Dress Code for Pickleball: Style, Comfort, and the Rules

July 2023 • Emily Thompson

Exploring the Unofficial Dress Code of Pickleball

Ah, pickleball fashion! It's like a breath of fresh air compared to the rigid dress codes of other sports. Here in San Diego, I've seen it all on the courts – from moisture-wicking tees that battle the California heat to those bold, statement leggings that scream personality. And guess what? It's all about comfort and performance, intertwined with a dash of personal style.

Is There an Official Dress Code for Pickleball? Not Really! 

What I love about pickleball is its laid-back approach to attire. There is just one hard and fast rule, avoid colors that camouflage the ball – a practical point, really. But hey, if you're entering a tournament, it's always a good idea to check if they have any specific dress guidelines. You don't want to be that player who sticks out for the wrong reasons!

The Perfect Pickleball Outfit: A Mix of Style and Practicality

Top Picks: I'm all for tops that let my skin breathe! Whether it's a racerback tank top or a funky athletic tee, the key is moisture-wicking fabric. Trust me, it's a game-changer during those intense rallies.

Bottom Line: Shorts, skirts, leggings – the choice is yours. I'm partial to leggings for their versatility and comfort. And guys, if you're picking shorts, get ones with pockets. You'll thank me later when you're not scrambling for balls.

Shoes Matter: Don't just throw on any old sneakers. Court shoes with solid support and traction are a must. They're designed for the kind of side-to-side action pickleball demands.

Accessorize Wisely: In sunny California, hats, visors, and sunglasses aren't just fashion statements – they're essentials. They shield you from the sun and keep your game sharp.

Dressing for the Weather: Be Prepared

Weather can be a wildcard, especially when you're playing outdoors. Layering is the secret. Start with a moisture-wicking base, add some insulation if it's chilly, and top it off with a wind-resistant jacket. As the game heats up, peel off those layers as needed.

The "Appropriate" Attire Debate

Oh, the drama! Just like the Dominika Juillet incident, the debate over what's "appropriate" pickleball wear is ongoing. It's a fine line between expressing yourself and respecting the game. I think as long as we're comfortable and not offending anyone, we're good, right?

Local Rules May Vary

While USA Pickleball sets the general tone, local clubs and events often tweak these guidelines. It's like a pickleball fashion potluck – every place brings something different to the table. Just be aware that what flies at my local San Diego club might not at yours.

The Evolving Fashion of Pickleball

Pickleball's style scene is ever-changing, mirroring the sport's growth and diversity. Players are getting bolder, blending athletic functionality with personal flair. It's not just about playing the game; it's about making a statement on the court.

In the end, pickleball's fashion is about striking that perfect balance between expressing yourself and playing your best game. As the sport grows, so does its sartorial freedom, making every game not just a match but a fashion showcase in its own right.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the specific guidelines for pickleball attire in tournaments?

In tournaments, players are generally expected to wear athletic attire that does not approximate the color of the pickleball being used. Additionally, some tournaments may require more specific attire, such as tennis-style skirts for women or collared shirts for men. It's always best to consult the specific tournament's rules or the governing body's guidelines, such as those from USA Pickleball.

Can I wear tennis attire for playing pickleball?

Yes, tennis attire is perfectly suitable for playing pickleball. The key is to choose clothing that allows for comfortable movement and performance on the court.

Are there any recommendations for playing pickleball in colder weather?

For colder weather, layering is essential. Start with a base layer that wicks away moisture, add an insulating layer for warmth, and top it off with a wind-resistant or waterproof outer layer if necessary. As you warm up, you can remove layers as needed to maintain comfort.

Are there any specific brands that are recommended for playing pickleball?

While no specific brands are mandated, players often choose apparel and footwear designed for tennis or badminton for their comfort and suitability to the sport's demands.

What type of shoes are recommended for pickleball?

Court shoes are a good option for pickleball, as they are designed for lateral movements and provide the necessary support for quick changes in direction.

Are there any color restrictions for pickleball clothing?

No, there are no specific color restrictions for pickleball clothing. However, it is recommended to wear clothing that is comfortable, breathable, and allows for a full range of motion.

Can I wear jewelry while playing pickleball?

According to the official rules of pickleball, jewelry is allowed as long as it does not pose a risk to the player or their opponents. However, it is recommended to remove any jewelry that may cause injury or get caught on equipment.