Sporting events just wouldn't be the same without the tacky T-shirts, memorial cups, and foam fingers they generate. But do you ever actually buy any of that stuff? No. No, you don't.
This year's U.S. Open might change that. The tennis tournament, which started on August 25, has inspired some of our favorite brands to create products that blend style and function. Below, a few pieces of gear (and one really great app) that might make tennis more fun to play than it is to watch.
Ralph Lauren Polo Tech
If you've been wondering why some of the ball boys at the Open are wearing all-black tees, it's because they're testing out the latest in wearable technology. The American brand partnered with OM, a Canadian company that makes biometric wearables, to produce a shirt that can keep track of your heart rate, steps, respiration, movement, agility, and all sorts of other metrics of your physical fitness. This information is then transmitted to an app that will tell you how effective your workout is in real time.
David Lauren, who runs advertising, marketing, and corporate communications for the brand, told us that he's not limiting himself to sportswear: "Ultimately, this kind of technology can be woven into a plaid shirt, a suit, a dress shirt. You can get your biometrics sitting in your office or walking down the street."
Pricing information for the Polo Tech shirt wasn't available, but the company says it wants to have these shirts on people's backs by next spring.
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Lacoste City Tennis
What's a guy to do who (a) lives in New York City, (b) loves tennis, and (c) can't find anyone to play the game with him? Lacoste's newly launched first app, called City Tennis, seeks to solve those problems. Not only will the app connect you with other nearby players who're looking for someone to, say, fill in the fourth position in their mixed-doubles game, but it also provides a map of nearby courts and even has information about the City Parks Foundation's free kids' tennis program. And if you're in need of a new polo shirt? You can buy one using the app, too, naturally.
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Dunlop iDapt Racquet
You can get made-to-measure shoes and customized sunglasses, so why shouldn't you be able to get a tennis racquet tailored to fit your needs? Dunlop's newest racquet, called the iDapt, does just that. You can select one of four different head sizes (each of which comes in three colors), three shock sleeves (which adjust how the racquet feels when a ball makes contact), and two grip lengths in varying widths. It's about as close to a bespoke racquet as you're going to get for $200.
Uniqlo Dry Shorts
—Details associate online style editor Justin Fenner
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