Guide to Buying Tennis Skirts
Although women have been playing tennis in skirts for more than 150 years, "short" skirts weren’t seen on the courts until the 1920s. Previously, women played tennis dressed in the fashions of the time: floor length skirts, long sleeves, and hats. Skirt hemlines started creeping up after World War II, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that miniskirts made a statement on tennis courts. The tennis skirt has grown short enough that near the end of the 20th century, manufacturers started creating skirts with built in panties or shorts so that players would not need special undergarments. Today, fashionable outfits and functional fabrics are the norm on the courts. When looking to purchase a tennis skirt, it is important to consider the materials they are made out of as well as other design features that go into an individual’s buying decision.
Fashion and Form of Tennis Skirts
Although both shorts and skirts are acceptable in tennis, many women choose to wear skirts. Tennis skirts allow for a greater range of motion than shorts, which can be more restrictive. Skirts are well-ventilated, and many allow for storing an extra tennis ball in between serves. Of course, tennis skirts do not need to be worn only during tennis matches. Today, many women use tennis skirts with built-in shorts for other activities, including running, hiking, and kayaking.
Things to Consider When Buying Tennis Skirts
Tennis skirts are available in a broad range of styles and colors. There are skirts with built-in panties, skirts with built-in shorts, and just plain skirts. Skirts with no built-in undergarment typically need to be paired with extra shorts for comfort and ease on the court. On the other hand, tennis skirts with built-in shorts eliminate the need for extra clothing. Modern tennis skirts are designed to provide a range of motion and comfort in any activity that is undertaken. Skirt style is therefore a personal buying decision that must be tailored to the individual.
The first element to consider is cut. A-line, pleated, or straight cuts are the most popular styles for tennis skirts. Each cut has its own characteristics. A-line skirts are flattering to most figures and do not cling to the legs. Pleated skirts are considered the classic tennis skirt cut. The kick pleats of a pleated skirt mean the skirt itself has more fabric. Straight-cut skirts do cling to the legs but have slits cut in them to allow for greater freedom of movement.
Major manufacturers of tennis skirts will offer different styles in different lengths. They typically have the length of a skirt listed on their website. Lengths are measured from the waist to the bottom of the skirt on the center backside and generally range from 11 inches to 15 inches for most styles.
Tennis skirts come with either elastic or banded waists. Elastic waists are stretchy, which can be easier and more comfortable to put on and wear while banded waists may feel more secure. Elastic or banded, waists also come in different widths. Flat but wide waistbands are considered comfortable and stylish by some, but can be difficult for full-figured players to wear.