Serena Williams' Most Iconic Outfits Ever

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Serena Williams will go down in history as one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Winning several titles and breaking long-held records, Williams has no doubt transformed the sport. But tennis isn't the only arena in which Williams has excelled: She has also become something of a fashion icon throughout her career.

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From daring on-court outfits to her own fashion line to her memorable appearances on red carpets, the tennis star has always used fashion to make a statement. As her sister Venus once told Oprah, "Along with our best game, we want to bring our personalities onto the court. How we dress says a lot about how we feel and who we are." And, as Tania Flynn, vice president for women's apparel design at Nike, told the New York Times, Serena Williams' fashion aims to remind everyone "that women deserve to be seen." Over the years, Williams' outfits have certainly ensured that she's been seen, both on and off the court. From jean skirts to mesh dresses to diamond-covered tennis outfits, Williams is one tennis player who always lets her clothes do the talking.

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So, without further ado, let's take a look at Serena Williams' most iconic outfits throughout her career.

Serena Williams' first iconic outfit was a 1992 two piece that she wore at her tournaments

Even as a young girl, Serena Williams showed the signs that she would one day be a fashion icon in the tennis world. When the young tennis player began her career in the '90s, she always brought her personal style to the court. Her favorite outfit was a stylish two-piece consisting of a crop top and a high-waisted tennis skirt. 

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As Williams told Vogue, her mother used to make most of her clothes when she was young. "This is one thing she didn't make for us and I remember being so happy that we got to get a new outfit to play tennis in," she said. "And I always wore this outfit when I played my tournaments because ... I thought it was super cute." Williams even said that she'd totally wear this outfit again as an adult — and we'd absolutely love to see it.

In 1998, Serena Williams wore a black and white striped dress for her first Vogue photoshoot

One of Serena Williams' earliest off-court looks came in 1998 when she appeared in an issue of Vogue alongside her sister, Venus. In the photoshoot, the sisters wore matching gowns that featured spaghetti straps and wide, vertical black and white stripes. "We were really young. We still had our beads and we still had our youth," she laughed in an interview with Vogue. She went on to recall wearing the "beautiful" dress by Carolina Herrera: "It was such an amazing moment, I just remember being so excited to shoot for Vogue, it was so cool."

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This look may not be memorable to all of us, but in the fashion world, it's nothing short of iconic. In fact, in 2022, Canadian tennis player Leylah Fernandez even wore a similar dress to the Met Gala in honor of the tennis star. As Fernandez said in an interview during the Australian Open, "I was very lucky to have worn a dress by Carolina Herrera and the designer was inspired by Venus Williams' dress from a few years back, so I was very lucky enough to be able to represent them," she said.

In 2002, Serena Williams wore an outfit inspired by the Cameroon soccer team

In 2002, Serena Williams appeared at the French Open in what became one of her "all-time favorite looks," as she told Vogue. At the tournament, she wore a green tennis dress inspired by the Cameroon soccer team's kit from that same year. She also wore knee-high yellow socks and green soccer-inspired shoes to complete the look. The Cameroon team had won the African Cup of Nations that year, and this outfit was a tribute to the team, according to Sportskeeda.

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"I remember being so nervous and I'm thinking, 'Okay, I can't believe I'm gonna go out on court like this. I can't wear this,'" Williams recalled. She explained that she ended up switching to a different outfit after wearing the dress twice because she felt it was distracting her from her game. "This was such an iconic moment in sport. It was really, really cool," she reflected.

Serena Williams has never forgotten her famous tennis jean skirt and knee-high boots combo

In the early days of her career, Serena Williams was always experimenting with bold, unexpected looks on the court. One of her most controversial looks came in 2004 when the tennis star wore a Nike jean skirt with a black jeweled Nike crop top. To complete the look, she wore a striking pair of knee-high Nike boots.

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When asked about her favorite looks over the years by Anna Wintour, Williams' first thought was this look. "I was thinking, immediately, the jean skirt that I wore ... with the high boots," she said (via People).

According to Carly Ellis, Nike's apparel design lead, this look has gone down in sportswear history. "Why denim? A massive fan of the game herself and the legends that came before her, Serena liked what Nike had done with Andre Agassi and his iconic on-court denim looks in the '80s," Ellis told Footwear News. "Talk about a shared love for disruptive tennis fashion. It's almost as if she said, 'You did denim shorts? I'll one-up you with a micro denim skirt.'" One word: iconic.

Serena Williams designed her own outfit for her first New York fashion show in 2014

In 2014, Serena Williams took her love of fashion to a new level when she held her first fashion show in New York. It was around this time that Williams really established herself as a player in the fashion industry. In the show, she showcased what she described as "easy fitting, yet bold, edgy and contemporary silhouettes" that she had designed for HSN (via For The Win).

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At the show, Williams naturally wore a special outfit of her own — an all-black leather two-piece with a crop top and mini skirt. The outfit conveyed the message that Williams was ready to be taken seriously by the fashion world. "I designed this whole outfit except for the shoes. They were Alaïa shoes, and when you have a fashion show you obviously want to wear Alaïa shoes," she told Vogue. As Williams recalled, the night was both exciting and incredibly nerve wracking. Well, she definitely looked amazing while it happened!

Serena Williams wore Alexander McQueen for her wedding — and added a cape

When Serena Williams tied the knot with Alexis Ohanian in 2017, she wore a gorgeous wedding dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, complete with a huge hoop skirt and, of course, a veil. The wedding was "Beauty and the Beast" themed, and her huge dress definitely gave us Belle vibes.

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"I flew to London to meet with Sarah and ended up falling in love with the ball gown silhouette, which is completely the opposite of what I ever thought I would choose for myself," she told Vogue. "I loved the idea of doing a really spectacular ball gown, and it has turned out to be such an incredibly special piece." She also wore jewelry by XIV Karats. According to The Sun, the dress cost around $2.9 million.

Williams also paired her wedding dress with an Alexander McQueen cape. As she explained on Instagram, she told Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour that she wanted to wear a cape to her wedding, and Wintour told her that Sarah Burton was the perfect designer to accomplish such a look. 

Serena Williams wore a controversial black catsuit at the French Open in 2018

One of Serena Williams' most controversial looks to date came in 2018 when she wore a full-length black catsuit inspired by "Black Panther" at the French Open. The look wasn't popular with tennis officials. French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli even said, "The combination of Serena this year, for example, it will no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place" (via Vox). However, the look was also designed for health reasons. As she said at the tournament, the outfit was designed to help prevent blood clots.

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For Williams, it also helped her feel powerful. "I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess kind of, [a] queen from Wakanda," she said (via Marie Claire UK). "I'm always living in a fantasy world. I always wanted to be a superhero, and it's kind of my way of being a superhero. I feel like a superhero when I wear it."

The stunning pink dress Serena Williams wore to Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding in 2018

In 2018, Serena Williams attended Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding. She wore a form-fitting dusty pink dress by Versace, jewelry by Bulgari, and a pink fascinator for the event. "What's so iconic about this is I was like, 'Royal wedding? I'm definitely wearing braids,'" she told Vogue. Apparently, there were two or three girls who braided her hair the night before the wedding and the process took all night — Williams even fell asleep while they were still braiding. "It was a very long process but it was so worth it," she said.

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"British style is definitely different, women have to wear fascinators which are hats and I love that they call them fascinators," she went on. This look was something a little different for Williams, but we love how she injected her own personal style into the royal wedding.

Serena Williams' Nike Off-White tutu by Virgil Abloh in 2018 was completely iconic

After years of wearing experimental looks on the court, Serena Williams brought a truly iconic look with her black tutu tennis dress at the 2018 U.S. Open. The attention-grabbing look was designed by Off-White founder Virgil Abloh, Williams' long-time collaborator and friend. According to W Magazine, the tennis star also wore trainers that read "Queen." After her match, Williams gave Abloh a shout-out, saying, "I'm just honored to wear Virgil Abloh, who is probably the hottest designer right now. ... Nike and Off-White put together this amazing collaboration. ... I'm just the muse, I guess." 

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As the Independent reported, fans were thrilled with Williams' bold look.

The look also went down in history as Williams' personal favorite outfits. During a panel discussion with Vogue's Anna Wintour, Williams said, "My favorite things in life are tutus. The tutu look with Virgil. I kept all those dresses" (via People). In fact, Williams even revealed that she still wears her tutu outfits!

She wore yellow Versace and Nike tennis shoes at the Met Gala in 2019

Never one to conform to the norm, Serena Williams brought her iconic personal style to the Met Gala in 2019 when she chose to pair a stunning yellow and pink Versace gown with a pair of bright yellow Nike trainers. "We thought of this literally the night before," she told Vogue. Apparently, she was careful to show off her shoes on the red carpet. "Wearing Nike to the Met Gala is ... no one does this, you know, everyone, like, puts on their finest, finest garments. And my finest garment happens to be Versace and Nike," she went on.

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Even though the shoes were an unusual choice for the Met Gala, most experts approved of the bold look. In fact, Vogue Australia dubbed them a "natural fit" for the Gala's "Camp: Notes on Fashion" theme that year. We love this look — plus, we now feel that wearing comfortable shoes to a formal event is totally justified!

In 2022, Serena Williams walked the Paris Fashion Week runway in Virgil Abloh

In February 2022, Serena Williams stepped out of her comfort zone and onto the runway, appearing in the memorial show for her friend, designer Virgil Abloh (who died in 2021), at Paris Fashion Week. In the show, she wore a striking outfit consisting of a mesh, fitted dress over velvet ruched leggings and a matching turtleneck.

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"I had an unbelievable time walking in the @off____white show," Williams later wrote on Instagram. "Virgil meant so much to me, and to walk in a collection that he was still a part of was something I could not miss. Thank you for the opportunity. I am so grateful to show love to my friend."

As Williams told Vogue, she didn't exactly feel comfortable on the runway, but she was more than happy to do the show in honor of her friend. "It was a really wonderful outfit ... I was just happy to be there in any way shape or form for him," she said.

At the 2022 Oscars, she wore a pink Gucci gown with a plunging neckline

In 2022, Serena Williams attended the Oscars to celebrate the film about her family, "King Richard." For the red carpet, Williams wore a stunning deep pink maxi gown with a deep V-neck, puffed sleeves, a leg slit and a neckline embroidered with black flowers. She also wore a pair of lacy black gloves to complete the look.

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"This was an amazing look, it was Gucci," she recalled to Vogue with a gasp. "When it was designed, it was actually more closed, but when I put it on, you know, it was a little more opened than I initially wanted or expected it to be." Even though Williams didn't expect the front of the dress to be so revealing, she "went with it" and was happy she did. "Alessandro [Michele] struck again, that man is a genius," she gushed.

Serena Williams wore a Versace dress at the Vanity Fair Oscars party

What do you do when you've got nothing to wear to a party? Well, if you're Serena Williams, you get creative. In 2022, Williams found herself with no dress for the Vanity Fair Oscars party. Apparently, she had two dresses to choose from, but they didn't work. "The night before, I called Donatella [Versace], I'm like, 'I don't know what to do, my dress doesn't fit, I have nothing to wear,'" Williams told Vogue

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So, Versace had the brilliant idea to do some very last-minute DIY on another Versace dress that Williams had recently worn at the Critics' Choice Awards. Originally, the dress had been a floor-length silver dress with a train. Versace turned it into a strapless mini dress. "They literally chopped it and they took off the straps and yeah, voila, it was a whole new dress," Williams said. After that stressful experience, Williams said, she's always sure to have more options for her big events.

Her viral U.S. Open Nike outfit was a meaningful way to mark the end of her career

In August 2022, Serena Williams played what many believe to be her last professional game of tennis in the U.S. Open. Of course, Williams brought her fashion A-game to the court. For the game, she wore a stunning black Nike tennis dress. With a figure-skater inspired silhouette, the Nike dress featured six layers of sheer fabric and a jaw-dropping 400 diamond crystals. She also wore custom shoes with diamond lace locks, and diamonds in her hair (via Sportskeeda).

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The dress, which soon went viral, was hugely symbolic. According to Nike, the six layers of the dress were an homage to her six U.S. Open titles. "The intricate crystal design on the black fabric of the dress alludes to the night sky above Arthur Ashe Stadium," Nike's press release went on to say. This is one tennis outfit that will definitely go down in history.

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