It doesn’t matter if you’re athletic or not: Tennis-core isn’t about hitting a neon ball in a straight line. It only cares whether or not you look like you own an off-shore bank account while doing it.
Hot off the trails of Wimbledon and the country club scenes in The Summer I Turned Pretty, the athletic aesthetic is the internet’s latest billionaire cosplay effort. The #tenniscore hashtag is steadily approaching 100,000 views on TikTok, with similar aesthetics like golfcore trailing behind. It joins the slew of other niche trends that have become popular lately for offering proximity to a certain fashion look and lifestyle. (See: cottagecore, coastal grandmother, and gardencore.)
As is typical with on-court outfits, the tennis-core palette is understated silhouettes and colors: Whites, creams, yellows, greens, and blacks all look great against the hard green clay courts most associated with the sport. In the same vein, classic exercise dresses, ruffled skirts, cotton polos, and visors are also staples.
Tennis-core may rely on this rather simple manner of dressing, but where the look really shines is in its use of “quiet luxury” accessories—think gold watches with ruby bezels, yard-length vintage pearl necklaces, and unnecessarily expensive designer water bottles.
Tennis, much like skiing and sailing, is a sport that’s historically associated with the 1 percent. Which perhaps explains why tennis-core isn’t really focused on the athleticism but rather the privilege that comes along with a sport that includes pristine outfits, water served with miniature fruit cubes, and diamond bracelets. Vogue’s Emma Specter recently dubbed this summer to be all about “second-wife energy,” and I’d have to agree. Name a hot bitch who doesn’t look like she plays tennis on the weekends.
While tennis has inspired the fashion world for quite some time now, the ultra-luxe aesthetic has seen a renewed interest over the past few months and is one of many glam-centric styles that’ve cropped up in the middle of our current economic tailspin. After two quarters of negative growth for America’s GDP, it seems natural that people would want to project wealth in their style. Fake it until you make it, and everything.