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Court Couture

Dana Mason of Mason's Tennis Mart on tennis fashion.

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What’s selling out at the moment?
Women like bright colors and prints—flirty but classic. Polo’s tennis-apparel line is classic, collared, and logo’d, but they do low-cut halters, too. Nike’s totally changed; it’s not so athletic-looking anymore, and it’s the most popular brand in the store. It’s more fashion-forward; everything is a little bit shorter, a little bit tighter. The colors are great—pinks, greens; they’re doing florals for the first time.

Have the skirts gotten shorter over the years?
Yes, extremely. They’re very short.

What are you supposed to wear under them?
Court shorties—little spandex shorts with pockets on the side, where you keep your tennis balls.

Is it okay to just wear the court shorties?
Definitely not. That’d be like playing in your underwear.

Do people shop here for off-court outfits ?
All the time. And they get full wardrobes. I’ll see girls on the street in a cute pleated tennis skirt and heels. Our ruffled skirts are really popular.

What’s a tennis-fashion faux pas?
There are some things that are clearly not meant for the court. Serena’s catsuit outfit was a disaster. Her lace-up boots were not meant for tennis; they looked like they were meant for other activities.

Who would you like to see come out with a tennis line?
Roberto Cavalli. I’m sure the Williams sisters would love animal-print tennis skirts.

What’s the hot new material now?
Dri-fit. It’s a wicking material, so it takes away all the sweat from your skin. Cotton is too heavy.

And the accessory?
Visors. They’re really making a comeback, with interchangeable ribbons so you can match any outfit.

Your store is filled with the heavenly aroma of fresh tennis balls.
To be honest, those are horrible chemicals you’re inhaling. Now we have these limited-edition jumbo-size balls that the players sign at the U.S. Open. So that’s what you’re smelling.

Who’s the most attractive player?
Roger Federer. For girls, Maria Sharapova. She has a great girlie look on the court, but she also looks like she’s there to play, not just to show off.

Have you ever tried the tennis-ball back massage?
No, but I know what you’re talking about! There’s a physical-therapy place across the street, and patients come right before their appointments to buy balls. What is it?

You roll around on a tennis ball. It’s a great auto-back-massage for single people.
Ah, that’s what it’s for. Hmm.


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