and possibly a snowdrift are just around the corner, even when the sun is blazing. We recommend a simple and translucent waterproof, like those seen on Lacoste’s spring/summer '14 catwalk. It will go with everything, and if the heavens open up, you’ll be able to whip it out and out-style the rest of the crowd quicker than you can say “Cliff Richards Wimbledon sing-a-long.”
Photo: Courtesy of ASOS/ Free People
Play with the classics.
True style is all about those little details. We love Richard Nicoll’s subtle revision of the quintessentially racket-worthy polo dress. The masculine fit and crisp cotton paneling ace it. The lesson? There’s nothing wrong with the classics, but an oh-so-subtle twist takes things from middling to marvelous.
Photo: Courtesy of Urban Outfitters/Richard Nicoll
Pretty it up.
An aversion to fluorescent spandex and John McEnroe sweatbands needn’t be bad thing. If fact, some might say it’s preferable. The solution? Pretty things up by mixing floral prints with sport silhouettes. Perfect for chowing down on strawberries and cream.
Photo: Courtesy of Cacharel
Experiment with white on white.
Does the mere mention of aertex cause you to involuntarily reach for a piece of paper to forge a sick note from your parents? Us, too. But hear us out: Try re-imagining classic tennis whites with a ladylike twist. Layer tone-on-tone pieces for a subtle (and pretty effortless) nod to Wimbledon’s fashion heritage.
Photo: Courtesy of My-Wardrobe.com
Killer shades are your best friend.
An ultra-simple way to lift sportswear from the mundane to the glorious? Fast track into sports-luxe with some serious statement-making sunglasses…especially if you’re feeling a bit squiffy after all those glasses of Pimms. They have the added benefit of enabling you to gawp at Pippa Middleton while giving the appearance that you’re totally engrossed in the rally that’s happening on Centre Court.
Photo: Courtesy of Asos/Wildfox