Same Same But Different: Game, Set, Match! ELLE Editors Take a Swing at Tenniscore

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Welcome to Same Same But Different. As Gen Z and millennial fashion editors, respectively, we know a thing or two about shopping—for all ages, and especially our demographics. As we find the best products for you, we can’t help but do a little shopping for ourselves and build our personal (age-appropriate) wish lists. And now, we’re sharing them with you. Ahead, check out what’s in our hearts and in our carts lately.


dale chong

Dale Chong: I don’t know about you, but this year seems to be flying by—how is it already May?! I’m not mad about it though, especially given the fact that one of my favorite times of year has come: tennis season. As someone who’s been playing the sport since high school (and recently gotten into it more), I’m excited—are you?

meg

Meg Donohue: I’m having an existential crisis about how quickly time is passing. It’s madness, but to your point, I’m overjoyed that winter has given way to spring. I can feel myself coming alive again. That said, I’m no tennis chick. I did “play” on my high school team…but by that I mean I had rowdy sleepovers with my teammates. There was little playing involved, at least on my end. I was into the sport when I was younger, however. I wish I had stuck with it, and Zendaya’s recent press tour looks for Challengers are only making it more appealing. Has the aesthetic of tennis always intrigued you, or are you strictly in it for the love of the game?

DC: I’m not going to lie, ever since tennis became a -core, I’ve been more invested in the sport. What can I say? I’m a fashion girl through and through. In all seriousness, it’s given me all the more reason to get back into the sport. And while I still have a few pieces from my school days, I must admit that the current selection of tennis dresses and skirts (and gym bags!) has gotten really chic. My favorites at the moment include this Wilson pleated skirt, which has a high ribbed waistband that it holds me in just so. And when paired with the brand’s tank, it’s an instant outfit—making me feel put-together on and off the court. Speaking of which, I have an entirely separate off-court look, which includes regular tennis shoes (these metallic sneakers from New Balance are my current pick) and a lightweight jacket from Kith, because it’s still a little chilly in the morning, at least on the East Coast. And, not to brag, but during a recent match with a friend, other players called us “the style girls.” So, take that for what you will.

But enough about the courtside comments! For someone who doesn’t play tennis on the regular, are you taking inspiration from Zendaya’s Challengers ensembles (those Loewe shoes were no joke) or somewhere else?

MD: Okay, “style girl!” Just last night, I watched the Knicks playoff game from the corner seat at a bar and, when I got my check, it literally said “Corner Girl” instead of the table number. So I guess that’s my new persona.

Anyway, back to tennis. Zendaya is definitely the ultimate inspiration. She’s the best PR the sport could ever hope for, if you ask me. I’m definitely on board with built-in shorts under skirts and dresses; I live in playsuits in the summer. They’re sporty but also so stylish if you wear them right. But for a more tennis-inspired look, I’m digging this set from Alo. The brand has been upping its non-athletic wear recently (I adore this blazer), and this is about as preppy as I can manage. I just don’t pull off the country club look very well, although that kind of lifestyle is aspirational, no doubt. I confess, I’m certainly not taking functionality into account with this knit look. I have no plans to hit the court, so it doesn’t really matter to me. Are you looking for items that you actually could play in?

DC: Only for practice! That said, the sport—and the prep school aesthetic, for that matter—has definitely been informing my sartorial choices lately. I’m trying to manifest myself a box seat at this year’s U.S. Open. Basically, I’m upping the ante with Wimbledon-inspired looks, cosplaying as a WAG (for the uninitiated, this stands for the wives and girlfriends of the pros).

The hero here is without a doubt Ralph Lauren’s V-neck sweater vest—in large part due to the brand’s association with the sport. Because I like to save my tennis skirts for the courts, I’ll be opting for a pair of linen shorts instead. As far as footwear goes, I’ll be opting for a more relaxed pair of horsebit loafers to give the ensemble some polish. And to top it all off, sunglasses and a seasonal crossbody bag, because those are simply essentials.

How are you putting your own spin on the trend?

MD: We are wannabe WAGs, 100 percent. I think my entrypoint is the sportiness of the trend. As mentioned, I love skort-like ensembles like this Sporty & Rich dress, and I’d add a Pucci visor for a bit of flair. In addition to traditionally preppy silhouettes and tennis motif-printed looks, Zendaya has also been leaning into shades of green as a more subtle homage to tennis, which I can get behind. Apple green is one of my favorite hues, so if I can don something in that shade range and call it tenniscore, I’m in. I think these vibrant sneakers and a matching sling bag would make any outfit exciting.

Lastly, I’m only a tiny bit ashamed to admit I love this Jellycat keychain. I know we both are eyeing bag charms as an up-and-coming trend. Could you picture us sipping Honey Deuces with our plush keyrings in tow?

DC: Absolutely not. I love that keychains and bag charms are becoming a thing. Who knows—you might even find me with a mini tennis ball on my everyday work tote soon. With that, I’ll leave you with one final recommondation: Watch Break Point on Netflix—it might prove to be informative as we work our way toward WAG status. Until next time!


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