Hello, I’m Ana and I (now) test out clothing for The Inventory. Maybe you remember me from the Thanos swimsuit adventure? This time, I wore a dress to work out. And I actually didn’t hate it.
If you’re familiar with the brand Outdoor Voices, you might know that they sell those color-blocked sports bra and leggings sets beloved by fitness influencers all over your Instagram. You may or may not know that they also sell something called the Exercise Dress, but it’s not really a dress. It’s a dress with a full-body leotard underneath, so if it were to fly up in the middle of a vigorous workout, gym-goers would see shorts, not underwear.
live in New Jersey and there is a Retro Fitness in virtually every town. I have a Strong membership, which is basically like having a personal trainer at half the cost. When I told my trainer, Brittany, about the dress, we decided it would be perfect to wear during a workout when the gym wasn’t too crowded with meatheads.
Now, I’m currently in the middle of a fitness journey; if you imagine a half marathon, I’d say I’m at Mile Marker 3. I’m a person who loves to take photos of my friends, but never really likes photos of myself. So the idea of wearing a basically skin-tight dress in not just a public setting, but in a public gym where I’d be working out and sweating, was not an ideal situation.
Normally, I go all black for my workout gear, but I actually loved this olive color for the Exercise Dress; it was very flattering on my skin tone. When it came to sizing, I opted for a size up to be safe after I read reviews that said it ran on the smaller side. This was good because nothing felt tight or uncomfortable, though it was a bit loose in some areas.
Initially, I was most skeptical about the fact that the dress is designed to be worn without a sports bra. As someone who had reconstructive surgery three years ago and still has a chest on the larger side, not wearing a sports bra during a workout is an alien concept. I eventually got over it though, because the lack of sports bra wasn’t that bad! I didn’t even notice a difference while I was on the Stair Master. When I did jumping jacks, though, I felt a little too on display, if you know what I mean. I’d definitely want future versions of this dress to have a tad more support and padding. Women with larger chests need some more added support for cardio-intense workouts, but this dress could certainly work for workouts that are a bit more toned down.
What I liked most about this dress was not having to wear pants. It’s hot out right now, so bare legs are always a treat. But wearing short shorts to the gym is not something I love, so having a bit of extra coverage without having put on pants on was a nice change of pace.
When I say the dress is comfortable, I mean this dress is really comfortable. I 100% could have taken a nap on my couch after my workout. I loved not having my sports bra digging into my side, or my T-shirt flying up in the middle of burpees, or my leggings rolling down while I was squatting. When Outdoor Voices pitched this apparel item with the tagline, “You can do anything in a dress,” I straight-up laughed to my coworkers, but in this dress, you really can do basically anything.
In fact, I enjoyed this dress so much more than I could have ever expected. After burning 800 calories, I was obviously gross and sweaty. But 20 minutes later when I got back to my apartment, the dress wasn’t gross and sweaty, whereas my regular sports bra would have still been disgusting. I would totally wear this sweat-wicking wonder again for a workout when it is a little cooler outside. I even plan to test it on a run.
The only real downside to this dress is the fact that you have to get fully nude in order to pee, which isn’t new to me; we’ve all been there before when wearing a romper. But hey, that’s not a crazy price to pay when it comes to wearing a workout dress that’s flattering, practical, and comfortable.