Zendaya’s Challengers is making tenniscore the trend of the summer, get us to Wimbledon now

By Jennifer Raymont

Published Jul 9, 2023 at 09:15 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

Stereotypically, Wimbledon tennis championships isn’t often seen as a fashion event for us gen Zers. It’s a little more old-fashioned, and in a cost of living crisis, we would never fork out for overpriced Pimm’s and strawberries and cream. That being said, the cute skirts and white co-ords are catching our eyes.

Tenniscore lets us wear all the cute bits players wear on the court without breaking a sweat. White pleated skorts and polos are essential to achieve the look. Searches for tennis skirts even skyrocketed on Depop as the trend recently gathered hype on TikTok.

As with every trend, Bella Hadid was an early adopter, donning a Lacoste tennis skirt as far back as 2021. The model was swiftly followed by divisive nepo baby, Iris Law, at this year’s Cannes film festival. 

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Zendaya’s new movie Challengers is also making tennis cool again. With a September release date, the film tells the story of a love triangle between professional tennis players. The actress plays a famous player showcasing a wardrobe that seamlessly transitions between her on-court attire, featuring skorts, tank tops and visors and her more casual Juicy Couture tracksuits. We’re really hoping the film matches the noughties classic rom-com Wimbledon, but with Zendaya and Josh O’Connor involved, it’s bound to.

 

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Compared to most sport events, Wimbledon has a strict dress code that demands all players wear head to toe white without exceptions. In the hot summer months, a lighter colour palette is essential to keeping cool among the crowds. Recently, however, the uniform has received some backlash.

Similarly to the women’s football team in England, female tennis players spoke out against the rule for making their period anxiety worse. Periods are bad enough as it is, let alone worrying about leakage when you’re wearing all white on international TV. This forced the tournament’s governing body—most likely men in suits—to lax the rule and allow women to wear dark underwear under their whites.

Athletes often give us glimpses into their personal style through their jewellery choices. Of course, players can’t wear lavish statement necklaces and large hoops as they must avoid a major drip-related injury while they’re on the court, but simple diamond earrings and a tennis bracelet can elevate their look. Tennis isn’t just about serving balls, it’s about serving looks too.

Spectators, on the other hand, have to dress smart casual. Meghan Markle famously broke this rule after she wore jeans to the tournament and was refused entry to the royal box. I know, scandalous.

Kate Middleton’s Wimbledon style is eaten up by the upper classes. The Princess of Wales wore an 80s-inspired mint green blazer with a pleated midi skirt as she paid a visit to the grounds earlier this week. She may appear elegant, but the fun girlie pops vibe us gen Zers are looking for was not there.

 

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The younger tennis player’s style, however, is where it’s at. American player Coco Gauff and Britain’s pride and joy Emma Raducanu are becoming style icons both on and off the court. Gauff has a clothing line with New Balance, while Raducanu was scooped up by the likes of Dior and Tiffany & Co. She even wore Chanel to the Met Gala in 2021 after her debut at Wimbledon. All of a sudden, I can’t help but wish I had more natural athletic ability in school.

 

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Tenniscore is the latest instalment of the stealth wealth trend that soared after Sofia Richie Grainge’s wedding in the south of France and Gwyneth Paltrow’s courtroom style earlier this year. After all, tennis is a pricey activity, not everyone has the funds to build a tennis court in their back garden but that won’t stop us from looking like we do.

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