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- Can you workout in a dress? Outdoor Voices says yes.
- The activewear brand recently released the Exercise Dress ($100). It’s a sweat-wicking, stretchy, nylon dress that’s meant to move with your through all kinds of workouts.
- I tried the dress out for myself, and while it’s not suited for all types of exercises, this dress is great for a variety of high- and low-impact workouts, and athleisure wear.
You can go dance in a dress. You can eat lunch in a dress. You can sit in a dress. You can stand in a dress. Why not exercise in a dress?
Outdoor Voices, the activewear brand that’s all about doing things (that’s their motto), dropped a $100 workout dress last summer — and there was a lot of hype. People posted pictures of themselves lifting weights, Instagram videos of crossing marathon finish lines, and achieving bendy yoga poses, all while draped in the stretchy nylon dress.
The idea of exercising in dresses isn’t entirely new. I grew up playing tennis in dresses and skirts, but they weren’t necessarily cute — I didn’t want to leave the court and go hang out for a day in my tennis clothes. What makes the Outdoor Voices Exercise Dress stand out is that it looks nice, like something you’d wear around for a day of flea-market hopping and happy hours. It has a flattering skater dress shape, and the only giveaways that this is really meant for workouts is the nylon sheen and racer back straps.
And, what’s not to like about the idea of a dress? They’re low maintenance, and you only have to deal with one item of clothing. Slip on a dress, and boom, you have your whole outfit ready. If I could just pop on a dress every day to head to the gym, my morning workout routines would be a lot easier. So, I decided to give the Exercise Dress a try, and see if it’s really true that you can, in fact, exercise in a dress.
Details of the dress
First of all, this dress is pretty adorable. It has a simple skater dress shape, and is tight in all the right places for a flattering look. Second of all, it’s super soft. The dress itself is made of a breathable nylon, while the inside liner is made with a stretchy spandex — both layers are very lightweight.
I was surprised to find that the liner wasn’t just a pair of spandex shorts, but more like a piece of shapewear — it’s one long swath of spandex that covers everything, so you don’t have to be worried about any slips at the gym. This spandex is silky-smooth, feels great on your skin, and really holds everything in — I’ve been wearing a sports bra under the dress, but the dress is definitely supportive enough on its own that you can forgo wearing one if you’d like.
I can’t forget to mention the best feature of this dress: pockets. One pocket, large enough to hold your phone, graces the side of the spandex shorts. This may not seem like a huge deal, but I’m sure most women would agree, our clothing needs more pockets. This dress satisfies in that regard.
The dress comes in ten colors: black, navy, red, green, yellow, and more. I got to try the dress in navy, which I love. It’s a nice neutral that makes it easy to wear just about anywhere.
Working out in the dress
I first took the dress for a spin to play tennis, a seemingly natural step. It was a particularly hot day in New York City and the sun was really beating down on the courts. I say this because as much as I was sweating throughout the two-hour session, the dress didn’t show any signs of it. My face, on the other hand, was another story, but the dress was clean and dry — truly a testament to its moisture-wicking capabilities.
Then came the gym. I was a little nervous to wear this outfit, worried about weird stares before I even stepped inside. Once I did though, I was relieved. Nobody cared — I realized everyone was there to focus on their own workout and not what I was wearing, so I went about my exercising as normal. This is where things got iffy. I love how this dress looks and feels, but I have to admit it’s not suited for all types of workouts. For running, tennis and even squats or lifting, it’s great. For HIIT workouts and ab routines, where you’re constantly moving around in multiple directions, this dress would not be my first choice. While it was comfortable throughout, I felt a little exposed as the dress rode up while I did high-knees and other moves. I would wear this to the gym or an exercise class again, but only if I knew I would be doing a lower-intensity workout.
The bottom line
I think this dress is a great buy. At $100, it may seem pricey, but it’s a whole workout outfit in just one piece. Not to mention, it’s one of the comfiest dresses I’ve ever worn. I love that I could wear this to a morning brunch on a day when I have an afternoon workout planned, or to a dinner with friends after exercising, and still feel presentable enough to be out and about.
If you’re looking to change up your workout wardrobe, pare it down, or you just want to see what it’s like to workout in a dress, you should give the Outdoor Voices Exercise Dress a try. Because, yes, you can exercise in a dress — and you’ll probably like doing it, too.