With all the buzz surrounding Serena William’s catsuits and tutus, it seems like a good time to remind you that the men have also set some iconic tennis trends. And they’ve transcended beyond the court. Gone are the days of swinging through matches wearing trousers and long sleeve shirts. Today’s game is for stellar athletes who need to serve up a good look good while smashing their opponents. Men’s tennis style has certainly evolved out of necessity over the decades. Let’s revisit the pieces that you know and love.
Since 1933 sporting a Lacoste pique polo shirt with the embroidered alligator has been a status symbol both on and off the court. The polo shirt was designed by French tennis star, Rene Lacoste who won 7 Grand Slam titles. Legend has it that an American journalist nicknamed Lacoste “the alligator” because of a bet he had with his trainer over a crocodile suitcase. He later joined forces with knitwear manufacturer Andre Gillie and continued his success off the court with his clothing brand. Fellow champion, Fred Perry followed soon after with his own interpretation of the polo shirt. But for the last two years, pro tennis player, Novak Djokovic is the face of the brand and New Crocodile.
The game got faster as did the tennis shoes. According to an Esquire magazine interview, John McEnroe first started collaborating with Nike and Phil Knight in the mid-80’s.“In 1986, the tennis legend was poised to make a comeback following the birth of his son and needed the right on-court performance shoe. When Nike sent him a package of kicks, he neglected all except for the Air Trainer 1 prototype, which Nike never expected to be released. The multi-performance model provided both flair and support, and ushered in Nike's golden era of cross-trainers.” And the rest was history.
Long hair, don’t care. When it comes to men's tennis style, Swedish tennis pro, Bjørn Borg remains the style ace. He retired from the pro circuit at just the tender age of 26, but his legendary look is still in play. You can channel his rich hippie vibe by wearing one of his signature track jackets from Fila. Add a sweatband, and you might just be mistaken for Luke Wilson's character from the movie The Royal Tenenbaums.