Did you give up playing tennis years ago, after trying and failing to perfect your serve at summer camp? Regardless, the chic tennis line Hedge might make you consider working on your backhand, if only to wear their feminine dresses and tutus made for the sport. Or, if you’re not athletically inclined, you could pick up a tennis dress and wear it to watch the U.S. Open, from the comfort of your couch. The brand new athletic line, similar to Tory Sport, is Goop approved, guaranteeing that it will befit a country club or Junior League meeting.
Founders Antonia DiPaolo and Meagan Ouderkirk created the line because they thought tennis attire was no longer as elegant as the sport deserved. “The clothing has become less formal and increasingly low quality,” DiaPaolo said. “It has taken a turn towards modern, technical fabrics. We missed the classic clothes we grew up in. We elevated them by designing clothes that will accentuate a woman’s best features while remaining demure,” DiPaolo explained. And the line certainly is a feminine, preppy throwback. With Peter Pan collars and cashmere sweaters in white, navy and pale pink, it’s far from basic, black workout gear.
Ouderkirk’s time at Ralph Lauren as the digital creative director influenced the understated vibe at Hedge. “Ralph Lauren has always made classic clothes. We hope to do the same by creating pieces that will remain part of the collection forever; favorites you can still purchase if you need a second set or a fresh color,” she told the Observer. And one can see how the collection will last. While mesh cut-outs have became almost expected in athleisure, they might not be quite as popular in a few years. Simple, pleated white skirts have a timeless appeal, and are far more elegant than a pair of yoga pants.
Some major tennis stars have become style icons in recent years, but their looks are decided by their sponsors, leaving less room for personal expression. “It’s often difficult to tell a player’s personal style because they’re paid to wear their sponsor’s clothing,” Ouderdirk explained. Still, the sometimes controversial but always chic Maria Sharapova has been an influence on the line.
Don’t expect for women to change out of their outfits the second they leave the country club. “Women today pack their days full and squeeze in their workouts. Looking attractive before, during and after is paramount,” DiPaolo advised. And as athleisuire looks evolve to be worn throughout the day, from cocktails to class, so should tennis whites. After all, if you’re on vacation, or even playing at home, why not wear something chic? As tennis becomes cool again and regains its influence on popular culture, it deserves a clothing line to match.