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Court time has always been reserved for tennis, but there’s a new sport in town: Pickleball. The game has fully taken over athletically and in the zeitgeist. Perhaps most popular in Los Angeles and New York, don’t be surprised if a slew of indoor and/or outdoor pickleball courts pop up. Here’s everything you need to know about the sport, where to play, and of course, pickleball outfits. Because what fun would it be if you didn’t know what to wear to play pickleball?
A hybrid between tennis, badminton, and ping pong, pickleball has attracted legions of fans and is actually the fastest growing sport in America right now. The numbers don’t lie: More than 36.5 million people played pickleball from August 2021 to August 2022, according to data from the Association of Pickleball Professionals released exclusively to CNBC. That’s up from a mere 5 million the year prior. 29 million people, needless to say, is a pretty big jump.
A 2023 report shows that a whopping 14% of Americans have played pickleball in the past year, and it seems everyone’s been noticing the trend. With pickle on the rise, it’s only a matter of time before you swap out your tennis look.
Data shows that while there are over 10,000 pickleball courts, demand for court space is higher than ever: Several dozen new ones continue to pop up monthly, according to USA Pickeball, and are way more visible than they used to be. New York City, naturally, is one of the epicenters of pickleball nationwide. With both indoor and outdoor options, you can take to the court any time. But New Yorkers also know the value of spending time outside during the warmer weather, so for an outdoor pickleball sesh, stop by CityPickle at Wollman Rink in Central Park, Roosevelt Island, or St. Catherine’s Park.
If you have your own net, you can really pickleball at any court (like James J Walker Park in Greenwich Village or Happy Warrior Playground in the UWS).
As with anything, there’s nothing we love more than dressing the part. Pickleball has surely brought activewear along for its rise, with entire collections of ready-to-wear and footwear devoted to mastering the sport in style. There are so many different options when choosing what to wear for pickleball, but we’ve honed in on a few of our favorite brands putting the sport as central to their latest drops.
The Upside, known for mixing clean, tailored lines with a hipster aesthetic, has rolled out an entire collection of pickleball outfits — and BANDIER has the exclusive on the The Upside’s Topspin collection. Now, what to wear to pickleball is no longer a pickle. (Sorry, we had to.) Designed as a fresh redux on traditional outfits for court sports, The Upside’s Topspin collection features a chic mix of dresses, skirts, polos and knits with modern touches and in fresh colorways.
Ultra-breathable, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying— which includes pieces with 70% sustainably sourced materials — the Topspin collection’s technical details have been carefully thought through to keep you cool, comfortable, and conscious of your environmental impact.
Topspin Fay Dress
Topspin Dominique Crew
Topspin Shae Knit Polo
Topspin Lucinda Skirt
Topspin Darcy Short
Topspin Kim Crop Tee
To celebrate the launch of The Upside’s Topspin pickleball-inspired collection, the team at BANDIER held an event at CityPickle to take to the court in ultra-fresh looks. Lydia Hirt, the CMO of CityPickle, shared our favorite insight into the sport. The key to pickleball is that precision and placement always reign over power. Translation: Women can easily bet men twice their size and with way more innate strength. Talk about women’s empowerment (and a side of pickleball outfits), am I right?
Supportive shoes, cute outfits, and a few pieces of gear are all it takes to hit the pickleball court. Well, that and mastery of a few basic moves. Watch CityPickle staffer Alyssa explain the three main swings on our TikTok. Then, check out our Court Sports edit for more.
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