How To Dress For A Tenniscore Summer (No Actual Playing Required)

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Leisure sports-inspired outfits have been one of the defining trends of the 2020s, so it's no surprise that in summer 2023, tennis fashion is center stage. And there's just one question. What are the pieces required to serve some serious looks? 


That tenniscore has become a trend only makes sense. After all, we're in the midst of the old money aesthetic — and few things embody that like looking as though we're popping down to the country club for a tennis match. Think athletic yet preppy basics, complete with warmer layers casually hung over shoulders. But, don't get too caught up on getting every piece in the athleisure section. Some pieces you might already have, like a basic cardigan, can blend seamlessly with the look.

Keep in mind, tenniscore doesn't require any actual playing. So, if you've never quite mastered hand-eye coordination but love the Wimbledon vibe, congratulations, because you finally have the advantage. Luckily for fans of the tenniscore trend, whether or not functionality is a top priority, there are tons of ways to incorporate the sport's signatures into your 2023 summer wardrobe. 


Reach for a tennis skirt

As fashion designer, Alex Eagle told British Vogue, "The tennis skirt has been a design classic since the '60s...I think its timeless appeal comes from its simple, but elegant silhouette." What better way to get started in the trend, then, than with a classic piece just about guaranteed to maintain its allure for years to come? 


Granted, it may be a wiser bet to go for a tennis skort. As fashion gals will know, skorts (whether the tennis variety or not) are officially back on-trend. And, for those wanting to have a tenniscore summer, that's a very good thing. On top of being 2023-friendly, it also makes for an easy fix if you do plan on playing tennis. Having built-in shorts certainly makes running around a court that much less daunting. Then again, as Eagle told British Vogue, even without playing the sport, tennis skirts offer, "The perfect excuse to wear something a bit short and flirty." 

Up the fun factor with a high waist and slit, a la fashion Instagrammer @Teresa.jg. Alternatively, if a miniskirt and a split feel like too much all at once, follow Nadia Djurisic's lead with a pleated option. We'll let you be the [hem]line judge. 


Or dress to impress

If you're more of the commitment type, go ahead and bypass the tennis skort, because a tennis dress is about to become your new best friend. In fact, few items are quite as country club-esque as a tennis dress. Plus, with many also featuring built-in skorts, you'll still have all the trend-friendly elements (and all the mobility) of a tennis skort. What's more, some offerings, like the 1a1a Tennis Dress, come with shorts that aren't built in. As Tinsaye wrote in her Instagram reel gushing over the piece, that particular detail means, "No hassle during bathroom breaks." 


And, if you'd generally gravitate toward a skirt because separates get all the glory when it comes to conversations about versatility, think again. As countless fashion bloggers have demonstrated, tennis dresses can be worn in several different ways. Take a leaf out of Torey Beerman's book and rock it for meetings, brunch, shopping excursions, and everything in between. That's not all, though. Per Claire Ashley Beauty, the dress is ideal for busy moms. "Throw it on and go, no bra needed, built-in shorts, sweatproof, comfortable, flattering," she wrote.

Keep things cute with a collar

Whether you're going the skirt route or all-out with a dress, one thing guaranteed to give any outfit a tenniscore touch is a collared neckline. Per FF, polo shirts were first introduced to tennis when René Lacoste (a tennis champion, himself) designed something that would be both comfortable and allow players to shield their necks from the sun. Based on a design polo players were already wearing, but in a cooler fabric and with shorter sleeves, both polo and tennis players were quick adoptees of the style — and it's remained a mainstay of both leisure sports, ever since. 


While short-sleeved polo shirts are typically the first to come to mind, they also come in dress form — and sleeve lengths differ, too. The best thing about these collars isn't that they come in various iterations, though. They also make for a great base layer under yet another tenniscore favorite. Enter, slouchy, yet refined sweaters. 

Cover up with a quarter zip or slouchy sweater

Even summer has some cooler days, but for tenniscore enthusiasts hoping to stick to the aesthetic 100%, that's no biggie. As anyone following the trend is likely to have noticed, warmer coverups are a major part of this style. Of course, there's the traditional, v-neck tennis sweater. Classic, cozy, and, as activewear brand Carbon38's CEO, Katie Warner Johnson pointed out to Harper's Bazaar, these are an ode to, "The faded glory of the country club, prep-school set." 


Styling-wise, think Alicia Hadid in white shoes, a baseball hat, and a skirt, topped off with a baby blue traditional tennis sweater. There's also a more modern alternative to the traditional v-neck, though. Take inspiration from tennis player, Eli Pironkova, in her hot pink, slouchy sweater. And, if you're wanting something that really says "Tennis," (literally) seek out the silhouette with a tennis club logo sweater. Recreational Habits is famous for its country club and leisure sports vibe. But there are other ways to ace the aesthetic, without breaking the bank: Amazon has some pretty good bargain options, too.  

Put your best foot forward with a tennis shoe

Old-school, dad-style, tennis shoes have been gaining popularity for the past several years, so it's not exactly surprising that good ole sneakers are in the midst of a revival. That said, part of what makes tennis shoes such a great option is that, while they may be trendy in 2023, they'll always be a classic piece. Speaking to Marie Claire, WGSN's sneaker trend forecaster, Charlotte Browning explained of tennis- and golf-friendly shoes, "Consumers are looking for investment items that are seasonless and can be worn year over year."


One tip to keep in mind, though, whether you're planning on heading to the court or are just hoping to keep that tenniscore look as authentic as possible, is that tennis shoes are different from other athletic sneakers. For starters, tennis shoes, tennis shoes are generally flatter, and focus on lateral support over cushioning. Still confused? Reach for a pair of classic Adidas Stan Smiths. After all, they were named after and endorsed by the tennis champion, himself. 

Top it all off with understated jewelry

Not every sport can brag about having jewelry nicknamed in its honor. Tennis can, though — as if we needed any further motivation for a tenniscore summer. The delicate strings of diamonds known as tennis necklaces, bracelets, and even anklets today have been around since the 1920s. However, when 18-time grand slam winner, Chris Evert rocked the style in the 1980s — and had one fly off, mid-match — they gained icon status.


On top of being lightweight and generally pretty secure, few things are quite as chic as an ever-so-subtle string of sparklers, on the court or off. The style is versatile, timeless, and you can opt for your favorite metal as a base. Plus, they are ideal accessories for casual to more dressy looks. While the real deal will always be the dream, it's easy enough to find cheaper alternatives via Amazon.