Nadal, Federer, Hewitt, Sharapova, Azarenka, also known as tennis royalty and they’re all in town.
Sure I know everyone’s name in tennis and love to watch the tournaments (on television) but I’ve actually never attended the Australian Open!
Can you believe it?
Three out of my four sons actually played tennis for many years and while I sat on the sidelines every weekend to watch, I’ve never made it to the Open.
Mix in summer holidays and back-to-work activities; it’s always escaped me.
However, I do love the sport and enjoy the energy it brings to the city for a swift fortnight. Oh, and the courtside fashion of Australians, visitors and the partners of tennis players.
Andy Murray’s fiancé, Amy Sears is one to watch always pulling together effortless numbers and of course our own Bec Hewitt.
Okay, so I’m still yet to buy a ticket (there’s still time) but Lacey and I thought we’d do a bit of outdoor trend stalking… I mean spotting for Day 1 of the Australian Open.
Armed with our digital technology, we went off to Melbourne Park and snapped some of the arrivals – also asking them their reason for choosing their outfit. (answers in caption)
Now, like any sporting event, there is a “casualness” around the tennis. However, it is one of the less rowdy games and actually holds a touch of poise with it. In fact, if you’re on the courts, you’ll be hushed most of the game with a repetitive “quiet please” and hustled back to your seat in between points in a school-like manner.
So instead of reaching for your flip flops and singlet (aka beach attire), I would suggest something I like to call casual glamour.
It’s still casual, it’s comfortable but it effortlessly exudes a touch of style and demonstrates that you’ve made an effort.
So let’s begin with where you’ll be sitting as your ticket type can generally direct what you wear.
This year, there are two ticketed courts at Melbourne Park; Rod Laver Arena and the refurbished Margaret Court Arena. Then you have your ground pass and for the lucky ones, corporate marquee and box seats.
Generally, the fashion on the ground is quite casual as you don’t have an official seat so might have to retreat to the lawn in some cases.
(Not to self: Remember picnic rug).
There is also Grand Slam Oval which includes the famous Heineken Bar and a host of entertainment activities.
So I first encourage you to prepare for ANTYHING when it comes to weather. It is Melbourne – need I say more?
There is also nowhere to retreat undercover except for a few retailers and weather can be 40 plus degrees or freezing cold and raining so check the weather and prepare.
Put that tote bag into good use and pack sunscreen, insect repellent, water bottle, poncho, hat and a dark pashmina which is good to throw over your shoulders or sit on.
Fashion wise, think casual dresses, tailored shorts, tops, even a maxi-dress and some flat sandals. This is also the only time, I’d say yes to sneakers BUT they should be tennis-inspired. Sleek, clean and able to team with your look. Leave any air-pump, Nike high tread things at home. (Your kids will know what I’m talking about).
Here is where the glamour comes in.
Whether you’ve purchased your own ticket or are with a corporate group, you’ll have a reserved seat at one of the major courts.
Here is where you can make a bit more of an effort.
I’ve taken many women on shops for the tennis who are looking to dress up or put a twist on their professional attire.
Think simple slacks and a blouse, a not-so cocktail dress or a skirt/top ensemble. You might be hosting customers or networking with colleagues or are just seeking to make an effort – why not?
Others just want to sit in their seat in something a little more casual yet stylish so here you could consider more mix-and-match pieces, teaming a vest or blazer over a dress, a embellished top with lightweight pants – the options are endless.
Here a tailored maxi-dress or a jumpsuit can be worked for an interesting take on casual. You can team with sandals or low-wedges or work in a heel – many people still do.
Now in terms of weather, both courts have retractable roofs (for rain/extreme heat) however, it will still be hot/cold in your seat so consider packing the essentials as you would a ground-pass.
Seat space is tight and people come and go from the seats way too often.
(Note to self: Get an aisle seat next time).
So this is where carrying too much is a little difficult, so consider a sleek tote, handbag or small backpack for all your supplies.
Below are some other outfit ideas we have put together which are available in store now!
Finally, if you’re an avid tennis fan, bring a marker in your bag. Tennis players are floating about and generous with their signatures so you may just meet your idol and get a signed pic or a selfie if you’re lucky.
Speaking of fans, this is also a good time to bring out the Asian or Venetian hand fan you bought on your last holiday.
Don’t laugh, watch the crowds, in the heat, you’ll see them all fanning themselves with whatever they can find.
You may as well look glamorous while you do it.