As the Olympics gets underway we look at one of the most stylish sports and pay homage to the idols. Tennis has birthed some of the best preppy brands on the market – Lacoste and Fred Perry anyone? We count down our top 10 style icons.
Given the rigid uniformity that surrounds most sports, there’s little to no opportunity for individual style and expression. Tennis, however, is one of the few sports where this freedom of expression is less restricted and since the start we’ve seen evidence of this on some of the most revered courts in the world.
While lucrative sponsorship deals and stringent dress codes still play a key role, legendary tennis stars such Andre Agassi, Yanick Noah and Bjorn Borg have been noted on countless occasions for their standout style both on and off the court.
We decided to trawl the archives and round-up 10 of the most stylish players to have graced the grass courts of Wimbledon since it first began in 1877. Tennis fashions may come and go, but us young need to learn from the old sometimes and old tennis players have the best tennis style.
- 1 Most Stylish American Tennis Players
- 2 Most Stylish German Tennis Player
- 3 Most Stylist Swedish Tennis Player
- 4 Most Stylist Swiss Tennis Player
- 5 Most Stylist French Tennis Players
- 6 Most Stylist Australian Tennis Player
- 7 Most Stylist British Tennis Player
- 8 10. Fred Perry
- 9 How to Get the Top Tennis Player Look
- 10 Get the Tennis Player Look
- 11 On That Note
Most Stylish American Tennis Players
1. Andre Agassi
From the messy mop of highlighted hair to the fluorescent Nike Air Tech Challenges, Agassi made a name for himself during the 90s for his individual approach to court style. And the fact his signature shoes continue to be retro-ed to this date shows just how iconic his look was and still is.
2. Arthur Ashe
If there’s one thing Arthur Ashe should be acknowledged for, besides championing the civil rights movement and winning multiple grand slams, it’s his impeccable eye for detail. Ashe was never seen without impeccably cut uniform or a pair of excellent specs and that’s definitely why he’s one our favourites on this list.
3. John McEnroe
While “You cannot be serious” is probably the first thing that springs to mind when you think of John McEnroe, he could also give Bjorn Borg a run for his money for rocking some of the best retro looks during his career.
Most Stylish German Tennis Player
4. Boris Becker
As well as being the youngest ever Wimbledon men’s champion at the ripe age of 17 years old, Boris Becker also had a penchant for sleek style both on and off the court. From the classic Ellesse track tops and tailored shorts during his youth to the sharp suits in his older age, there’s certainly a few tips we can pick up from Boris.
Most Stylist Swedish Tennis Player
5. Bjorn Borg
A number of tennis players have attempted the long hair / headband combo over the years, but few managed to pull it off with the same prowess as cool Swede, Bjorn Borg. The same could be said for his glove-like pinstripe polos and short shorts, which seemed to always look pristine and crease-free even after several sets.
Most Stylist Swiss Tennis Player
6. Roger Federer
Rarely seen without a glistening Rolex on wrist, Roger Federer is arguably one of the few new school players who manages to retain an element of that old school spirit when it comes to on-court style, even if some of his sartorial choices are debatable.
Most Stylist French Tennis Players
7. René Lacoste
As well as winning a slew of Grand Slams during the 1920s and 1930s, René Lacoste is the guy behind the iconic Lacoste polo shirt. And if that wasn’t enough, he also used to play in wide-legged trousers and a newsboy cap. Say no more.
8. Yannick Noah
It’s safe to say Yannick Noah has let sartorial standards slip since retiring from tennis and pursuing a career in music, but during his heyday he was never without his impressive collection of well-coordinated retro Le Coq Sportif clobber.
Most Stylist Australian Tennis Player
9. Rod Laver
Tennis players have had their own signature shoes for decades, but very few can compete with the simplicity and understated elegance of Rod Laver’s. On top of that he also amassed over 200 singles titles across all surfaces. Legendary.
Most Stylist British Tennis Player
10. Fred Perry
In addition to his legendary clothing label, Fred Perry was also a dab hand on the court, too, winning a plethora of both tennis and table tennis titles. The fact the iconic Fred Perry polo is just as popular today as it was when it first launched shows how ahead of the times he was.
How to Get the Top Tennis Player Look
Now the greats will always be great, but when it comes to styling you should inject a bit of a modern twist into your outfits. Sportswear brands like Umbro and Le Coq Sportif are great for achieving a balance between sportswear and activewear. Stick to white if you want to nail the tennis look, brilliant white is always best, just make sure you are going to keep them super clean.
If you want to move away from the court aesthetic, then you need to invest in a nice white Oxford shirt to double down the look. White chino shorts are also a wardrobe staple to achieving this look. Just remember the white out trend of this summer but add a preppy twist to it.
Get the Tennis Player Look
- Polo shirts are you best friend.
- Make sure all your brilliant white clothes stay white! Invest in some vanish.
- Track tops and zip ups are a great way to make the look casual.
- White trainers and canvas shoes are great, just make sure you are keeping them clean.
- Stick to this look in summer climates, all white in winter can look a tad odd.
On That Note
I hope you feel inspired to get your racquet out and head down to the courts. Not. But, you should be on the verge of digging out that white polo and those white chinos for a tennis inspired look. A word of warning, stay off the grass.