tennis whites

On September 6, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

Surely part of my love for tennis springs from our abiding agreement on the superiority of white.

stella mccartney adidas tennis dress

This is one of the Stella McCartney for Adidas Barricade dresses. There are a few similar styles, slight variations on this, featuring fitted torsos, flared skirts, asymmetrical netting details and stylish cutouts. Most are straight dresses (nothing built in) that come with a matching white bra and shorts. It’s a lovely, basic shape with interest created in the texture of the netting and the asymmetrical seaming.

stella mccartney adidas tennis dress

This one features an oval cutout in the back that’s a nice surprise (which proved impossible to capture with my phone…).


I appreciate this kind of designer collaboration. It adds a great injection of style to the host brand yet (usually) at a much friendlier price than the designer brand. So many compliments on the court wearing this.

adidas duramo watch

Adidas Duramo watch

Above: New Balance shoes, Wilson racket. There’s a white visor going on as well.

Anybody else watching the U.S. Open?

tennis whites

On June 2, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

Anyone looking at the number of tennis skirts I’ve amassed would guess I play a lot more than I do. The process of shopping for my tennis wardrobe is a prime example of aspirational acquisition. I want to play more, and I want the way I look to reflect that. Want to look as if I do play.

[Which I do, though, while I am not bad, I am not what I would call good yet, either.]

I want to be inspired to be the kind of player I look as if I might be, and dress like the player I want to be (dress “up” – ready parallels here with dressing like the person you want to be). There is always power in looking the part.*

*Did you see this video of the homeless veteran who has a makeover that changes his life? Did I mention this already?


And tennis has the best outfits.

I know that the tradition of white is all tied up in the sport’s aristocratic heritage and is fundamentally impractical…but I love white. And white just looks better and better as the summer wears on and I gradually bronze up and bleach out.

I mentioned planning to feature some tennis gear a while ago when I mentioned getting this watch, but somehow or another kept getting thwarted.


I prefer skirts to dresses, tennis-wise, but the dresses have their charm, too. They are both so adorably unnecessary. Such a quaint holdover, dismissed long ago by every other sport I can bring to mind.* Such an instantly recognizable uniform (and any uniform may also be a costume: I was a tennis player for Halloween once, effortlessly). The option to wear them is too good to pass up.

*I could think up some feminist issues with this but I don’t feel like it. They are cute. I like them.

This particular dress is forgiving of how out of shape I am at the moment.  [Shall we blame winter? Even though it was a while ago now? Let’s blame winter.] You may not be able to tell…so much the better.

Pure Lime tennis dress, Fila visor (this is key), Adidas racquet bag (this one is enormous, I carry everything in it), Wilson BLX Pro Open racquet, Saucony sneakers. I like for this kind of gear, which has great sales now and then and a number of useful guides. I like to pick and choose across brands in this context as in any other.


Yes, I really do wear the wristbands.

I’ll have to show you some of the classic pleated tennis skirts I have, which have to be my favorites. Or do I like the sleeker ones best? It matters not.


reading: Nabokov, Stein, France, tennis, babies….

On July 9, 2013 by theseventhsphinx


Baby Meets World: Suck, Smile, Touch, Toddle, Nicholas Day – Babies are fascinating, and this provides much evidence to support that. Myth debunking, history of oft misguided babycare, multicultural perspective, weird/cool data.

Strokes of Genius:Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played, L. Jon Wertheim – Outlines in elaborate detail, with superb orientation, the 2008 men’s Wimbledon final. I haven’t read that much sports writing, admittedly, but I think this is great sports writing. I was already into tennis when I read this…and it got me more into tennis.

Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Nabokov – Nabokov improves your vocabulary and forces you into new cerebral flexibility. I think he is phenomenal.

Paris France, Gertrude Stein – Lately I will give just about any book on France a go. This is good (many of them are not good), sort of slippery and fluid and fast-reading, though her style gets in your head. Weirdly I am reading a lot about France and babies. And babies in France.

On Lies, Secrets, and Silence, Adrienne Rich – This is a collection of searching and riveting essays, all to do somehow or another with women and feminism. So many beautiful and true moments in this. Recommend.

acquisitions: Adidas Duramo tennis watch

On May 1, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

Wanted a watch suitable for exercising–really, for tennis– and opted for this one: the Duramo from the Adidas Performance line.



I may also run in it, theoretically (most of the running I do doesn’t get beyond the theoretical stage), but it will be basically devoted to tennis. There are a number of variations on this design, different colors, with a round face instead of a square face…but this was the one I liked best: bright, quick and simple to read, relatively clean design (for a sporty watch). I often find a like Adidas designs, they have some great tenniswear, too. Imagine this watch with a white wristband and this Wilson dress I got recently:



Will definitely have to do some posts on tenniswear when it warms up. It’s probably 70% of why I play tennis.