Appraising Apparel

by: Jon Levey | July 25, 2008

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Tags: The Pro Shop

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A player’s first priority is on-court performance. But being the vain creatures we are, only slightly behind is on-court appearance. And it’s all the better when we can marry these two pursuits. Sarah Alvanipour, a frequent contributor to the website, has roped in some of the latest offerings from Adidas and Fila. You undoubtedly have seen many of their pro endorsers wearing these outfits since Roland Garros. It’s stylish attire, but how does it perform? Sarah put the clothes to the test.

With the end of Wimbledon comes the return of color on the court. Here’s our take on some of the summer’s sizzling on-court looks.


In Paris, the only thing more consistent than Ana Ivanovic’s punishing ground strokes was her choice of apparel. For seven matches en route to her first Grand Slam title, the Serb donned a splash of color, making famous Adidas’ YOC dress in Neo Red ($65,

Our Review: The coral-colored one-piece dress was part of a line exclusively made for Ivanovic, fittingly combining both style and substance. The bubble-skirt hem, a revival of ‘80s fashion, is a current trend on the party scene, and along with the racer-back straps, provides both comfort and mobility. The chest features the signature Adidas logo in silver and a cupped bodice and built in bra to hug a woman’s curves. The material also features Adidas’ Climacool technology, designed to draw moisture away from the skin surface and allow evaporation for ultimate comfort. Mesh panels in the sides and under the arms also provide ventilation.
As with most Adidas apparel, the fit runs true to size or slightly larger. The cup sizes of the dress tend to run a bit larger than expected although sizing of body and chest are not always proportional so trying the dress on before purchasing is recommended. The size small sample fits a size 2 woman with a B cup bust with a length hitting above the knee. Compression shorts are highly recommended but not included with the dress.

Men: While he didn’t walk away with the Coup de Musketiers, Novak Djokovic got as far as he could considering his semi-final opponent was Rafael Nadal. Wearing the three stripes, Djokovic combined a t-shirt and shorts from the Adidas’ Edge line for a winning combination on the court.

Our Review: You can’t go wrong with the classic color combinations of white/loam (gray) and black/loam, a departure from the normally bright shades we are used to seeing from Adidas. The understated look gets a dose of style with a tire-tread pattern along the front of the shirt, the classic three stripes along each sleeve, and logo on the left chest. Shirts feature Adidas’ Climacool fabric and mesh inserts along the armpits and back for ventilation ($45,
Matching Bermuda Edge shorts make coordinating effortless even for the style-challenged. Two deep pockets allow for ball storage during play and the pores below the waistline in the fabric allow skin to breathe. Fits true to size, drawstring waistband ($45,

Kuznetsova_small1 Tursunovjpg_small

Fila also offered a retro look in a ‘60s inspired dress and two tank/skort combinations. The fabric, which is available in white/peacoat (navy) features groovy interlocking and free-formed circles, is light against the skin.

Our Review: The Baseline Cross Back tank features a built-in bra for support, attractive contrasting crisscross straps in the back, and a comfortable fit while the skirt is a mini in length—as are most tennis skirts—and features the convenience of built-in compression shorts for maximum coverage running true to size. For a more modest look that is preferred by Sveltana Kuznetsova, or for more full-figured players, the Baseline Sleeveless tank may be a better option. With no shelf-bra built in, this looser fitting top allows you to customize the fit by wearing your own support garment underneath, a feature not afforded in the Cross Back tank ($50-55,
If a one-piece is more your style, then the Baseline dress is a fun option. Resembling a party dress, its attractive lines and fit are sure to get you noticed. But to avoid attention for the wrong reasons, pair it with shorts underneath as like most dresses, this one is unlined. Runs true to size ($70,

Flying low on the radar since being worn by the likes of Bjorn Borg and Boris Becker, the Italian design company garnered attention during the Wimbledon fortnight as another German’s Cinderella story played out on Center Court. While Rainer Schuettler conformed to Wimbledon’s traditional white, his look, also sported by Janko Tipsarevic and Dmitry Tursunov, is available in a variety of shades and options.

Our Review:
The Center Court tee is available in crew neck or as a polo shirt with traditional collar in three shades: aurora/highrise (yellow/gray), black/white, and highrise/white. Shirts run slightly large. Depending on the look you are trying to achieve—loose for comfort or tight to show off your time in the gym – you can stick with the norm or go one size down. The fabric is mesh throughout and light, for optimal ventilation and comfort against the skin. Large logo on the left chest shows your Italian pride ($45-52,
Matching shorts from the Center Court line are light but feel a bit more like material used in swimming trunks, namely to pull moisture away from the skin and prevent it from clinging onto the fabric much like their poolside counterparts. Shorts are medium in length (9” inseam, 18” outseam) and feature a drawstring waist, deep pockets and mesh panels along the back for ventilation ($45,

Sarah Alvanipour

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