Aussie Open 2014 In Review

When the Aussie Open began two weeks ago, I don’t think anyone expected Na Li and Stanislas Wawrinka to be the champions. In becoming such, they achieved something rare. Na Li is the first Asian winner of the Grand Slam of Asia Pacific and Wawrinka became the first person outside of “The Big Four” to win a Grand Slam title since Juan Martin Del Potro won the U.S. Open in 2009.  But this tournament was also rare because it taught us so much. Here’s what we learned from the Aussie Open 2014:

1. No one is invincible Seeds fell early as upsets abounded this year. Novak Djokovic’s loss to eventual champion Wawrinka was the most notable upset on the men’s side as many had Novak tapped to win his fourth consecutive and fifth overall Aussie Open title. On the women’s side, favorite Serena Williams lost in the Round of 16 to Ana Ivanovic who was then upset by Canadian teenager Eugenie Bouchard. Sharapova and Radwanska lost to finalist Dominika Cibulkova and defending champion Victoria Azarenka lost to Radwanska.

2. There is beauty in simplicity The current trend among tennis clothing seems to be the busier the better, especially with Nike and their crazy shorts and tops. But Alize Cornet taught us a valuable lesson with her Lacoste dress: that more is not better.

CornetThis dress is simple yet pretty and I have to say, it’s one of my favorite outfits of the tournament. The sleeves are sheer mesh and add a little something special without being overpowering or distracting. Thank you, Lacoste for breaking from the outrageous and the neon to bring us this classy look.

Alize wants to know why Nike and Adidas have to go all crazy with their designs

Alize wants to know why Nike and Adidas have to go all crazy with their designs

3. The “hanger effect” can also happen in reverse You know the scenario. You see something on a hanger in a store and you fall in love with it. You take it to the dressing room and try it on but it just doesn’t look as good on you as it did on the hanger no matter how much tugging and readjusting you do. This is known as the “hanger effect.” But we learned at the Aussie Open this year that if it looks bad on the hanger, it might not look so bad on you. Case in point, Caroline Wozniacki’s Adidas by Stella McCartney dress.

Woz Aussie 14This didn’t look nearly as bad on Caro as I thought it would. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m still not a fan of it because it’s just too busy. And I’m also sad to announce that it’s now available in blue. Looks like we’ll be looking at this style until Roland Garros.

On the other hand, Flavia Pennetta’s Adidas by Stella McCartney outfit looked just as bad as I expected it to.

PennettaThis is a good look for no one.

4. Nike needs new designers The person who designed the high waisted skirt for women needs to be fired. The person who designed the multicolored striped shorts for men needs to be fired. Maria Sharapova needs to stop designing dresses that involve visible undershorts.

Strike 1

Strike 1

Strike 2

Strike 2

Strike 3

Strike 3

You're out! (Here's hoping)

You’re out! (Here’s hoping)

5. Back injuries blow Nadal was severely hampered by his second set back injury in the final and it’s a shame because it was shaping up to be a good match. But then he was out there sandbagging and Wawrinka’s play seemed to drop with Nadal’s and we had one very weird men’s final. And it wasn’t good in a weird way. Would Wawrinka have still won had Nadal been able to play at his normal level of sublime tennis? We’ll never know. Not only is the back one of the worst injuries you can sustain in tennis–I know from experience. You don’t realize how much you use your back in the sport until you injure it and every step and every swing hurts–but it made the men’s final far less exciting than it could have been and it denied Wawrinka the chance to really and truly celebrate his first Grand Slam title.

*All photos courtesy of AusOpen.com and TennisWarehouse.com

Aussie Open Apparel Preview

With the Australian Open less than a week away, there’s no better time than the present to take a look at what the Nike and Adidas players will be wearing.

First up is the Maria Sharapova dress. The color is pretty but that’s about where my like for this dress ends.

Maria Sharapova's Nike Aussie Open dress

Maria Sharapova’s Nike Aussie Open dress

Yes, this is a dress. A really short dress. A dress so short, you have to wear shorts underneath that stick out half a foot. This isn’t the first time Sharapova has come out with a dress like this. At the U.S. Open 2013, she was slated to wear a dress of similar cut with shorts underneath. She missed the tournament due to injury but Eugenie Bouchard wore it and it was not a good look.

You know what this look reminds me of? The last time I went to Disney World, in 2007, there were several big groups of Brazilian teens who were all wearing the same field trip T-shirts.  But most of the girls were wearing printed bike shorts. I was highly confused by this because that’s what I wore back in the early 1990s. Fashion has a way of repeating itself but this is not a trend I ever wanted to see again. Does it come with a matching scrunchie?

Nike’s next look is for Serena Williams. At first glance, I liked this dress, too.

Serena Williams' Aussie Open dress

Serena Williams’ Aussie Open dress

But then I see it in pink and on a person and my first thought is old lady swim dress.

Dress or swimsuit?

Dress or swimsuit?

Some swim dresses are cute if they’re the right cut and worn by the right person. But this one is just straight up old lady. But wait a minute, it’s not a swimsuit. It’s a tennis dress!

The rest of Nike’s looks are pretty basic. Your basic tanks and pleated skirts. Only a couple of the looks are noteworthy but they may not be worn by any of the players.

Nike womensThe top isn’t bad, just kind of busy. The skirt on the other hand is bad. Remember Victoria Azarenka’s terrible high waisted skirt at last year’s U.S. Open? It’s the same cut with added pattern. Let’s hope no one wears it at the Aussie Open.

Now on to the Nike men. First up, Rafa Nadal with a crew that’s simple yet appealing.

Rafa shirtRoger Federer’s polo is simple and classic.

RF PoloClassic and simple is a nice break from their other crew options.

Nike crews

Busy, busy, busy! So busy! And to wear the blue or black would be suicide in the Melbourne heat. It may be sub-freezing in most of the United States but let’s not forget, it’s the middle of summer in the Southern Hemisphere and it’s been known to get well above 100 degrees on court. The red crew is thankfully not busy but the dark color may cause problems during day matches. But hey, if it’s hot, just jump into a pool right? Nike has you covered!

Nike shortsContinuing with Nike’s bathing suit look are these men’s shorts. Yes, these are shorts, not swim trunks. I sincerely hope no one wears these.

Now let’s turn our attention to Adidas.

First up, Adidas by Stella McCartney. At first, Caroline Wozniacki was the only one to wear this label but now it boasts Laura Robson, Maria Kirilenko and Andrea Petkovic among its wearers. This dress however (thankfully) is only worn by Woz.

Stella McCartney 2014I mean, really, there are no words. Except maybe heinous and atrocity.

The separates aren’t much better.

Stella McCartney tops & skirts Pleats, prints, stripes. There’s just too much going on, just like the dress.

I’m on the fence with this next look.

Adidas dress 2014I love the blue color of this dress–it matches the courts!–and I love the orange accent sports bra underneath. I also love how the back is sheer with this crisscross pattern. What I don’t like is the cowl neck. Sure it looks fine in this picture but let’s take a look at it close up.

Adidas cowl neckThis is what happens when cowl necks are not maintained. And by not maintained, I mean when you don’t sit like a statue and not move at all. They inevitably flop over. And since tennis players move around so much, that cowl neck is not going to stay in place. It just looks sloppy to me. Although I do like the color of this top–the dress is only available in blue–but that’s probably because I’m partial to orange because of my Sam Houston State Bearkats.

The skirt that goes with this top has me on the fence as well.

Adidas skirt 2014It looks like she’s either pulled her skirt aside or a big chunk has been torn out but it’s supposed to look like that. It doesn’t look too bad from the front but from the side, it’s just strange. I wouldn’t have worn this when I played tennis.

And finally, let’s take a look at men’s Adidas.

First we have the barricade and Galaxy crews.

Adidas barricade crews

Adidas barricade crews

Adidas Galaxy crews

Adidas Galaxy crews

I like these for their simplicity, which is a nice change from Nike’s busy looks, as well as Adidas’ own neon looks from years past. Aside from the black for player heat safety reasons, the only one I don’t like is the barricade crew in Solar Slime. Aside from it having a terrible name, it’s slightly eyeball searing. But only slightly.

The Australian Open begins on January 13 (or January 12 if you are in the United States). I can’t wait to see these new looks debut. You never know, sometimes clothes look better on the person than on the hanger.

*All photos courtesy of TennisWarehouse.com

Published in: on January 8, 2014 at 12:17 am  Leave a Comment  
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Adidas Aussie Open Preview

Good news, readers! The Australian Open is a mere sixteen days away! And Adidas may have finally come out of its funk! Maybe.

For both the men and women, Adidas has gone with a black, gray, and yellow color palette. I don’t know about you, but I’m happy to see the rainbow bright stuff gone. So here is a look at the new stuff that we should be seeing at the Australian Open…

First, is the men’s adizero group.  The polo and crew have the same color-fade design.  It has a slightly retro feel to it that I happen to like.

Adidas adizero men 2013I cannot say the same for the shorts, however. They feature an odd wave-like design that completely clashes with the shirt pattern.  They are also available in white with a less noticeable design, so let’s hope more men choose the white.

Adidas shortsNext up, is the men’s barricade group.  The color palette is the same but the design is different.  The crew features a black and yellow mix on the shoulders–and as we all know from pre-school finger painting, this turns into an odd greenish color–while the polo is classic and clean cut.  The shorts for this collection are plain white, gray, or black.

Adidas barricade crewAdidas barricade poloNow on to the women.  The women’s adizero group features the same color-fade pattern as the men in the skirt and dress while the tanks and crews are basic solid colors.

Adidas skirt

Adidas dressAdidas adizero womenI approve of all the adizero looks for women.  The color palette is toned down from the previous few seasons but still visually interesting.

The final Adidas collection is Adidas by Stella McCartney.  This season, this collection is also the barricade collection. Normally, the two are separate.  Some players will wear barricade and one, Caroline Wozniacki, will wear Adidas by Stella McCartney.  So, this leaves me wondering if other Adidas players will be wearing looks by Stella McCartney as well.

The colors for this collection are white and pastel yellow.  The dress is flat in the front but features pleats in the back.

Adidas by Stella McCartney

Adidas by Stella McCartney dress

*All photos courtesy of TennisWarehouse.com

Published in: on December 29, 2012 at 8:49 pm  Comments (1)  
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Adidas strikes again!

Ana Ivanovic may have won her first round match at the U.S. Open 6-3 6-2 over qualifier Elina Svitolina but she won’t be winning any fashion awards.  She wore the Adidas adizero fall dress in yellow.  On TennisWarehouse.com, it doesn’t look too bad…

Adidas Fall adizero dress
*courtesy of TennisWarehouse.com

 

But there is something about this dress on someone that just makes it the ugliest tennis dress ever.

Ana Ivanovic wearing the Adidas adizero Fall dress
*courtesy of Getty Images

 

The bad thing is that Ivanovic is not the only player to wear this unfortunate get-up.  Sorana Cirstea, who took out Sabine Lisicki yesterday in the first round, is also wearing this dress.  Daniela Hantuchova, who lost her first round match to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, also wore this dress.

This dress is available in pink, as Ivanovic demonstrated at the recent Rogers Cup in Montreal.  Somehow, the pink dress is nowhere near as bad as the yellow. In fact, I think the pink dress is actually quite a nice dress.

Ana Ivanovic wears the Adidas Fall adizero dress in pink
*courtesy of Associated Press

Even more unfortunate than the yellow women’s dress is the Adidas men’s adizero Fall crew in yellow which looks bad both on and off the wearer.

 

Adidas Fall adizero crew in yellow. Too ugly for words.
*courtesy of TennisWarehouse.com

 

 

Published in: on August 28, 2012 at 9:37 pm  Comments (1)  
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2011 Wimbledon White Clothes Preview

Wimbledon is less than a week away. Show of hands, who’s excited? I know I am!

Because ofWimbledon’s strict dress code that requires players to wear all white, it can be the most boring of the Grand Slams in terms of fashion. Players can, of course, add their own little touches to their clothes with splashes of color and, as the Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova have been known to do, have unique ensembles, specifically designed just for them.

Here’s a look at what you may see at Wimbledon next week, based on the collections Nike and Adidas already have out.

Nike women can go with any of the three main collections for dress-code approved apparel; the Flirty, Gridiron and Spark collections all have mostly white pieces in them.  Serena Williams appears to be wearing the Smash Lawn dress, which is a surprisingly subdued dress by Serena standards.  It remains to be seen what her sister, Venus, who wears her own line not connected with Nike, will wear.  Nike player and designer Maria Sharapova does not show her Wimbledon outfit on Nike’s website or TennisWarehouse.com.  For a look at the other Nike women’s tennis apparel, checkout Nike.com.

Adidas, unlike Nike (at least to my knowledge), has released an umbrella Wimbledon collection that encompasses the adiZero and Barricade collections as well as the new adiPure collection.  The collection is mostly white with splashes of red-orange, pink and blue and of course consists of tops, tanks, skirts and dresses.  To see this collection, checkout TennisWarehouse.com.

I am interested in seeing what Caroline Wozniacki will wear because she has basically exhausted the Adidas by Stella McCartney collection.  The only thing she has not worn is the pleated ruffle tank, which is just a fashion atrocity.  My guess is that she will wear the white version of the ruffle dress she wore at Roland Garros.  I am now taking bets as to what it will be.

As for the men, Nike has white shorts and white polos and crews in the collection that Federer wears, the Challenger group. While the collection that Nadal wears, the Showdown group, has white items, the selection is extremely limited. In fact, there is only one shirt, the Sunburst shirt, that would fit the Wimbledon dress requirements.  You can check out all of Nike’s men’s tennis apparel here at Nike.com.

As they did for their women, Adidas released an umbrella Wimbledon collection for their men, encompassing, as was the case for the women, the adiZero and Barricade collections and the new adiPure collection.  The curious thing about the new Wimbledon adiPure collection is that the only shorts in the collection are plaid. I’m not sure if these actually follow Wimbledon’s dress-code. I guess we will find out next week.  The Wimbledon adiZero and Barricade collections are much toned down versions of their spring and summer counterparts.  If you will recall, the adiZero collection featured shirts with a bold (and tacky) finger paint-like motif.  Thank goodness those are gone! To checkout the Adidas men’s tennis apparel you can visit TennisWarehouse.com.

Remember,Wimbledon starts June 20! Get your strawberries and cream—and your white clothes—ready!

Published in: on June 15, 2011 at 12:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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