Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers
Neither an all-white Wimbledon ensemble nor a ’90s Agassi ’fit is compulsory when playing tennis, but why not have fun with it? Thanks to a resurgence of the sport’s popularity during the pandemic, there are more tennis clothing options than ever, from both classic and upstart brands. And while the country-club aesthetic will always loom large, many of these designs are surprisingly fun and fresh. “I think the new trend is actually a rebuke of the preppy and exclusive look,” says Nick Pachelli, photographer and author of a forthcoming book on the world’s greatest tennis courts. “It’s a quirky game that’s getting more diverse and egalitarian — I see brands tapping into that and trying to give us some functional good technical wear that has touches of that style without getting carried away.” Below, find men’s tennis clothes and accessories recommended by professional players, coaches, and other tennis obsessives.
As a former professional player in Spain and current coach in Hastings-on-Hudson, Diego Freire Garcia advises looking for lightweight, stretchy, and moisture-wicking fabrics, as well as designs with “mesh panels or perforations in critical sweat-prone areas like the underarms and back.” Though he’s tested many alternatives, he says the stalwart Nike Dri-FIT tees remain the most stylish possible way to stay as cool and dry as you need to during intense matches. “Other brands like Under Armor might have similar technology,” he notes, “but Nike is just cleaner-looking than all of them.”
The iconic Lacoste polo shirt has kept with the times. “In terms of the big brands that you see on pro players, Lacoste are actually doing some of the coolest stuff,” Pachelli says. “Especially with incorporating the aesthetics of a younger generation.” Freire Garcia