When you’re looking for clothing and apparel to wear when you play tennis, the most important thing to do is to seek out high-performance options. To that point, we recently looked at some of the ‘Best Tennis Shoes for Men & Women in 2021’ and identified a number of sneaker options that will keep you comfortable on the court. We also recommend consulting an expert or knowledgeable salesperson when selecting a racquet and grip, so that you can ensure what you’re playing with matches your style and needs.
Beyond the need to be comfortable on the court though, tennis is known as a stylish sport. Players like to look their best not only while playing, but also on their way to and from the courts, or while watching others. And sometimes the best way to embrace the stylish side of the sport is to follow the stars. Many of tennis’s greatest champions, past and present, have either sponsored or directly put out their own clothing, gear, and other apparel over the years. And naturally much of it falls right into that inexplicable zone that defines stylish tennis looks.
If that sounds interesting to you, read on for our take on some of the best men’s apparel marketed by the stars….
Roger Federer has long been the primary style icon of modern tennis (in addition to possibly the greatest player of all time). He is so involved with the world of fashion, in fact, that according to Fashion Week Daily he sought the approval of Anna Wintour herself a few years ago before he left Nike to sign a sponsorship deal with UNIQLO. Granted, it has been rumored for years that Federer regularly seeks the fashion queen’s advice, and she’s known to be a mega-fan of the Swiss star.
At any rate, the move to UNIQLO left Federer without a lineup of Nike shoes. He solved this problem by linking up with up-and-coming Swiss athletic shoe brand On, and recently debuted his first shoe with the company: The Roger. It’s a minimalistic but beautiful shoe, and one that GQ referred to as “sneakily advanced” in a review. By all accounts it’s a tremendously high-performance tennis shoe, but it’s also an extremely stylish one. Men in tennis can’t do much better than this in 2021.
Andy Murray’s Castore Tops
Another legend of the modern game, Andy Murray took his time before really getting into tennis fashion. He’s had sponsorship agreements ever since it became clear he would be a high-level professional, but it was relatively recently that he finally launched a line of his own befitting his success. He did so alongside British luxury brand Castore, and the Evening Standard’s report on the project noted that all of the clothes are made in an eco-friendly manner. That’s enough to attract a lot of fans: Murray is popular, Castore has a strong reputation, and green products are in. But it doesn’t hurt either that the apparel in this line — dubbed “AMC” — is exquisite. In particular, the AMC tops are extremely sharp both on and off the court.
Boris Becker Polos
Boris Becker is the only retired tennis star we’ll highlight here (given that Murray is now thoroughly un-retired), but he’s still a figure who’s very much in the public eye. For one thing, Becker has turned himself into a vaunted figure in the world of professional poker in the aftermath of his tennis career. A post on poker-savvy athletes by Poker.org notes that as recently as 2020 Becker was signing a new sponsorship deal on this front (with GGPoker), making it likely that he and his sharp-dressing ways will continue to be publicly visible via poker events. Even aside from this second competitive career though, Becker is still a regular on the tennis scene as well. He’s coached Novak Djokovic at times, and never seems far from pro tennis.
Given that he’s still such a public figure, it’s perhaps no surprise that Becker is still active in fashion as well. He owns his own brand (simply called “Boris Becker”), and while it does not exclusively produce tennis apparel, it does put out some very stylish stuff. We love Becker’s polos in particular. They’re not made for on-court play, but there’s a certain inexplicable quality to them that makes them fit for athletes. One couldn’t go wrong wearing one to and from the court, or while attending a professional match in the evening.
Rafael Nadal’s Logo Apparel
We’ll wrap up with a fairly obvious, but still timeless selection: any tennis apparel adorned with Rafael Nadal’s “raging bull” logo. Alongside Federer’s legendary “RF” logo (which incidentally Federer has won back from Nike), the bull has become one of the true emblems of modern tennis. It’s synonymous with the sport, and as such it tends to elevate any piece of apparel it’s stamped on, be it a headband, hat, tee shirt, or even a pair of socks. So without narrowing things down specifically, we’ll simply close by saying you can’t go wrong with any Rafa-branded Nike gear.