Or, you know, just run some errands.
Dresses might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re getting ready for a sweat session, but sometimes they can actually be better If you imagine accidental flashes or lackluster support in the chest area when you’re one, you’re in luck, most workout dresses on the market now have built-in bras and shorts, making it more of a supportive bodysuit with a skirt rather than a flowing dress.
Wearing dresses during sports stems (unsurprisingly) from strict rules about how women should dress, even during exercise. Corsets and long skirts were fairly normal attire for tennis matches in the early 1900s, which made it rather difficult to run to return a shot or play at all. Needless to say, things have changed since then.
We certainly don’t wear our best dresses to play tennis, pickleball or golf anymore, but wearing a dress can still provide more freedom of movement than stiff shorts or long-sleeved shirts. And it looks like we’re not the only ones who think so, as workout dresses are all the rage lately. Thanks to the continued obsession with athleisure and the recent tennis outfit trend (which Katie loves), the style is a hit inside and outside the gym, on the court or on the court. out.
Whether you’re looking for a workout dress to wear to a pilates class, to wear while you run errands, or just want to channel your inner Princess Diana (the queen of sport chic), here are some workout dresses you’ll love. can wear for just about anything no athletic ability is required.
The 13 Best Workout Dresses
Abercrombie & Fitch Traveler Dress
Abercrombie & Fitch have come a long way from the days of logo tees and low rise jeans, and were thrilled to embrace the brand’s new style. While everyone is raving about their high waisted jeans and linen pieces, they also have a few workout dresses available. This classic fit has adjustable straps that can also be tied together to convert it to a racerback style, and it comes in three length options. Under the robe, built-in shorts ensure you won’t have any wardrobe malfunctions, and it has a pocket to hold your phone. There’s no built-in bra in this dress, but reviewers say the material is compressive enough to feel supported without needing to wear a bra underneath.
Girlfriend Collective Naomi Workout Dress
High necklines are not only universally flattering, but they keep you from feeling too exposed in the chest area. Girlfriend Collective makes some of our favorite workout clothes from recycled materials, and this dress is no exception. It’s made from recycled water bottles, but the fabric is still breathable and stretchy. A built-in bra and shorts ensure you’re covered, and reviewers rave about how the shorts keep their thighs from chafing, even if they wear the dress all day.
Outdoor Voices Court Dress
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to show off some skin, especially in the summer! Outdoor Voices is known for its classic spaghetti strap workout dress, but this one features a more alluring silhouette. A small cutout around the waist highlights the smallest part of your body, while the wrap skort adds a fashionable touch to the workout dress. The top is also lined for maximum support on and off the pitch.
Lululemon Court Crush Dress
A high neck and longer skirt combine to make this the ultimate dress for those who want a little more coverage. Reviewers say it runs a little small, so consider getting a size larger if you want something that’s not tight. The shorts underneath have a four-inch inseam to prevent chafing, and the bra has light support, so it might not be best for high-impact activities like running. However, the seams at the waist are more flattering, as they create the illusion of an hourglass.
Halara Everyday Cloudful Dress
We can’t all wear a mini dress (and sometimes we just don’t want to), which is why we love the longer length of this Halara dress. It will probably hit just above the knee, which is perfect for taller women or those who want to show off a little less leg. Adjustable straps let you control how much cleavage you show off, and that means you won’t be constantly pulling them up or sliding them back over your shoulders. There are also shorts and a built-in bra in the dress.
Madewell MWL Flex Fitness Dress
Madewell makes some of our favorite jumpsuits and dresses, so we’re not surprised the workout dresses are flattering and super soft. This one is made from 20 recycled water bottles, allowing it to stretch with you. There are built in shorts with a pocket but no bra in this one, some reviewers said they were fine without one but if you have a larger bra size you might want to be adding a strapless or sports bra underneath.
J.Crew CloudStretch Half-Zip Sports Dress
Something about this dress screams summer in the Hamptons. Maybe it’s the light blue color or the polo-inspired fit, but I loved everything about it. It’s a real dress, so there’s no built-in bra or shorts, but it’s great if you want to wear it to brunch or running errands. You can always add a pair of biker shorts underneath for extra coverage if you want. The front has a quarter zip so you can choose the neckline height, and the back is mesh to keep you cool in sweltering weather.
Line in the Sand Splash Around Sun and Swim Tunic/Dress
It’s one of Katie’s favorite summer basics. If you hate putting on sunscreen, this dress is for you. The long sleeves protect you from the sun, but the gathered sides allow you to make the dress as short or as long as you want. Not only does the cover keep you safe, there’s a built-in UPF 50+ to ensure you don’t burn yourself. There are no shorts or built-in bra in this one, but because it’s designed for fun in the sun, you can easily throw on a swimsuit underneath as a base layer.
Athleta Ace Tennis Dress
As the name suggests, this dress is an athleisure style. A rear mesh pocket is the perfect place to store your tennis or golf balls (as opposed to your thigh pocket), and the compressive fabric provides support without feeling restrictive. There are no built-in shorts with this one, but bike shorts would easily do the trick if you want some extra coverage.
Kinona Spring Breeze Golf Dress
Who says all workout dresses have to have tank tops? This short-sleeved number is made for a long day of golf (or a day full of groceries). Mesh shorts keep you cool and covered underneath, while built-in side pockets keep your phone and scorecard close.
Betty Power Sweaty Workout Dress
There aren’t too many pockets, especially in a dress. Not only are there built-in pockets on the shorts under this number, there’s also a patch pocket on the skirt for your phone. Princess lines on the bodice flatter your figure, and built-in cups keep you supported during low-impact workouts.
Zella Live in active gear
Patterns aren’t the only way to add visual interest to a garment, and this seamed dress proves it. Diagonal zigzag and zag lines on the bodice, adding a fun element to the otherwise simple dress. The shorts underneath keep you covered and the straps on top can be worn regular or crossed over your back.
PowerSoft Sleeveless Bra Dress Old Navy
Workout gear can be a little tacky, which isn’t the best if you’re not in the mood to show off your curves. This A-line dress has the same comfort as a workout dress, but the skirt has a bit more swing. Small slits on either side of the skirt add a flirty touch without feeling revealing, and this comes in sizes 4X to XS. The best part? There is a built-in bodysuit underneath made from the same buttery soft fabric as the dress. Score!