2009 holiday gift guide



While the tennis season is fully wrapped (and the exhibition season in full swing), TSF is ready to take a break for the holiday season. But before we do, it’s more than necessary to point out a few items (and looks) that you must take a peek at for the holidays. It’s our 2009 Holiday Gift Guide, and we hope you enjoy it…

First off is the Barricade L3 tennis racquet (and bag!) from adidas. That’s right, adidas. If you love to be matching in all things, then pick up this combo (in stores or online for $185) so that you can sport the adidas stripes throughout your entire game. As for adidas tennis balls, those still don’t exist. DIY, here you come.

While we love the chic look of the adidas racquet and bag, nothing beats the tennis fashion of Polo Ralph Lauren this holiday season. While the brand may not have a tennis pro to flaunt their pretty product around the globe, tennis fashion expert Dana Mason calls the fall/winter line her best seller in the store.

“I love navy and there’s a lot of that in this line. The dresses are very fitted and short with a deep v-neck,” Mason explains. “It’s all perfect for winter vacationing.”

Two of our winter faves are the Tonal Diagonal Stripe Polo (pictured below), which is on sale online right now for just $49 and the Ralph Lauren Matchpoint Dress, with much inspiration from the US Open line in which Polo took ball boy/girl (and lines person) fashion to new heights. (Dress can be seen after the cut).

Read more on our holiday recommendations after the cut.

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mason’s master of tennis fashion



masons-tennis-mart

Though her favorite part of the day is making her customers smile, there are a few of them that Dana Mason has never even seen.

“I have a few customers that just trust me,” she said outside the Manhattan tennis store last week. “I have a customer in Chicago that has never even been in the store. I just know what she likes and we ship out boxes. She never sends anything back.”

Dana is VP of Mason’s Tennis Mart, one the few tennis goods stores in New York City, and a primary destination for U.S. Open products this year.

According to Dana, the Open brought “absolute insanity” to the store, but the place itself has been humming for the past 35 years, thanks to Dana’s father, Mark, who first opened the shop in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

The boutique now sits comfortably in Midtown on the east side, just south of where many affluent New Yorkers live, and just north of many corporate offices, where Dana says many of her customers work.

“This is a perfect location for us,” she said, eyeing the store as midday traffic zips through the doors.

While her dad might be the tennis guru in the family business, Dana has always had an eye for fashion. As a young girl, she would hang around the store, but said her interest lay mostly in the clothes. 

When her dad brought her on as a buyer seven years ago, Dana flourished in the position.

“I’m so lucky that my dad brought me into the business,” Dana said. “Picking out merchandise for the store and watching it come off the shelves, I love that. Those are my picks, and I love when the customers love them.”

Dana knows her tennis fashion: from Fred Perry to Fila, adidas, Nike, and Polo Ralph Lauren, Dana has dealt with the big guns of the tennis fashion world.

Which isn’t to say that this is all fun and games. Her biggest frustration?

“Not getting the players outfits! I can’t tell you how many people come in wanting Sharapova‘s dress or Roger‘s jackets. But those things just aren’t available. It makes me sad!”

Read more about Dana’s picks for what’s next in tennis fashion, who shops Mason’s and her tennis DON’T for on-court fashion. [Read more...]