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Tennis Uniforms: Choosing the Right Apparel

Tennis Uniform

A Brief History of Tennis Uniforms

In 1874, Major Walter Wingfield invented a game called Sphairistikè that was based on a 12th Century French game called Paume. This game is considered as the immediate ancestor of our modern day Tennis. The name was changed from Sphairistikè to "Sticky" and then finally to, "Lawn Tennis".

Men tennis players wore long pants till 1946 and women had to wear full-length dresses in the early days. In the 1860s, flannels were the norm for women tennis apparel, and even included a bustle and sometimes a fur. From 1884, white was incorporated into the womenís tennis uniform after Maud Watson won the first Wimbledon Ladies' Championship. In 1919, Suzanne Lenglen created quite a stir when she began donning flimsy and revealing calf-length cotton frocks with short sleeves.

During the late 1930s, stockings were finally discarded and the female tennis attire became more masculine with the transition to tailored flannel shorts and crewneck T-shirts. Later on, a major change was also made to menís tennis apparel by getting rid of flannels in favor of shorts.

The beginning of daring fashion statements in the history of women tennis started in the 1949 Wimbledon Championships, when Gertrude Moran wore a regulation white dress trimmed with white satin, and a pair of lace trimmed panties beneath.

Choosing the Right Apparel:

Material: The fabric of the clothing is important when buying outfits for a tennis uniform. Keep in mind that sportswear made with polyester microfibers or a blend of microfibers and cotton are designed to absorb moisture such as sweat from the body, drying off quickly and thereby providing more comfort for your body. Cotton sportswear may not be the best choice because cotton does not dry off as quick, which may be a problem on colder days.

Fit: When you play tennis, you move and stretch every part of your body, so itís best to wear loose-fitting clothes that will not obstruct comfortable movement of the body. As for the pants, go for those with elastic waistbands or drawstrings, without zippers. Sports bras, tennis panties, and bloomers for womenís tennis uniform should also be loose and comfortable. However, if loose-fitting clothes are not too fashionable for the moment, go for ones that can stretch easily.

Color: If youíre playing on a hot day, remember that darker colors like dark brown, black etc absorb more heat while light-colored clothes reflect heat. Choose accordingly. Also remember that itís always advisable to keep a white suit handy because white colored tennis uniform is the standard for many tournaments and clubs.

Sun-Protection: If a match has been fixed for a particularly sunny day, donít forget that a tennis match can last for more than an hour. To protect your skin from nasty sun-burns, carry along skin lotions such as sun blocks, shades/goggles for your eyes, and a cap for your head.

Brands: If you think of purchasing sportswear manufactured by branded names such as Adidas, Nike, Wilson and Fifa for your tennis uniform, it can cost you a lot. However, itís not necessary that you buy these clothes according to their printed prices. You can browse the internet, magazines and your local paper for discount stores that offer branded tennis apparel for lower prices.