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Tennis chic off the court

Angelique Kerber of Germany at the 2016 US Open.
Angelique Kerber of Germany at the 2016 US Open.PHOTOS: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, H&M, ADIDAS, FRED PERRY, UNDER ARMOUR, SEEK, GOLDHEART

Up your athleisure style with tennis-inspired outfits

How do I pull off tennis-inspired style off the courts?

The week-long BNP Paribas Women's Tennis Association Finals Singapore starts on Sunday, and eight of the world's best female tennis players such as Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber, will vie for the season-ending title.

Similar to what has been happening on the circuit in recent years, the players will show off more than their racket skills. Fans can expect a display of on-court fashion as well.

Tennis fashion has evolved into a sleek aesthetic, says Ms Sarah Clements, vice-president of tennis (Asia) from Lagardere Sports, the tournament's organiser and promoter.

From the 1920s to 1940s, tennis outfits were all-white and women players wore long flowing dresses that covered their knees, but there has been a strong trend in recent years towards colour-blocking and fun graphics. (Of course, Wimbledon is still strictly an all-white affair.)

Ms Clements, who is in her 40s and has been playing the sport since she was four, notices that women players in Singapore tend to prefer bright colours such as yellow, pink and orange over white, and are usually in hats and long- sleeve tops to protect themselves from the sun.

She says: "I've seen the most amazing tennis outfits worn by women in Singapore. They pay a lot of attention to what they wear."

She adds: "We've also noticed that people care about what they wear to the tennis finals. There arehigh-fashion outfits, but there are also cool and edgy looks inspired by the athleisure trend."

For those keen on tennis-inspired style off the courts, Ms Clements shares some tips for pulling off the look.


1. Tennis-style skirts

"The skirts are often paired with loose tops and coloured T-shirts, and depending on the texture and colour, they can be pulled off in many different ways. It's a lot about colour-blocking at the moment, as well as neon-coloured tops. A lot of the players on the court are wearing looser and more feminine outfits, which are practical."

Product suggestions: Grey body suit, $24.90, from H&M; camouflage tree skirt, $79, from Adidas


2. Tennis shirt dress

"This is inspired by the heritage of tennis outfits and the long, flowing dresses. I prefer cotton material for shirts, which are not too heavy for the heat here."

Product suggestion: Pleated pique tennis dress, $269, from Fred Perry (available next month at the Ion Orchard store)


3. Hat

"Hats are a perennial trend in tennis. It's not tennis without a fabulous hat. An ultra-modern looking perspex visor doesn't sound practical, but it is."

Product suggestion: Yellow cap with logo, $21.75 (usual price $29), from Under Armour


4. White tennis shoes

"The Stan Smith shoes from Adidas are an iconic example of tennis inspiration and heritage."

Product suggestion: Stan Smith leather shoes, $139, from Adidas from Seek


5. Tennis bracelets

"For players on the court, jewellery tends to be sparkly - in gold, silver or with diamonds. However, the piece is usually small, so it doesn't get in the way of playing. Serena Williams breaks that mould with big diamonds."

Product suggestion: Arden bracelet in 18k rose gold and white gold, $294 (usual price: $468), from Goldheart

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 20, 2016, with the headline 'Tennis chic off the court'. Print Edition | Subscribe