What to wear to play tennis

What to wear to play tennis

Amon Fearon - June 06, 2022

Are you an avid tennis player? Whether you play casually, every day or you’re new to tennis, you may be wondering what you need to wear in order to play at your best? Playing tennis requires your clothing to be super lightweight, dynamic and engineered to perform. Our guide covers what to wear to play tennis on every occasion.

Is there a dress code for tennis?

When it comes to a dress code in tennis, it all depends on where you’re playing. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Location

Dress code

In a gym or public court

If you’re playing casually at your gym or on a public court, there isn’t any dress code for playing tennis. When playing for fun or simply practising, you can wear anything that is comfortable, although, some clothes help you outperform while others are restrictive.

Tennis club

When playing in a tennis club, you may be required to wear certain items of clothing. For example, tennis shoes with non-marking soles and other recognised tennis clothing. This is to protect the integrity of the court and even the playing field in terms of an individual’s performance.

Professional competition

In competition, you will be expected to follow strict rules in terms of tennis clothing. This includes presenting yourself in a professional manner and wearing industry-standard clothing and accessories. Some competitions may even require you to wear all white (traditional tennis clothing colours).

 

Pick a high-stretch, breathable t-shirt that provides exceptional ease of movement as you'll be moving dynamically throughout the game. As worn by Andy Murray, the new AMC performance top is engineered to perform at the highest level and a popular choice for those looking for superior sportswear.

 man in white AMC tennis outfit

Pair your t-shirt with breathable shorts to keep cool in the heat. Finish the set with some lightweight sports socks and trainers with good grip to help you pivot faster when reacting to your opponent. Wear high quality footwear that is durable with ample cushioning to absorb shock to meet the demands of hard courts. AMC socks put a spring in your step using comfortable fabric blends while the rib detailing ensures they stay in place.

When it's bright outside, sunglasses are useful but they can reduce visibility so you're best served wearing a visor or mesh cap to protect your eyes while staying ventilated.

What do tennis players wear in the cold?

While tennis is predominantly a spring/summer sport, there’s no reason why you can’t train outdoors in the winter too. Better never stops, after all. Just take the conditions of the court into consideration before playing in the cold. Outside surfaces can become slippery when icy or wet, in which case, book yourself an indoor court to play on instead. But if you’re determined to play outdoors or don’t have access to an indoor court, what should you wear for the occasion?

It may seem contradictory, but when playing tennis in cold weather, you still want to be wearing lightweight, moisture-wicking clothes but with unique performance fabrics. When you wear cotton-based sports clothes, it traps most of the moisture as you sweat, which sticks to you and leaves you wet and vulnerable to the colder conditions. Without sufficient airflow, reduced breathability makes it difficult to regulate your body temperature as it struggles to dispel heat, which is just as important to do in winter as it is in the summer.

So, to play tennis in cold weather, wear technical lightweight sports clothing along with a woolly beanie or tennis hat and some tennis gloves with grip. For women, it’s best to wear full-length gym leggings to keep your legs warm. You can wear these under a matching tennis skirt for an ideal competition training outfit. For men, consider wearing some compression leggings underneath your shorts to make sure your legs aren’t exposed to the chilly air temperatures. Driven by innovation, AMC jackets and sweaters are usually great choices for warm ups and cool downs, but you can also wear them to play tennis recreationally in the cold without sacrificing premium performance.

Navy AMC Yarra walk on jacketDUSTY BLUE AMC GRAPHIC PRINT SWEATER

How to wear a tennis elbow brace

If you regularly play tennis, you may suffer from something called tennis elbow. Tennis elbow is a painful condition caused by repetitive strain. You may have heard of runner’s knee before, which is essentially the same as tennis elbow. An elbow brace can support your elbow to take away some of the tension and stress on your muscles.

First, it’s important to measure your arm and buy an elbow brace that best suits your body. Most elbow braces are incredibly easy to use. Just put your arm through the brace, pull it up to your elbow and secure using Velcro. Some tennis elbow braces are simple compression sleeves, which don't even require fastening. The sleeves apply less pressure to the arm and cover a larger surface area so they provide extra warmth in colder conditions.

You only need to wear your elbow brace when you’re playing tennis because that’s when you’re going to be feeling the pain. If your elbow continues to feel tender even when you’re not playing tennis, make sure to consult a physio or your doctor. Don’t ignore any pains as the longer you leave injuries untreated, the longer the recovery time will be.

What do female tennis players wear?

As we mentioned earlier, there isn’t any kind of dress code for recreational tennis. However, there are rules for both men and women when playing professionally or competitively. So, what do women need to wear to play tennis?

Traditionally, women wear a polo shirt with a skirt or a dress. These are specifically designed for tennis, so a netball skirt or golf polo aren't ideal substitutes. Women’s tennis clothing nowadays is far more functional to make athletes better. Many women will wear their tennis skirts with some compression shorts underneath or opt for a ‘skort’ (all-in-one shorts and skirts). 

If playing competitively, always make sure to check what to wear with the governing body of the match or competition as it can differ.

Can I wear leggings to play tennis?

Absolutely. The Women’s Tennis Association rolled out a new rule in 2019 allowing women to wear leggings and mid-thigh length compression shorts during matches. While they stated that there wasn’t an explicit rule against it before, they have now made it clear in their guidelines.

AMC - The Andy Murray Collection

Now you have a better idea of what to wear to play tennis, it's time to grab your gear and step on to the court.

AMC is the tennis clothing range developed with British legend, Andy Murray, to bring superior performance to everyday tennis. In this video, Head of Design Anna Graham and Andy Murray discuss how AMC is engineered to make players better.

If you're an aspiring athlete looking to ace like Murray, start with some insights into the mind of the tennis champion in our exclusive partner Q&A.