Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tennis Chic at the U.S. Open

I can't say I'm a big follower of tennis, but the outfits are divine, don't you think? My in-laws wanted to see the U.S. Open site while they were in town this weekend, so off to Flushing we went. I was surprised to see some interesting fashion sights to share with you!

As you may or may not know, Ralph Lauren is the official sponsor of the U.S. Open. So there was a Ralph Lauren boutique on the premises - and the wares were quite impressive. I had just experienced the sticker shock of a $4.50 Diet Pepsi, so I went into the boutique hoping to find the most expensive item on the premises. RL did not disappoint.

The dress on the above left retails for a mere $395. The ensemble on the right racks up to $440, and includes a cashmere tennis tank. I love how the mannequins are sporting pearls! Be careful not to perspire on your cashmere, darlings.

I like how tennis is one of those sports that has such a cultured air about it, and a dress code to go with it. The idea of "tennis whites" always makes me chuckle a bit.

We also visited the museum onsite, where there were lots of pictures of Maureen "Little Mo" Connolly, a tennis star of the early 50's. Here's a great pic of her in a dress by Ted Tinling, designer to the tennis greats:

Anyway, I was reminded of recently seeing a vintage pattern for a tennis dress online, and I've compiled a few for you here. Here's a rare find from the 30's:

A chic 40's ensemble:

A kicky dress from the 50's (look at the little shorts underneath!):

And a sassy 60's example. How about that matching kerchief?

There are about a million tennis dress patterns from the 70's out there, perhaps due to the popularity of Billie Jean King? But these earlier patterns are harder to come by - and so adorable! Tennis, anyone?

P.S. All of the above patterns are currently for sale. Just click the image to be taken to the seller's site!


  1. I died a little over that Ralph Lauren dress on the left. Or maybe it was the nipples on the mannequin.

  2. Makes me want to go to the "club" and kick back a couple of martinis (with my gorgeous tennis pro) after a riviting game of tennis!

  3. The Ralph Lauren ones are nice; don't know that they would look the same on my, though.

  4. I knew there was great inspiration at the US Open! Love the pics!!

  5. I wish i was good at tennis... I would love an excuse to make a tennis dress! x

  6. Hi Gertie -- enjoyed this post. I have a tennis dress pattern in my shop too at:

  7. Hee hee, blackbird, my husband kept giggling over the nipples on the mannequins.

    gewnsews, I'll meet you at the club!

    Serendipity, great pattern! Thanks for sharing.

  8. What pretty tennis outfits - then and now!! I can't imagine playing tennis in an outfit that costs several hundred dollars, though!! Somehow I think the ladies wearing those outfits are spending more time in the clubhouse than on the courts!!
    It was such a scandal when Andre Agassi broke the rules with his clothing and hair. Now the Williams sisters have amazing tennis outfits, rarely made of white fabric!!! (I guess the only time Agassi or the Williams sisters ever wore white was/is for Wimbledon where the rule is still enforced.)
    Sounds like a fun trip!

  9. Oh, I love tennis dresses, too. (I just bought myself one recently).
    These are great patterns - I love that 1930s one.
    -Andi x

  10. Tennis is one of the most entertaining games. Whether you are an ardent tennis lover and want to be the next tennis champion or a beginner, selecting the right tennis equipments can be a great investment.


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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