clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Case for Tennis Whites as Regular Clothes

Racked has affiliate partnerships, which do not influence editorial content, though we may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. We also occasionally accept products for research and reviewing purposes. See our ethics policy here.

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Last summer, while browsing through Lululemon, I came across a white pleated tennis skirt with attached compression shorts hidden underneath.

The tag explicitly stated that this article of clothing was meant for playing tennis, with sweat-wicking material and conveniently hidden pockets. Despite not picking up a racquet since my elementary school days — when I took weekly tennis lessons for a few months — I bought it.

It was just too cute to pass up. Paired with a nice T-shirt and a denim jacket, the skirt (scratch that, skort) looked exactly like a normal pleated skirt, and that's how I wanted to wear it.

But every time I put it on, I felt like I was lying to the world. So I did what any dedicated fashion junkie would do: I signed up for tennis lessons at my grandmother's country club.

As it turns out, you don't even need a white skirt to play tennis. I was the only person wearing one on the court. (Apparently tennis whites are only required by some country clubs. Whatever.) But the skirt was still worth it and, unsurprisingly, far outlasted the tennis lessons.

Now I wear it whenever the mood strikes, which is often, and I've gotten over the guilt of owning a uniform for a sport I don't play. After all, isn't that the dirty secret of the athleisure phenomenon — wearing comfortable athletic clothes for pretty much everything else besides athletic activity?

If the rest of the world is wearing yoga pants to the grocery store, I'm cool with wearing tennis whites out to drinks with friends.

For those of you who also love the preppy-meets-sporty look of tennis whites (whether or not you're actually preppy or sporty), I've rounded up a few tennis-inspired pieces in the gallery above.