Looking back on the many trends to take hold during last year’s Shot Girl Summer (or rather, what was supposed to be Shot Girl Summer), tennis fashion may be one of the most notable. Not only did I notice a major uptick in friends and acquaintances taking up the sport, but scrolling through my feed at any given time meant passing over two, three, or four tennis-inspired skirts styled in various ways. Whether actual activewear or of the pleated, school girl-inspired variety, the tennis skirt trend has been going strong ever since, even through the winter (worn with a trusty pair of tights). And with warm weather soon to be here once again? It’s showing no signs of slowing down.
Byrdie Researched & Approved
We picked Alo Yoga's tennis skirt as a top choice based on its overwhelmingly positive reviews on the brand's website. (It also comes recommended by Vogue and Women's Health.) Purchase from Nordstrom for a flexible return and exchange policy. If you're looking for a skirt with a wider range of size offerings, you can reap the same benefits from Girlfriend Collective's version.
Not all tennis skirts are created equal, however, so I did my research and found the very best in both the athletic and trend-forward categories. I also consulted fashion stylist and author Heather Newberger for a few of her expert recommendations and her shopping tips for any newbies looking to lean into the trend themselves.
Ahead, the best tennis skirts of the season to wear on (and off) the court.
Best Overall: Alo Varsity Tennis Skirt
Who else recommends it? Vogue and Women's Health both picked the Alo Varsity Tennis Skirt.
There’s a lot to love about this chic little tennis skirt from Alo, which is why we’re giving it top honors. The simple, pleated design has an elevated feel and is available in a variety of neutral hues. Plus, it boasts built-in shorts for added functionality on the court.
Material: 4-way stretch woven material | Size Range: XXS-L | Colors: White, Black, | Length: 13.25 inches (XXS-S), 13.6 inches (M), or 14.4 inches (L)
Best Budget: H&M Tennis Skirt
This preppy little mini is a total steal, ringing in at less than the average lunch order. Complete with pleated details and contrasting trim, it’s the preppy basic we’ll be wearing well into summer.
Material: 67% rayon, 29% polyamide, 4% spandex | Size Range: 0-18 | Colors: Black, Light Blue
Best Designer: Tory Burch Sport Tech Piqué Side-Slit Tennis Skirt
Leave it to Tory Sport, Tory Burch’s activewear line, to bring us peak tennis fashion. A nod to ‘70s sportswear, this skirt is crafted from a breathable performance fabric (made from recycled materials, no less) and features built-in boy shorts to keep you covered while in action. No wonder it’s a bestseller season after season.
Material: Recycled tech piqué (100% recycled polyester) | Size Range: XS-XL | Colors: Snow White, Tory Navy | Length: 14 inches
Best on Amazon: Yuemengxuan High-Waisted Pleated Mini Skirt
Admittedly, scrolling through the vast amount of products carried on Amazon can feel tedious at times, but there are plenty of gems to be found—like this trendy pleated tennis skirt. “I love this skirt because it’s not only chic, but it’s also high-waisted,” says Newberger. “Since high-waisted just means the skirt is designed to hit at a woman’s natural waist, this skirt is bound to look great on almost anyone.” And as for the price? A total steal.
Material: Polyester | Size Range: XS-XXL | Colors: Gray, Black, Light Blue, Light Purple, Plaid Navy Blue, White, Pink +more
Best Long: Athleta Ace Tennis Skort 15.5-Inch
Tennis skirts may have a reputation for being short-short, but longer versions do exist. Take this easy, everyday style from Athleta, for example. Designed with a 15.5-inch length, it offers more coverage than most, while internal hem grippers help keep it in place as you move.
Material: Recycled polyester and spandex | Size Range: XXS-3XL | Colors: Dress Blue, Lunaria Yellow, Bright White, Black | Length: 15.5 inches
Best with Pockets: Alala Rally Skort
When it comes to trend-forward activewear, Alala is a fan favorite. This skort is equipped with pocketed built-in briefs, making it easy to stash your belongings on and off the court. Also cool? The fabric provides SPF 50 protection, a must for outdoor matches.
Material: 76% polyester, 24% spandex shell; 84% polyester, 16% spandex lining | Size Range: XS-XL | Colors: White
Best with Built-In Shorts: Tuckernuck White and Trellis 14 Inch Piped Skirt
This skirt is peak country club style, and we can’t get enough of it. We love this skirt in particular because one, it has adorable gingham built-in shorts, and two, it’s still cute enough to wear off the court. Never worry about potentially flashing someone playing (or walking) behind you again.
Material: 90% polyester, 10% spandex | Size Range: XS-XXL | Colors: White | Length: 14 inches
Best Size Range: Girlfriend Collective Sport Skirt
When it comes to inclusive activewear and athleisure, Girlfriend Collective is doing it right. “We all love Girlfriend Collective, and this skirt is one of the many reasons why,” says Newberger. “Simple and flattering, it ranges from sizes XXS to 6XL—just to remind us (in case we forgot!) that anyone can look great in a tennis skirt, regardless of size.”
Material: 79% recycled PET, 21% spandex | Size Range: XXS-6XL | Color Options: Black, Moss, Midnight, Plum, Earth +more
Best Athletic: Nike Court Advantage Pleated Tennis Skirt
Another favorite of Newberger, this tiered, pleated skirt features a higher-than-average rise and a wide waistband to both flatter and support the waist. “I love this Nike tennis skirt because it encapsulates everything I want my athletic look to say—that I’m smart, fashion-forward, and not afraid of getting sweaty out on the court,” she says.
Material: 88% polyester, 12% spandex | Size Range: XS-XL | Color Options: White, Black
Best Color Options: Lululemon Pace Rival Mid-Rise Skirt
Simply put, we love this skirt from Lululemon. Available in nine color options spanning electrifying neons and essential neutrals, you can also choose from three different lengths, ensuring you’ll find the perfect fit. Designed for tennis and running, the lightweight, sweat-wicking material is quick-drying, allowing for optimal comfort when things get sweaty. Plus, it has pockets!
Material: 86% recycled polyester, 14% elastane | Size Range: 0-20 | Color Options: Vivid Plum, Highlight Yellow, Sonic Pink, Pastel Blue, Dark Red +more | Length: 12, 15, or 17 inches
Best Set: Eleven by Venus Williams Cleopatra Workout Skirt
Leave it to Venus Williams—who is just as much a fashion icon as a prolific athlete—to create what is possibly the chicest tennis set to ever exist. The shiny, stretchy fabric is sure to turn heads both on and off the court, while the matching asymmetrical tank is cool enough to pair with leather trousers for a night out on the town.
Material: 85% polyamide, 15% spandex | Size Range: XS-XL | Color Options: Plum Goddess, Animal Swirl | Length: 13 inches
Best Khaki: Los Angeles Apparel Tennis Skirt
Looking for something classic to wear off the court? This tennis skirt from Los Angeles Apparel is it. Go extra preppy with this khaki shade, or choose from one of the other 12 easy-to-wear shades. It also comes in a variety of brights, if that’s more your thing.
Material: 100% polyester | Size Range: XS-2XL | Color Options: White, Creme, Taupe, Red, Burgundy, Navy, Brown, Black +more
Best Leather: Sunday Best Olive Micro Skirt
If you love the look of leather but prefer a vegan option, this skirt from Aritzia is our top choice. “Aritzia creates some of the most beautiful vegan leather pieces, and their tennis skirt is no exception,” says Newberger. “Available in six colors for under $100, this skirt is a steal.”
Material: 100% polyurethane | Size Range: 00-14 | Color Options: Light Birch, Fluid Birch, Shitake, Black +more
Best Pleated: Tail Alina Pleated Tennis Skort
For an athletic option that’s still fashion-forward, reach for this vibrant skort from Tail. It’s crafted from a stretchy performance fabric to ensure you’re comfortable as you play, but the adorable micro-pleated hemline makes this a great option for off the court, too.
Material: 85% polyester, 15% spandex | Size Range: XS-XXL | Color Options: Dazzling Yellow, Blue | Length: 13.5 inches
Best Sustainable: Marysia Steffi Scalloped Stretch Recycled-Seersucker Tennis Skirt
This is quite possibly the cutest tennis skirt we’ve ever laid our eyes on—and it’s sustainable. Fabricated from a stretchy recycled seersucker material, it features stylish scalloped edges and built-in shorts for necessary coverage while in the game.
Material: 92% recycled polyamide, 8% elastane | Size Range: XXS-XXL | Colors: White
Best Plaid: Mango Pleat Detail Check Skirt
Since last summer, pleated plaid skirts have been all the rage and are still going strong for Spring ’22. We’re eyeing this pick from Mango, which also has a matching blazer, making for the perfect spring skirt suit.
Material: 64% polyester, 34% viscose, 2% elastane | Size Range: XXS-XXL | Colors: Grey
Best Printed: Free People Movement Pleats and Thank You Printed Tennis Skort
Looking to turn heads on the court? This tennis skort features the cutest ‘90s-inspired daisy print, while the skort’s pleat details add some extra flounce. Of course, the attached undershorts keep you covered during any intense moments.
Material: 89% polyester, 11% elastane | Size Range: XS-XL | Colors: Clementine Combo, Lemon Combo, Daisy Stripe, Black Kimono | Length: 13 inches
Meet the Expert
Heather Newberger is a fashion stylist, fashion correspondent for NBCLX, and the author of How to Date Your Wardrobe: And Other Ways to Revive, Revitalize, and Reinvigorate Your Style. Her work and expert fashion advice can be found across publications, news outlets, and campaigns.
What to Look for When Buying a Tennis Skirt
One feature Newberger considers an absolute must when it comes to tennis skirts is pockets. “Pockets are key; from holding balls during a match to having somewhere to put your hands during a party, if you’re not investing in a skirt with pockets, you’re not investing in the right tennis skirt,” she says.
Tennis skirts tend to be on the shorter side, so Newberger stresses the importance of choosing one with undershorts, especially for athletic styles. “Built-in undershorts are crucial if you plan to purchase one for any athletic activity,” she says. These will help keep any potential wardrobe malfunctions at bay.
Finally, Newberger suggests choosing an option that allows for some styling versatility. “You want a tennis skirt that looks as good on the court as it does walking to it, so choosing one that feels flattering and fly couldn’t be more important.” Reach for simpler styles that aren’t too athletic-looking or logo-heavy, as they’ll be easier to pair with a sweater and sandals off the court.
What do you wear with a tennis skirt?
The great thing about tennis skirts? They can be worn with almost anything. “It depends on your comfort level,” explains Newberger. “You can tap your athleisure aesthetic and go with a sports bra or a half-zip [pullover], or try something a little more fashion-forward and pair it with a blazer and crop top. You can also reminisce about your school days by pairing it with a cute shirt and cardigan or hit one of the latest trends by styling it with an oversized sweatshirt tucked into the waistband.”
Can you dress up a tennis skirt?
You certainly can. “You can dress anything up, but it depends on your style as well as the type of skirt you’ve chosen,” explains Newberger. “I wouldn’t try dressing up a skirt that looks too athletic; however, there are other materials out there just begging to be dressed up”—think pleated plaids and faux leather styles. “Add a blazer and heels, and you’re Maddy from 'Euphoria,' while a fluffy cardigan can turn you into Cassie in a heartbeat.”
Do tennis skirts have built-in shorts?
“All tennis skirts are short, but not all tennis skirts have built-in shorts,” says Newberger. “I think they’re key to creating a great look that feels comfortable wherever the day or night decides to take you; however, many of the more ‘designer’ options forsake the undershorts for, well, design.”
How We Researched
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.
Why Trust Byrdie
Jenna Igneri has been working in fashion for the last decade, from running Allure’s fashion closet as an assistant to now writing about shopping and trends for various publications. While she doesn’t consider herself a very sporty person (and, admittedly, she’s never picked up a tennis racquet in her life), she knows a thing or two about workout attire and appreciates a good mini skirt. From this list, her favorites include the Los Angeles Apparel style (she already owns it in multiple colors and prints) and the Marysia option, which she’ll definitely be snagging for future outdoor workouts.
The Tennis Skirt: It’s Love. Vogue. https://www.vogue.com/article/best-white-tennis-skirts
15 best tennis skirts to shop 2022. Women's Health. https://www.womenshealthmag.com/uk/gym-wear/g36618204/tennis-skirts/