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
Pace Rival Mid Rise Skirt, Powder Blue, $78
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.
Lilac Vine 14 Inch Tennis Skirt, $98
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.
OFFLINE By Aerie All Aces Tennis Skirt, $36
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.
Aces Tennis Skirt in Sugarplum Pink, $74
Wear this with ALO’s matching fitted bra top like Koch suggests.
In My Feels Cloudful™ Air High Waisted 2-in-1 Side Pocket Scallop Hem Tennis Skirt, $38
At a great price, the skirt has a scalloped edge that would work nicely off the court.
Chevron Pleated Tennis Skirt, $148
A chic, flattering cut, and very cute styled with a brown turtleneck.
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.
For more of Koch’s fashion picks, visit her site Closetful of Clothes and follow her on Instagram.