Gala’s Guide To Tennis Chic

Tennis chic

A good friend of mine, Davide, is in London at the moment. I said to him, “I’m surprised you’re not at Wimbledon, kissing boys in Lacoste polo shirts & getting grass stains on your knees.”

As I get older, tennis seems more & more attractive to me — to me, it is about the most civilised thing I can think of (like golf, except it’s interesting). Mostly I think I want in because I love being surrounded by all those social graces but still getting in there & shaking things up a little bit. I relish the image of strutting in there with my purple hair tied back, wearing a white Lacoste tennis dress, all tattoos & mirth while sipping iced tea!

For girls:
if your hair is long enough it should definitely be pulled back into a ponytail. Girls with their hair pulled back into a classic ponytail always makes me think of school — I went to an Anglican all girls’ school & our hair wasn’t permitted to touch the pristine white collars of our shirts. Anyway, to me, it is very sporty & a bit innocent-looking, which I find quite appealing.

In terms of apparel, of course you can’t go wrong with anything Lacoste. Hit up Ebay for the best stuff, though if you want to buy new, here’s a Lacoste terry headband & matching terry wristband. Really, I’m sure these things have no purpose but they are essential components of tennis chic.

Try wearing a white Lacoste tennis dress with (matching) neon pink underwear or a headscarf & 3/4 leggings in the same colour. Throw on a ballerina-wrap cardigan for when the sun starts setting.

Maria Kirilenko

I am a huge, huuuuge fan of the adidas by Stella McCartney range. Here’s a four-piece tennis dress set worn by Maria Kirilenko on the court. I adore it. It’s not in stores anymore but remember, Ebay is your friend!

Adidas tennis gear

This is from her newest tennis range. Love that skirt. Isn’t it fabulous?!

Drew Barrymore's lucite bangles

In terms of accessories, pile on clear lucite bangles — they go with anything & they’re super-mod. Big sunglasses are very important — whether you go for the huge oval sort, Wayfarers or Ray-Ban aviators, make sure they suit your face shape!

For boys:
In a nod to retro tennis, I am a strong believer that most men should wear a sweatband (à la John McEnroe & Richie Tenenbaum). It’ll keep that ‘fro (or emo combover) out of your eyes & makes you look super-athletic even if on the court you resemble a Thunderbird.

I personally have an insane penchant for the combination of a pastel-coloured polo shirt (sky blue is especially a favourite of mine), toned, tanned arms, wristbands & half-sleeve tattoos. (Think this but with an edge.)

Wear the shortest shorts you can (especially if you’re tall, like Chevy Chase in Fletch — he looks like an emu in his tennis gear, so hot) & allude to having a summer house in the Hamptons.

Here’s Davide’s opinion on tennis chic for boys:

“Wool jumpers over shoulders is fluorescent colours is totally where its at. It makes other people think you are joking and is a great way to show off a good skin day.
The great thing with tennis chic is that it’s super fun and comfortable. Get in character and speak with a funny accent. If feeling super in character stick some tennis socks DOWN YOUR SHORTS. Wearing colours makes one’s day a bit brighter so don’t be scared to match yellow and purple.
Today because it’s gay pride parade (which I wouldnt normally go to but it’s a party in a strange land with some people I know so what the hell, try new things right?), I’m wearing a yellow jumper over a sailor striped polo with jeans and yellow flat dress shoes from Selfridges because it’s coooold. I have a peach coloured scarf to go around my neck. It’s a shame that I naturally look so masculine, because I’d make a great camp sailor.”

For the super-keen:
Start spending time at a country club. Remember to wear pearls & get blitzed on gin & tonics like the rest of them.
Adopt a ridiculous name for the season, like Binty, Muffy or Waldorf Salad The Third.
Go super-retro like these cute kids, in tweed & a newsboy cap.
Carry a bottle of Evian, hire a driver & start dropping tennis-themed sexual innuendo into conversation, e.g., “I’d like to re-string HER racquet…”

Happy serving!