Exercise dresses, AKA tank or t-shirt dresses in performance fabrics, are everywhere right now. Marathoners wear them. Power walkers wear them. Dancers, rollerbladers, and tennis players all wear them. And for good reason.
The real beauty of the exercise dress is its post-workout styling potential. “I live in workout clothes, but also love fashion,” Barry’s instructor Taryn Brooks tells BAZAAR.com, “so I am a big fan of the workout dress. It’s so easy to throw on with a cool, oversized jacket and instantly feel put together.”
At activewear brand Outdoor Voices, CEO Gabrielle Conforti says exercise dresses are the team’s unofficial workday uniform. “If you happen to stop by our headquarters in Austin, it’s rare that you won’t spot a dress in the office. We wear them on our bikes during morning commutes, to the pickleball courts, to team outings and beyond,” she tells BAZAAR.com.
While your office dress code may exclude workout gear, exercise dresses can still be part of your fitness regimen. Deep love for the exercise dress starts with its superior comfort factor. The best ones come with built-in self-bras and shorts to keep you covered through lunges, box jumps, and more. Then there are the fun details everyone in your Pilates class or 5k training group can see, from seasonal colors to cut-out details.
Shop the 10 best exercise dresses to get you started from Nike, Girlfriend Collective, Alo Yoga, ahead.
The Exercise Dress
This dress can take significant credit for kick-starting the exercise dress’s rise—and it’s worth the hype. (Editor’s note: I own three of these dresses and wear them weekly.) Outdoor Voices’ flagship dress has evolved since its 2018 debut, adding design features like adjustable straps, internal grips on the shorts liners, and an extra pocket added for optimal comfort.
Fitness instructors agree that it’s a go-to. “As we head into warmer weather, there is nothing I love more than sporting my black exercise dress from Outdoor Voices,” Barry’s instructor Virginia Preston tells us. “It is my ultimate go-to outfit for summer because it’s so incredibly versatile—I can wear it to the gym, dress it up for happy hour, or even bask in its silky, breathable fabric while I sit on the couch and binge Netflix.”
Your third and final sign to try to Outdoor Voices exercise dress? More than 4,000 testimonials say this dress fits true to size and the material feels better than described.
Sizes: XXS to XXXL
Best for Everyday Wear
MWL Flex Fitness Dress
Madewell’s option has all the technical details you need for a low-impact workout: soft fabric with a hint of stretch, built-in shorts with a pocket, and an open, ventilated back. Reviewers can’t stop raving about its versatility.
“It’s perfect for running errands or lounging or, yes, even some light workouts,” one reviewer says. “It fits true to size and honestly the material is so dreamy and soft and has some nice stretch.”
From another customer: “I never write reviews. But the second that Madewell introduced an exercise dress, I bought it because I’ve been looking for one and this checked every box. The shorts didn’t budge, which is always a must.”
Some reviewers point out that while this dress has built-in shorts, it doesn’t include a shelf bra. But that hasn’t stopped more than 305 people from ordering this dress in the last five days.
Sizes: XXS to XXL
Lola V-Neck Dress
Girlfriend Collective’s exercise dress checks every box: breathable fabric, supportive but not-too-constricting fit, inclusive sizing, and eco-conscious production. It has both a built-in shelf bra and shorts; for some colors, you can choose between a buttery flex fabric and compression fabric for your shorts.
Reviewers overwhelmingly praise this dress’s thick, supportive straps and liner shorts. “I love this dress so much! From the color, to the racerback style to the built skort underneath the dress. It’s a major upgrade from my typical workout dresses. It’s easy to slip on and off,” says one recent reviewer.
Sizes: XXS to 6XL
Alosoft Courtside Tennis Dress
Barry’s instructor Taryn Brooks suggests Alo Yoga’s courtside dress for one you can wear for both easygoing workouts and activities after. “It is super flattering and comfortable and gives me major ’90’s vibes. I love the classic colors, and the bright orange for summer is so cute,” she says. “I definitely save them for lower impact days, like a Sunday hike with friends, or if I am just going in to teach a class and know I need to run somewhere after and still feel cute.”
Everyday reviewers are equally into the slim-fit and fabric on Alo’s exercise dress. “This is the most comfortable thing I ever put on my body and I want to live in this dress! It is insanely flattering as well.” And, this reviewer continues, the pockets are more spacious than they appear: “I can fit my iPhone 13 Pro, my Airpod Pro case, and a roll of doggie bags in the pockets comfortably while I take my dog on a walk.”
Sizes: XXS to L
Best for High Impact Fitness
Bliss Luxe Women’s Training Dress
Nike put its performance fabric and function expertise together into one exercise dress for running, lifting, and a lot more. The dress’s fabric stretches and flexes in tandem with your movements, a feature that made reviewers rate it “very comfortable” on Nike’s fit scale. Some shoppers said it can skew large, so consider ordering a size down.
When you find your perfect fit, you’ll want more than one. At least, that’s what this enthusiastic reviewer says: “I bought it in three colors. Even a couple friends bought this dress after seeing mine!”
Sizes: XS to 2XL, 1X to 3X
Best for Outdoor Fitness
Om My Way Dress
Reach for this relaxed exercise dress when you’re getting ready for a beginner’s hike or a leisurely walk along the coastline. It’s moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and rated UPF 50+ to keep you cool and protected during outdoor activities. Consider ordering two sizes to try on at home: Petite reviewers report that the hemline hits lower on their calves, while some reviewers found it hugged their curves more than they wanted. Across all sizes, the dress’s comfort and versatility stood out most.”This is a cute, sporty dress that can be a beach cover up, or fun to dress up at night! It’s comfortable, very form fitting, and has some stretch to it,” one reviewer writes.
Sizes: XXS to 3X
When you’re doing things that require more compression—tennis, basketball—make sure this Outdoor Voices dress is in your lineup. Conforti says it’s inspired by the brand’s best-selling skort, and is supportive for high-intensity exercise. A back-vent detail helps to keep you cool.
What are real-life reviewers saying? “This dress is so very flattering and fun and cute while also being incredibly comfy! I’ve found that occasionally I have to pair my exercise dress with a sports bra for more fast paced activities, but with this dress you definitely don’t have to, it holds you in place,” one five-star rater says.
Skeptics may also be won over, according to another reviewer: “I wasn’t sure OV could convert me to this style, but it’s the most comfortable one I own.”
Sizes: XS to XL
Best Unlined Exercise Dress
Sport Rib Dress
Outside of the barre studio, this All Access piece is just a typical tank dress. It’s easygoing and comfortable, whether you wear it with sneakers or sandals. But the ribbed fabric has 360-degree stretch with slight compression—the formula you need to breeze through a morning walk or a standing yoga class. While it doesn’t come with built-in shorts, the opaque knit will disguise any shorts or leotards you choose to wear under it.
Sizes: XXS to 2XL
Best Full Coverage
Spacedye Under Lock and Key Dress
You’ll never worry about slipping straps or necklines in this exercise dress. Beyond Yoga’s version has a high neckline and built-in shelf bra to keep you supported and secure through your low-impact workouts. If you want equal coverage on the bottom, pair this dress with Beyond Yoga’s ultra-soft shorts, as liner shorts aren’t built into this dress. All in all, reviewers call this dress a soft and comfortable necessity.
Sizes: XS to XL
Tnaslick™ Court Dress
Save this exercise dress from Aritzia’s in-house activewear label for walks and medium-intensity activities. It comes in twelve vibrant shades with a slim fit and subtle side slit. Reviewers get the most excited about the wrinkle-resistant, moisture-wicking fabric. According to one of many glowing reviews, it’s also a carry-on must for travel: “This dress is super cute with sneakers—it’s comfortable and easy for travel (small to pack and doesn’t get too wrinkly). I love the material too as it’s not see through at all.”
Some reviewers say it run small, so consider going a size up. It doesn’t come with built-in shorts—but take that as an invitation to mix and match with another pair in your gym bag.
Sizes: 2XS to 2XL
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