A Definitive List of the Best Exercise Dresses, the Most Effortless, Essential Athleisure Piece Everyone Needs in Their Closet

Photo: Outdoor Voices / Nike / W+G Creative
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Ever since Outdoor Voices dropped The Exercise Dress ($100) a few years back, exercise dresses have dominated athleisure. Sports dresses are no longer just for club sports like golf and tennis—they're a wardrobe staple for workouts, errands, and everything in between. And for people who want to change their wardrobe from the usual tank-and-leggings kit, exercise dresses offer both style and function, says Amber Anderson, a certified personal trainer in Chicago. "I love a good exercise dress," she says. "They are cute and comfortable, and they have built-in support—and most importantly, pockets."

While the original OV version is rightfully iconic, it's not the only exercise dress out there. Legacy athletic brands, like Nike and Adidas, have all gotten in on the athletic dress action too, while new players, like Halara and Kitty and Vibe, have entered the arena, too.

From V-necks to cross-backs, exercise dresses now come in tons of different styles. Below, you'll find a definitive ranking of the best of the best exercise dresses on the market, from everyday wear, to high-impact workouts, and everything in between.

Best exercise dresses, at a glance:

Best overall

Outdoor Voices, TechSweat Move Free Dress, best exercise dresses
Outdoor Voices, TechSweat Move Free Dress — $108.00

Great for: Pretty much anything.

Sizes: XXS-XL

Colors: Black, ice melt, grapefruit helios, margarita

Inspired by its Move Free Tank, Outdoor Voices has a dress version that’s just as supportive and comfortable to wear. It features a full shelf bra with removable padding, giving you an extra boost of support in medium to high-intensity workouts. There are adjustable straps, a built-in shorts liner (with pockets!), and rubber grippers on the shorts to help you stay in place. Just note, it runs a tad bit smaller than the original dress—many reviews suggest going a size up. But otherwise, it’s pretty much perfect.

What reviews say: “It’s like a new and improved exercise dress! I love the extra support that the built-in bra provides, although it is on the snugger side so larger chests may need to size up! The material is similar to the circle back dress and is a little more substantial than the exercise dress so it feels more durable but just as soft. I love the side pockets too!” — Outdoor Voices customer.


  • Shelf bra with removable padding
  • Built-in shorts
  • Adjustable straps


  • Some reviewers say it runs small

Runner Up

Outdoor Voices, The Exercise Dress, best exercise dresses
Outdoor Voices, The Exercise Dress — $100.00

Great for: Low-impact workouts, running errands, and hanging out.


Colors: 7 different colors and patterns

Our Runner Up is the dress that changed the game for everyone: the original, beloved Exercise Dress from Outdoor Voices. Since debuting a few years back, the Exercise Dress has evolved with some much needed improvements, including adjustable straps and built-in shorts over a brief liner. What’s stayed the same is the barely-there fabric that feels easy breezy on hot, summer days. While its lightness is largely a plus, it is a bit thin for those who prefer thicker more compressive material. We love it for casual workouts over HIIT-sessions or intense cardio workouts where something more supportive might be better. Otherwise, it’s a damn good option.

What reviews say: “I’m converted… I knew they had to be good but I get it. It passed a sweaty day at Disney and now I am an exercise dress girly. The sweat dried and left no marks and the pocket on the shorts made it so convenient to pull my phone in and out for pictures or sending a text. It was so comfy for a full day of FL heat and I still looked cute. 10/10 for me!” — Outdoor Voices customer.


  • Built-in shorts liner with pockets
  • Adjustable straps
  • Lightweight fabric


  • Material is on the thinner side

Best Under $50

Halara Cloudful Exercise Dress, best exercise dresses
Halara, Everyday Cloudful 2-in-1 Flare Activity Dress-Wannabe — $30.00

Great for: Low impact activities, hanging out, and running errands.

Sizes: XS-XL

Colors: 34 (!) different colors

Halara jumped on the exercise dress train, quickly winning over shoppers with this dress. We can confirm—it’s pretty darn good, probably the best one under $50. It’s made from the brand’s Cloudful fabric which is just as soft as it sounds. There’s cross-back straps, built-in shorts, pockets, and a built-in bra with removable padding, meaning it has almost all the bells and whistles of other versions.

But, it’s not perfect. The sample we received did run a little short and small, so we recommend sizing up. It’s also missing some of those small details, like adjustable straps (so you don’t stretch them out) or the grippers so your shorts don’t ride up. But for $30, it’s a great buy on a budget.

What reviews say: “I wish it had more tummy control but other than that, it fits perfectly. I was worried it would be too short on me but since I’m only 5’4” it’s perfectly,” — Halara customer.


  • Built-in shorts with pockets
  • Built-in bra with removable pads
  • Soft and breathable fabric


  • Straps are not adjustable

Best on Amazon

KuaCua, Women's Workout Dress, best exercise dresses
KuaCua, Women's Workout Dress — $33.00

Great for: Anyone who wants the convenience of a dress on a budget.

Sizes: XS-XXL

Colors: 28 different colors and patterns

Want an exercise dress that’ll show up in two days? Or that can be delivered to your doorstep in hours, depending on where you live? This one from Amazon is made for you. Expect all the makings of a solid active dress, like lightweight performance fabric, built-in bodysuit, sports-friendly design, but at a price that allows you put it in the affordable workout clothes category. Judging from the 1,600 different reviews, there’s a reason it’s so beloved.

It does have its downsides, though. It’s $33, after all, so if you’re looking for a high-tech, ultra-compressive exercise dress you can put through the ringer, this probably isn’t it. Some reviews also complain the sizing is off, running much smaller and shorter than expected. Others say it, “felt cheap,” specifically in the straps, which are key for support. Do your research before you buy, but if buying from Amazon is a must, this is your best bet.

What reviews say:This is a really nice athleisure dress! I wish it would’ve worked out for me but it’s just too short… Very well-made!” — Amazon customer.


  • Affordable
  • Lightweight fabric
  • Built-in shorts and bra


  • Some reviewers say it runs small

Most sustainable

Girlfriend Collective, Paloma Raceback Dress, best exercise dresses
Girlfriend Collective, Paloma Raceback Dress — $88.00

Great for: Earth-conscious shoppers who want a wide range of sizes and colors.

Sizes: XXS-6XL

Colors: Four essential colors (brown, black, navy, green) and one limited color (ivory)

Girlfriend Collective was quick to get in on the exercise dress action, too, and we’re so glad they did. The Paloma Racerback has quickly become one of our all-time favorite dresses for its sports-friendly details, inclusive sizing, and eco-conscious design. It’s probably the most inclusive dress on this list, ranging from XXS through 6XL, meaning there is something for everyone. It’s the most Earth-friendly, too, made from 79 percent recycled water bottles and recyclable through the brand’s circular fashion program.

What we’d change? Not much. Compared to other dresses, it’s a bit heavier, meaning it’s also more supportive and compressive. But overall, it’s an A+ pick.

What reviews say: “Love the trim on this dress and how it takes sporty to a new level. The compression material is so flattering and the fit is great.” — Girlfriend Collective customer.


  • Fabric has compression
  • Made with recycled materials
  • Built-in shorts and bra


  • Some reviewers say it runs small

Best for everyday wear

MWL Flex Fitness Dress, best exercise dresses
MWL by Madewell, Flex Fitness Dress — $60.00

Great for: Iced coffee runs, strolls around the block, dinner with friends.

Sizes: XXS-XXL

Colors: Six colors

Slip into this high-neck dress from Madewell and it feels like you’re wearing butter—it’s that soft. Which is why we picked it as the best exercise dress for everyday wear. Whether you’re running to the grocery store or watching Netflix, it’ll keep you cool and comfortable, almost like nothing’s there at all.

Now, would we workout in this dress? Maybe. It’s super stretchy and cozy, yes, but it’s not the most supportive. It’s probably best for low-impact sports, like yoga and barre class, but you might want to opt for something more supportive when running and jumping around. Still, it deserves a space in your closet for its effortlessness alone.

What reviews say: “I’ve had my eye on a dress like this and i am so glad i purchased this one! It’s perfect for running errands or lounging or yes, even some light workouts! it fits true to size and honestly the material is so dreamy and soft and has some nice stretch. I got the black and it is very slimming. love the high neck,” — Madewell customer.


  • Built-in shorts
  • Double-layered
  • Sweat-wicking


  • Doesn’t provide as much support as others

Best for getting wet

Kitty Vibe Play dress, best exercise dresses
Kitty and Vibe, Play Dress — $110.00

Great for: Paddle boarding, swimming, puddle splashing.

Sizes: XS-5XL

Colors: Seven colors

Kitty and Vibe is known for their inclusive line of swimsuits that actually fit your booty. Recently, the brand expanded into athleisure with its Play Dress, a waterproof, exercise and swim dress made from the same material as its bikinis. And it’s amazing. It’s got a shelf bra that provides unmatched support and lift, adjustable straps, built-in shorts and, best of all, is completely waterproof. From afternoon paddles to full-fledged dips, the Play Dress is designed to, well, play, and then dry before you want to play again.

What reviews say: “This dress exceeded my expectations in every way. It’s so comfy, flattering, and I feel like I can do anything in it. I guarantee I will be wearing this, and the second one I just ordered all summer long,” Kitty and Vibe customer.


  • Built-in shorts and bra
  • Waterproof
  • Made with recycled materials


  • Some reviewers say the shorts are tight

Best for golf

Adidas Frill Dress, best exercise dresses
Adidas, Frill Dress — $90.00

Great for: Long days on the green.

Sizes: XS-XL, standard and plus size

Colors: Black and navy

Golfers, this dress is a hole in one. For one, it’s incredibly sporty, designed with quick-drying, sweat-wicking material that keeps you cool and dry on even the hottest days. But then there are the details—each Frill Dress comes with built-in shorts, so you won’t have to worry about bending over to get balls or tee off, features a feminine frilly skirt, and sports a high collared zip neck that can be opened or closed, depending on if you want added ventilation or not. Layer on the fact that’s it’s made from recycled ocean plastics, and this dress deserves a golden jacket.

We do wish it came in some more colors though, and some additional sizes beyond XL. Otherwise, it’s worth adding to your cart.

What reviews say: “Great dress for golf, lots of pockets for storage and love the frill hem!” — Adidas customer.


  • Lightweight fabric
  • Detached undershorts with pockets
  • Sweat-wicking


  • Some say the pockets are bulky

Best for tennis

Athleta, Advantage Dress, best exercise dresses
Athleta, Advantage Dress — $100.00

Great for: Tennis, golf, or pickleball.

Sizes: XS-XL, with tall, petite, and regular sizing

Colors: Black, white, and teal

True to its name, the Advantage Dress aces exercise dresses, especially on the court. Whether you’re a seasoned tennis player or just learning how to play, it won’t disappoint. That’s because it’s made from a recycled flexible fabric that moves with you while keeping you dry and comfortable. There’s also mesh ventilation, stash pockets that are perfect for carrying balls, and a zip-up neck that can add a breeze when you need it.

What reviews say: “Super cute style, great fit. I play tennis and love the built in shorts to hold the balls. This dress is cute enough to wear off the court as well. Fits true to size, and has flattering shape,” — Athleta customer.


  • Built-in shorts with pockets
  • Mesh ventilation
  • Sweat-wicking


  • Fabric is heavier
  • No built-in bra

Best for running and training

Sweaty Betty, Power Workout Dress, best exercise dresses
Sweaty Betty, Power Workout Dress — $118.00

Great for: Runs outside or on the treadmill, or general cross-training

Sizes: XXS–XXL

Colors: Black, blue, hot pink, cheetah print

Sweaty Betty’s power workout dress is made of a polyamide elastane fabric that’s stretchy, supportive, and moisture-wicking—just what you need when you’re out for a run or breaking a sweat in the gym. There are side pockets on the outside of the dress as well as on the built-in shorts underneath, because you can never have too many pockets. The dress has a built-in bra and racerback for extra support.

What reviews say: I bought the dress last year and have been running regularly in it. Feels great, no rubbing, washes well. There is slight padding on the bust, the top is nice and fitted, the bottom half flares out a bit but I guess you need that in order to move in it freely,” — Sweaty Betty customer.


  • Built-in bra and shorts
  • Stretchy and supportive fabric
  • Moisture-wicking


  • Some reviewers say it’s hard to take off

Best for yoga

lululemon, Align Dress, best exercise dresses
lululemon, Align Dress — $148.00

Great for: Downward dog, shavasana, or any of your other favorite yoga poses.

Sizes: 0-20

Colors: Black, white, lavender, rose

The Align Dress from lululemon is a great athleisure dress or yoga outfit, as it’s made from a stretchy, buttery soft fabric that moves with you. It has a built-in bra and the shorts liner has a side pocket and an open back waistband so you don’t have to take the entire dress off for a bathroom break. The dress only has light support, so it’s best for low-impact activities.

No reviews yet.



  • Built-in bra
  • Built-in shorts with open waistband
  • Soft, breathable fabric


  • Only light support

Most comfortable

Beyond Yoga, Spacedye Essence Dress, best exercise dresses
Beyond Yoga, Spacedye Essence Dress — $118.00

Great for: Anyone who likes soft, snuggly things.

Sizes: XS-XL

Colors: Three core colors (black, white, navy) and two seasonal colors

If you haven’t tried Beyond Yoga’s beloved leggings, you’re missing out, and we strongly suggest you get a pair. Or, you can just get this lil’ diddy, which is like leggings in dress form. It’s made from the brand’s silky, kitten-soft Spacedye material which feels warm and cozy against skin. Seriously—if you’re looking for comfort, you can’t get more comfortable than this dress.

And it’s sports-friendly, too. We don’t necessarily recommend it for high-intensity sports since it is on the lighter, less compressive side. But yoga, barre, walking around the block, and quick trail hikes are definitely a go, thanks to its built-in romper, flexible fabric, built-in bodysuit, and UV protection.

What reviews say: “The pockets are amazing. You can fit everything in there no problem. If you’re a curvier girl cleavage definitely shows,” — Beyond Yoga customer.


  • Built-in body suit with pockets
  • Adjustable straps
  • Performance fabric liner


  • Some reviewers say the fabric is heavier

Most minimalist

Reformation, Milana Ecomove Dress, best exercise dresses
Reformation, Milana Ecomove Dress — $98.00

Great for: Just about everything.

Sizes: XS-XL

Colors: Black an white

This dress is sidmple. So simple. As for the design, it’s your quintessential mini active dress complete with a stretchy fabric, a compressive silhouette, and built-in shorts. But the style is a bit more minimalist than other technical dresses. The clean, sweetheart neckline and thicker tank straps give a bit of a ballerina-y vibe, while the relaxed skirt provides an effortless look, in and out of the studio. The hero is its fabric, though, which is made from a recycled poly blend sourced from plastic water bottles.

No reviews yet.


  • Stretchy fabric
  • Built-in shorts
  • Wide straps


  • Straps aren’t adjustable

Most breathable

Free People, Good Karma Dress Set, best exercise dresses
Free People, Good Karma Dress Set — $148.00

Great for: Days where you just don’t want to wear clothes (but have to).

Sizes: XS/S, M/L, XL

Colors: Black, white, teal, pink

Speaking of ballerinas, this ballet-inspired exercise dress from Free People is the definition of breathable. It swaps the racerback for a set of open straps that allow air in without getting loose or disrupting compression. And the flouncy skirt makes it easy, breezy, too. The set comes with matching shorts so you can wear the pieces together or separate.

The sizing is a little minimal. But overall, it’s an excellent choice for those who like to “air” on the side of airy.

What reviews say: “I’ve been on the hunt for an athletic dress and finally found the one! Practical for working out and oh so cute. I know it says “set” but I assumed the shorts were built in… they’re not. But I like that better so you don’t have to take the full thing off every time you go to the bathroom,” — Free People customer.


  • Soft, lightweight fabric
  • Fitted top
  • Set includes matching shorts


  • Shorts aren’t built in

Sneakiest exercise dress

Halara, Everyday Cloudful 2-in-1 Flare Activity Dress-Wannabe-Scallop Details — $55.00

Great for: Brunch, date night, and family outings where you want to be cute but comfortable.

Sizes: XS-XL

Colors: Desert rose and black

Another Halara pick that looks like any other fashionable dress, only it can be worked out in. Like its Everyday Cloudful cousin, it’s super soft and light as a feather, only less compressive and contoured. Instead, it’s a bit looser, perfect for low-impact activities that require a lot of movement, like dance, barre, and yoga. But what we love is how sneaky it is—the scallop detailing makes it look like a stylish dress you picked up for an event, only there are shorts underneath. You can’t beat that.

No reviews yet.


  • Soft, lightweight fabric
  • Built-in shorts with pockets
  • Removable pads


  • Straps aren’t adjustable

Most vibrant

Eleven by Venus Williams, Cute League Racerback Tennis Dress, best exercise dresses
Eleven by Venus Williams, Cute League Racerback Tennis Dress — $108.00

Great for: Standing out on the court.

Sizes: XS-XXL

Colors: Coral stripe

Leave it to Venus Williams to create one of the funkiest, coolest, most vibrant exercise dress on the market. There are no muted colors or simple silhouettes in this bad boy—between the color blocking, stripe pattern, and deep armholes, this dress will help you stand out from the crowd.

But don’t let it fool you—it’s just as technical as the others. Stylish workout clothes can be functional, too. The fabric is made from recycled fiber from unwanted water bottles and it’s stretchy enough to move as you do, wicking sweat and staying dry along the way. There’s a shelf bra, too, so no worrying about support. But you will want to layer a pair of bike shorts underneath—unfortunately, it’s unlined.

No reviews yet.


  • Made with sustainable materials
  • Moisture-wicking and lightweight
  • Shelf bra


  • No built-in shorts

Best open-back

Alo, Airlift Fly Dress, best exercise dresses
Alo, Airlift Fly Dress — $128.00

Great for: Staying cool in warm weather

Sizes: XS-L

Colors: Black and three limited colors (plum, green, grey)

This Alo option can be a workout dress or something you throw on for any activity during hotter temps. Thanks to the racerback and cut out, you won’t have to worry too much about having a sweaty back no matter what the weather throws at you. The fabric is lightweight and stretchy, there’s a shelf-bra with removable cups, and a cute, flowy skirt. There are no built-in shorts though, so you’ll have to BYO.

What reviews say: “Absolutely love this dress! It’s very flattering and fits true to size. Perfect for tennis!” — Alo customer.


  • Shelf bra with removable pads
  • Cut out back to keep you cool
  • Compressive fabric


  • No built-in shorts
  • Some reviewers say it runs small

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