The best tennis dresses do much more than serve you well on the court. As one of the best exercise dresses, they certainly bring posh energy to a match. But they're also the ultimate sporty-chic look for a weekend out and about, a hot girl walk, or a few hours of errands. Of course, the timeless appeal also qualifies them as a modern preppy style essential. Meaning? The best tennis dresses appear perfectly elevated with a blazer, varsity jacket, or sweater tossed over the top with a pair of loafers or chunky lug soles for a daytime event or dinner.
In terms of each dress's design, "it has become a lot less about pique and collared dresses [and] pleats are done unconventionally or even not at all," explains Abby Gordon, vice president of design and merchandising at Alo. While these iconic details are quintessential and have endured decades, the newest tennis dresses have evolved to make an even stronger fashion statement. "We are seeing dresses that fit close to the body with unexpected necklines," Gordon adds. "Mini mini is also a trend we've seen from the runway, and it's finding its way to the court."
Whether you lean more timeless or trendy with your tennis fashion, a perfect fit, comfortable materials (like breathable, moisture-wicking fibers), and pockets—hello, functionality—are key in the best tennis dresses. "We obsess about fit at Alo, and having the perfect fit creates zero distractions when they are out on the court," Gordon tells BAZAAR. Adding, "Material is everything—[it] has to move with your body and keep you cool under the sun. I personally love a stretchy jersey."
No matter your preference, the market is rife with stylish tennis dresses from minimalist to bold, from new activewear workout brands to cult classics. Ahead, we've gathered the 20 best tennis dresses to shop now.