Tennis Whites

I’ve often wondered when tennis players started wearing all white.  Well now I know!  Until the turn of the 20th century, tennis costumes came in all colors and patterns.  Often, the clothes made for playing tennis were made using an “all purpose” sports costume patterns, and the same dress might be used for sailing as for tennis.

In the very early years of the 20th century, white became a most fashionable color for summer wear.  As a result, tennis wear became white.  But for some reason, tennis clothes remained white, even after the general fashion trend passed.

Several points about the girl on my snap fasteners card.  According to Patricia Warner, tennis attire was often ahead of the trends.  This girl’s shorter skirt and  short sleeves might seem to suggest the mid 1910s, but this is what college students were wearing to play tennis in by 1901.  Spectators would be wearing full length dresses and long sleeves, but the players themselves wore skirts that allowed more freedom of movement in the legs and arms.


Posted by Alina:

I think is funny how all these sporty women were wearing heels. You had another post with two girls hiking/power walking, they were also wearing heels. I also find it inspiring (as I do the whole 20s-30s-40s period). Not exactly comfortable, but a woman should do anything to look presentable, right? It’s all in the name of fashion!

Sunday, August 13th 2006 @ 9:57 AM

Posted by Lizzie Bramlett:

Yes, that really is funny that they are wearing heels. Scroll down to the Keds post, and you can see that even sports shoes had little heels! I’d break my neck!

Thursday, August 17th 2006 @ 10:03 AM

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Filed under Proper Clothing, Summer Sports

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