Active Clothing

11 Best Tennis Dresses on the Market (No Country Club Membership Required)

Photo: Getty Images / urbazon
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You don’t have to have a strong serve to look great in a tennis 'fit. You don’t even need to know what Wimbledon is. And you certainly don’t have to have a country club membership to look great in a classic tennis dress. Tennis might get a reputation for being “stuffy,"  but the truth is, tennis is a deeply athletic game not for the faint of heart. And the term “tennis dress” is really just a catchall for an athletic dress (and we love those, too). You’ll also see the term “active dress” or “performance dress” used interchangeably.

The best tennis dresses, at a glance

Best Overall: Outdoor Voices Court Dress, $108
Most Size-Inclusive: Girlfriend Collective Paloma Racerback Dress, $88
Most Versatile: Year of Ours Racer Tennis Dress, $167
Best Front Zip Option: Southern Tide Brenna Zip-Front Performance Dress, $138
Best Classic Style: EleVen by Venus Williams Wavy Dress, $98
Best No-Shorts Option: Alo Charmed Tennis Dress, $118
Most Stylish: Reformation Farrah Ecomove Active Dress, $98
Most Casual: Lacoste Stretch Polo Dress, $93
Best Budget Pick: Athleta Ace Tennis Dress, $70
Best for High Impact: NikeCourt Dri-Fit ADV Slam Dress, $100
Best Splurge: Tory Burch Performance V-Neck Tennis Dress, $248

What is a tennis dress, exactly?

So what makes a tennis dress... a tennis dress? Typically it has built-in-shorts—but not always—and the fabric is often a poly/spandex blend that’s designed to wick away moisture. Always check the laundry care label, but tennis dresses are usually machine washable and not meant to be dry cleaned. They're designed with athletic performance in mind, allowing wiggle room in the skirt for running. Some even have pockets made specifically to hold tennis balls.

Even if you never plan on picking up a racquet in your lifetime, tennis dresses are great alternatives to shorts and a T-shirt when you’re doing something active (running errands or hiking, for example), but still want to look put together. They're also a great option for sweaty, hot weather—they're breathable, feel effortless to wear, and they're easy to put on and take off.

What to look for in a tennis dress

The answer here is comfort, and that means material that's stretchy, soft, durable, and moisture-wicking. We reached out to tennis coach and former professional tennis player Valeriia Efimenko, who summed up what she looks for in a tennis dress. “The key is comfort, breathability and design," says Efimenko. "I want to be able to move in my athletic clothes, but also look like a runway model.”

Our picks for the best tennis dresses range in price and style, but they are all designed to be comfortable and easy to move in, yet still cute enough to wear off the court.

Read ahead for our favorite tennis dresses on the market right now.

Best tennis dresses

Best Overall: Outdoor Voices Court Dress — $108.00

If it’s got the Hailey Bieber and Gisele Bundchen stamp of approval, then sign us up. The Austin-based athleisure brand Outdoor Voices is known for its leggings that fly off shelves, but they also have a gorgeous collection of active dresses. We love this one, particularly, because it has side cut-outs; something you rarely see on an athletic dress. But not only does it add a dimension of style, the cut-outs make it more breathable. Plus, it comes in bright poppy colors like seafoam and tangerine, if you’re looking for something more cheerful than your standard tennis white. And the squort style is great because it has the illusion of a dress–but has built-in shorts with pockets deep enough for your iPhone.

Sizes available: XS-XL

Material: 86% polyster, 14% spandex

Color options: 3

Most Size-Inclusive: Girlfriend Collective Paloma Racerback Dress — $88.00

This racerback active dress from Girlfriend Collective is based on their best-selling sports bra, so it’s great for medium impact sports. Their eco-friendly fabrics are made from recycled materials, but feel so soft and supportive. And this particular style is great if you tend to sweat a lot (hey, who among us doesn’t?), because white can be unforgiving, so it comes in darker shades like deep green and midnight. Also, Girlfriend Collective is one of the most size-inclusive active brands on the market, with sizes ranging from XXS to 6XL.

Sizes available: XSS-6XL

Material: 79% recycled plastic bottles, 21% spandex

Color options: 4

Most Versatile: Year of Ours Racer Tennis Dress — $167.00

The athletic brand Year of Ours has the ultimate “effortlessly cool” aesthetic that works on or off the court. This stretch jersey dress has interior shorts for optimal movement, but it also has stylish bodice detailing on the front that sets it apart from your typical active dress. It’s functional enough for an intense tennis match, but you could also pair it with low heels and it instantly becomes a weekend brunch outfit.

Sizes available: XS-XL

Material: 87% polyester, 13% spandex active stretch jersey

Color options: 3

Best Front Zip Option: Southern Tide Brenna Zip-Front Performance Dress — $138.00

Southern Tide is known for their collegiate gear, if you went to a large university and want to show your school spirit. But they also have a range of tennis and performance dresses, like this zip-front active dress in sky blue. It’s made from nylon and spandex, and the best feature is that the shorts are removable, not sewn into the dress, so you have options. Which is super practical because you don’t have to get totally naked just to take a quick bathroom break.

Sizes available: XS-XL

Material: 91% nylon, 9% spandex

Color options: 2

Best Classic Style: EleVen by Venus Williams Wavy Dress — $98.00

Venus Williams is the queen of her sport, so of course we had to include a tennis dress from her line, EleVen by Venus Williams. Side note: She also has a line of excellent sunscreens, the perfect pairing to a scorching hot day on the courts. If you want that classic Wimbledon style, go for the all-white racerback dress which has a wave design for extra oomph. But if you want to tap into your Barbie tennis girl, it also comes in neon pink.

Sizes available: XS-XXL

Material: 83% nylon, 17% spandex

Color options: 1

Best No-Shorts Option: Alo Charmed Tennis Dress — $118.00

Alo’s airbrushed material is super figure-flattering and slimming, and it’s a great choice if you prefer an active dress that doesn’t have shorts sewn in. It feels more like a “dress dress,” but it’s active enough to wear on the tennis courts or during a really intense day of running errands. And you can easily dress it up by swapping out your running shoes for a pair of leather fashion sneakers.

Sizes available: XXS-L (note: Alo’s sizing is disappointingly limited)

Material: “Sculpting signature Airbrush fabric”

Color options: 4

Most Stylish: Reformation Farrah Ecomove Active Dress — $98.00

You might not realize it, but Reformation actually has a really great selection of tennis and active dresses. And their Farrah Active Dress is our pick for the most stylish tennis dress. It’s made with built-in shorts and it looks chic enough to wear while lounging on the French Riviera. It also comes in a pretty daisy pattern and a solid sky blue.

Sizes available: XS-XL

Material: 79% Repreve recycled polyester, 21% spandex

Color options: 3

Most Casual: Lacoste Stretch Polo Dress — $93.00

If you’re looking for something comfortable and sporty, but not necessarily a “sports dress,” this cotton polo dress from Lacoste is your best bet. It’s chic, breathable and relaxed, so it’s great for off-court errands. It has that look of “I play tennis,” even if you’ve never picked up a racquet in your life.

Sizes available: 32-44 (sizing is limited, possibly due to sale price and inventory)

Material: Cotton

Color options: 1

Best Budget Pick: Athleta Ace Tennis Dress — $70.00

Athleta is Gap’s activewear line, and at just under $70, this is the best budget pick on our list. It comes in white, black and pepto pink, and it has a mesh back pocket made for stashing tennis balls between sets. It doesn’t have built-in-shorts, but it pairs well with their Ultimate Shortie athletic shorts.

Sizes available: XXS-3X

Material: Recycled polyster, lycra

Color options: 3

Best for High Impact: NikeCourt Dri-Fit ADV Slam Dress — $100.00

Nike, of course, is iconic. And this pick is the most classically “athletic” tennis dress on our list. For one, it has the pleated skirt style–which many people associate with the traditional tennis look. It’s eco-friendly, made from sustainable materials, and Nike’s Dri-Fit fabric is designed to move sweat away from your skin for fast evaporation. And the dress’s mesh panels allow for extra breathability.

Sizes available: XS-XL (sizing is limited seemingly due to inventory)

Material: Recycled polyester

Color options: 1

Best Splurge: Tory Burch Performance V-Neck Tennis Dress — $248.00

If you want to splurge and go designer, you can’t go wrong with Tory Burch’s performance tennis dress. It encapsulates that classic country country club look: green and white colorway, a v-neck and a pleated skirt. It has a bit of a retro ‘70s sportswear feel, and if you’re really feeling splurge-y you can pair it with the matching Tory Burch Convertible Tennis Tote.

Sizes available: XS-XL

Material: Performance jersey

Color options: 2

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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