what to wear to a tennis tournament

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ever since i can remember we’ve been a tennis family. a tennis-playing, tennis-watching, tennis-loving family. in fact, to prove our devotion for the sport, on and off for the past five+ years my parents and i have attended the annual bnp paribas open tennis tournament at the stunning indian wells tennis garden in the desert. last weekend, we made a return visit, this time with S in tow.

if you’ve been a reading my blog for a while, you know that over the course of S and my relationship, i have attempted to brainwash  foster in him a mutual love for the sport with weekly tennis dates and afternoons spent catching up on matches at gram slams like january’s australian open. i’m happy to report that after nearly two years, it’s safe to say we have another tennis fan in the family. so being able to share in S’s first tennis tournament experience definitely made our day to the desert all the sweeter.

if you’re a tennis fan, you know there’s a lot more tennis to be watched this year, so if you’re lucky enough to take in a live match, i’ve rounded up a few styling tips (and a few lifestyling tips) to keep in mind as you plan what to wear to watch your favorite players do their thing.





bring an extra layers. whenever we go somewhere -whether it be a week-long vacation or just a day trip, i am religious about checking the forecasted weather for our destination. for someone who hates to be ill-prepared to anything, i always want to ensure that whatever i decide to wear (or in some instances, pack) is appropriate for the temperatures we’ll be experiencing during our stay. the temperatures for indian wells read high 70’s/low 80’s all week, so i figured it was safe to stick with a cotton tank and shorts. however, having gone to many a sporting event in my life, i know that sometimes the stadiums act like a mini wind tunnel and temperatures can drop quite drastically if you suddenly find yourself in the shade. so i was sure to bring a chambray button-down just in case i needed an extra layer. i’ve found a button-down is also very useful to throw over your legs if you think your gams are getting too much sun exposure.





everlane tank || j.crew shorts (similar) || madewell belt || madewell flats (similar)

urban outfitters fedora (similar) || marc jacobs bag || j.crew chambray

choose light fabrics. this tip kind of goes hand-in-hand with the one listed above. since i knew it was going to be hot and i know i’m not immune to sweating (or “glowing” as us gals do), i wanted to be sure i wore fabrics that would 1) breath and 2) hide said sweat. so basically grey was out of the question. i opted for a simple sleeveless tank and a pair of fun patterned shorts. both are cotton so they dry quickly and thankfully hid any lingering traces of sweat.

wear a hat. when it’s sunny, hot, and you have hair past your ribs, the last thing you want to worry about is having it it blow around in your face or stick to the back of your neck (ew). so whenever i got to this event specifically, i always opt for a hat. hats truly are the best of form and function. not only are they the perfect accent to any outfit, they shield you from the sun and perhaps their best quality -hide dirty hair! if i’m not wearing my hair down, i also like to sport mine with a loose side braid since it keeps my hair tamed and off my neck.

opt for comfortable shoes. i realize there is a lot of sitting involved in watching a tennis match but some venues can be quite large so chances are you’ll be walking a good amount, too. while your four-inch wedge espadrilles may look really cute with your white sundress, they ain’t going to feel so good after a few trips up and down the stadium bleachers. i usually opt for a sandal or open-toe flat with little to no heel. i bought these two-tone flats at madewell two summers ago and they are still easily my most-worn warm weather shoe. i particularly like the fact that i can slide them off and on easily if my feet start to swell in the heat.

bring sunscreen. for someone who has two colors -pale and lobster -sunscreen is vital in these conditions. to avoid getting it on my clothes, i apply it to my entire body (or at least the main parts that i know will be exposed -including the tops of my feet and ears!) right out of the shower. and then i let it dry completely before getting dressed. i can usually start to feel myself getting pink after a couple hours of sitting in direct sun, so i usually bring the bottle with me in the car for reapplication later. my favorite brand is elta MD -it offers great protection but isn’t greasy.

downsize your purse. no one wants to lug around a giant purse all day! plus with so many patrons looming around, you can never be too safe with your valuables. for those reasons, i usually downsize my bag to a crossbody purse that i can wear close to my body with only the essentials (cash, ID, phone, gum, lip gloss, small bottle of sunscreen).

carry snacks. while most tournament venues offer a variety of refreshment options, the prices can really add up! that’s why we always try to bring our own water bottles and have snacks on hand if we get hungry in between matches. my favorite on-the-go snacks are always single-serving packs of raw almonds (i love the ones from trader joe’s), a ripe apple, or a perfect bar.

bring a camera! oftentimes you can get fairly close to the players as they’re warming up on the practice courts, so despite having a camera on your phone, sometimes it’s nice to have a point-and-shoot with a zoom feature to capture high-resolution photos you can have as keepsakes.




bottom line, if you visit a venue like indian wells, the surroundings themselves are so breathtaking, no matter what the tennis matches are like that day, you’ll have a great time!

  • Aunt Teresa
    March 14, 2016

    Never been to a tennis match but you nailed it on what to wear in the desert. Nice photos. Hope the match was fun.

    • snadelman
      March 14, 2016

      You must go sometime, it’s so much fun! It was truly the perfect day. The weather was lovely and the company even better. xoxo

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