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The evolution and history of the tennis mini skirt

The perfect summer item to wear in and off-court

The evolution and history of the tennis mini skirt The perfect summer item to wear in and off-court

Summer is back and with it come another constant of the season: outdoor sports. Even if this year will not take place, Wimbledon and US Open are the most influential championships that take place in the summer months, and it is inevitable to note that the orderly and dynamic style of tennis has influenced summer fashion, both male and female. The bare legs on the red ground under a pleated miniskirt, a pair of trainers and a peaked cap are the perfect accessories for a fresh and cool match.

But even off the court, the tennis miniskirt infiltrates the wardrobes and becomes one of the trends of the moment, so much so that it also inspires the Prada SS21 collection. The tennis mini skirt is a really light garment, which almost seems not to have on, and immediately gives a street and easy-chic touch to all the looks in which it is the protagonist. The folds, introduced to ensure a smoother mobility thanks to a greater space in the area of ​​the hips, embrace the body during the game and guarantee comfort to the legs even when sitting. The garment is today a symbol of female emancipation on the playing field, but once it represented a symbol of social status and nss G-Club wants to tell you how it has evolved.

Everything starts in Victorian England, around the 1860s, when tennis becomes a hyped sport for the aristocracy. The sports uniform of that period reflected the fashion of that time: maxi and heavy flannel skirts, wore together with long-sleeves and high-collar blouses had to be white, color that honored richness and social status of the aristocratic players, because of its extremely frequent cases of dirt catching. The epical turn happened in the 1920s when for the first time Alice Marble wore shorts on the tennis court and Suzanne, "the Divine", Lenglen walked the court with an unusually knee-length skirt with matching silk scarf one her head, designed by the French designer Jean Patou. In 1933 Lacoste and its famous Crocodile, comes to life starting ruling the tennis apparel industry with quality cotton twill fabrics and the “polo” shirt.

Fashion and comfort land on the court and start playing a game that will develop year after year following the principles of performance and freedom of movement. Skirts kept shortening and in 1949 the scandal happens: Gussie Moran wears lace shorts under her tennis mini skirt, and all Wimbledon photographers got on the floor to snap such a moment. The look, designer by the major tennis uniforms British innovator Ted Linglin is the first of many others: he will design the most known pvc green and blue sequin two-piece uniform for Billie Jean King, the female tennis professional and LGBT advocate who fought the first ever woman against men, as documented in the 2017 movie “Battle of the Sexes”. If in the 70s uniforms started moving towards fanciness, between the 80s and the 90s they exploded in frenzy, but nevertheless the tennis mini skirts kept being en vogue between cosmic unitards and denim shorts. Spandex, pvc and other synthetic materials allowed designers to experiment on fabrics to create the most performant tennis apparel items ever. A little after, Nike and Adidas started popping all over the place at Wimbledon being endorsed by the William Sisters and many other professionals. Serena Williams, known of her flaunting outfits on the court wore lace and leopard prints breaking the rules of the British championship, but always loves a good traditional tennis mini skirt: in 2016 she wore a Nike ensemble with a white sleeveless top and a classic white pleated mini skirt, and in 2018 a collaboration of Nike and Off-white completely dedicated to the female champion.

Light, versatile, essential and simple to combine. The only precautions to be taken are regarding the length, the color and the fabric. Technical miniskirts are usually very very short, delicious in their white few centimeters of fabric. The trick is to combine them with white culottes, or with tight shorts. Many models also have the shorts already "integrated" for maximum comfort on and off the pitch. Once you have found the desired length, to wear the mini tennis in a casual way, just rely on your own sense of color and taste: white is good with pastel colors, while black matches perfectly with neutrals and pop color combinations. The fabric is what makes it more or less sporty: there are variants in cotton twill, in eco-leather or in denim, in satin fabric, and so on. Maxi shirt with logo, top and some necklace, a nice pair of statement socks and the coolest sneakers around, and you are ready to go out sporting a timeless classic with a twist street, cardigan with a often V-neck, boots and it -bag to be mistaken for an off-site student.

Given that the trend is depopulating on social media, in particular on Instagram feeds, nss G-Club has selected a mini shopping guide for tennis mini skirts, to be worn on the field and, above all, outside.

PRADA

PRADA

720€
DION LEE

DION LEE

442€
OFF-WHITE

OFF-WHITE

825€
STÜSSY

STÜSSY

115€
BURBERRY

BURBERRY

890€
MARCO DE VINCENZO

MARCO DE VINCENZO

415€
ASOS DESIGN

ASOS DESIGN

20€
VERGE GIRL

VERGE GIRL

33€
DAILY PAPER

DAILY PAPER

80€
NIKE

NIKE

45€
LACOSTE

LACOSTE

54€
TORY BURCH

TORY BURCH

160€
NIKE

NIKE

44€
ELLESSE

ELLESSE

26€