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After spending the majority of the long winter months holed up inside my apartment, I can’t wait to fill my mornings, lunch breaks and warm evenings with long walks and time outside. I can finally ditch my coordinated sweatsuit (no hate, I love that thing) and dig through my drawers for something sporty to wear out. Last year, I often opted for ribbed biker shorts and a matching sports bra. This year, I’m fully committing to the exercise dress.
Exercise dresses aren’t necessarily new. Outdoor Voices was the exercise dress pioneer back when they released the first modern iteration of the style back in 2018, and athletic brands like Alo have hopped on the trend with their own styles since. I wasn’t sold on the exercise dress’s longevity until recently, when Abercrombie & Fitch released their version of the dress in 14 (yes, 14) different colors and patterns.
In case you missed it, Abercrombie & Fitch recently went through a rebrand and is now the place to get street style-worthy basics. They removed the giant moose logos and swapped them for tailored blazers, incredible denim and of course, the new exercise dress. Needless to say, I’m here for it.
I’ll admit—exercise dresses confused me at first. Do I really want to wear a dress to the gym? It turns out, I do. The exercise dress allows me to go from morning coffee to the gym, to brunch, to a potential Instagram photo opp and back. It also looks good styled with literally everything: a denim jacket, a cropped hoodie, slides, sneakers, you name it!
I love that workout wear can have a girly flair, and each dress is designed with adjustable straps, shorts and pockets to make them equal parts cute and functional. Personally, I’ll be planning all future outfits around my exercise dress tan lines.
Below, shop my favorite exercise dress picks before they’re everywhere.
Traveler Mini Dress
This exercise dress from Abercrombie comes in sizes XXS-XXL and 14 different colors and patterns, so you can build your whole wardrobe around it once you’re obsessed. This style has built in shorts and even has a hidden pocket to hold your cell phone.
The Exercise Dress
The Outdoor Voices exercise dress is the one that started it all. This dress has been on the market for a few years, which means that Outdoor Voices has listened to feedback and perfected it. The latest version of the dress is constructed with leg grippers to help the shorts stay in place, a bodysuit liner and two pockets. In sizes XXS-XL, it also comes in 15 colors.
Courtside Tennis Dress
Alo makes the some of the best yoga pants in existence, so it was only a matter of time before they released an equally as amazing exercise dress that comes in three colors and sizes XXS-XL. This dress has a subtle seam at the waist that gives a illusion of a tank top and skirt combo.
Nylon Pleated Tennis Dress
Aerie’s OFFLINE collection is my go-to for affordable and quality activewear, and this flouncy tennis dress meets all of my expectations. The pleated ballerina-style skirt will have you serving on and off the court. It comes in four colors and it’s on sale.