Tennis Skirts: The New Black Leggings
According to Fashion Contributor Kristin Koch, tennis skirts are having a moment. The on-the-court staple is becoming the new off-the-court way to look chic and pulled together – without worrying if you’re having a Marilyn Monroe oops (thanks, built-in bike shorts). The cute and functional skirt is a wardrobe must.
“The beauty of tennis skirts is that they’re a step up from your usual workout clothes but just as functional and comfortable,” says Koch, mom of three and editor-in-chief of Seventeen magazine. “As athleisure has become such a staple in our daily wardrobe, the options have expanded — you have leggings and biker shorts, but on days you want to mix it up, feel a bit more feminine or dress up a notch, you can go with a skirt style,” she says.
Why are sports skirts so wearable?
- Most tennis skirts have built-in bike shorts – so no flashing the mailman when you bend over to pick up your Amazon boxes.
- They’re cute. Tennis skirts come in a variety of styles and colors and lengths, so there’s something for everyone’s taste.
- They’re more flattering than shorts. Shorts can be uncomfortable, especially for a mom recovering from childbirth. Many tennis skirts have a band that stretches across your belly and hugs in your waistline. That’s reason enough to embrace tennis skirts right there.
- Tennis skirts are versatile. Wear them to your court sports (pickleball, anyone?), to golf, or to run or walk. Pop on a cotton blazer and tee for coffee or lunch. Pair them with sneakers to sporting events with your favorite team jersey. Sport (pun intended) a cashmere cable knit or dressier sweatshirt with a patterned skirt for all-day activities.
6 Adorable Tennis Skirt Options
The powder blue is a nice alternative to a white skirt, plus this option is great for other sports such as running. Lululemon skirts also come in multiple lengths; a longer version might be easier to get away with at lunch.
This gorgeous floral print works well for daytime errands. Pair with the Gray Puff Sleeve Quilted Pullover or a cashmere sweater, says Koch. Or wear for your mixed doubles night out with the Tuckernuck black long sleeve boyfriend performance tee.
Aerie makes beautifully-fitting bottoms and their tennis skirt is no exception. This pick is super flattering on all body types and comes in a variety of colors if you don’t like the floral pattern. The suggested nylon jacket is a fun combination, but this choice works equally as well with sport tanks.
At a great price, the skirt has a scalloped edge that would work nicely off the court.
Koch’s styling tips
On the court
If you’re wearing a tennis skirt for sports, opt for a fitted top — a workout tank or shirt for ease of movement. If you feel comfortable, sports bras and cropped workout tops are big with skirts to create a matching set moment (like we’re seeing with leggings). But you can also go for a style that covers your belly button and either tucks in or hits right at the waistband.
Off the court
Add a sweater
I love throwing on a cute sweater (a solid cashmere or cute print can take it off the courts, or go straight to lunch after a match with a cheeky option like this one) or fun sweatshirt. (I love this ruffled option).
Pair with a button-up
You could also pair your skirt with a button-up for a chic, preppy inspired look that goes easily to coffee, lunch or even to a meeting. Or throw on a cute tee (I love stripes or a simple black tee) to complete a cute, casual look.
Wear a blazer
If you really want to dress up the look and take it to dinner or the office, add a cute blazer or jacket. Sneakers keep the sporty vibe going.
Put on sneakers…
You don’t have to stick to traditional tennis shoes, especially if you’re not playing tennis — fun sneakers like Superga or Adidas or New Balance to give it a cool, updated look.
Swap out your sneaks for a pair of sandals, loafers or ballet flats to dress it up and head straight to the office, an event or appointment.