Few things in this life bring me as much comfort and pure, child-like joy as wearing an exercise dress, which has been my number one, go-to outfit of choice for the past four years. Since I got my first original Outdoor Voices Exercise Dress ($100) in 2019, the athleisure staple has evolved in, what feels like, a million silhouettes, styles, and shades, ultimately rounding out my wardrobe since with something for every occasion.
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But the exercise dress recently got its biggest upgrade yet, in my humble opinion, when inclusive bikini brand Kitty and Vibe launched a waterproof riff of the garment. The Play Dress ($110), which launched earlier this summer, has everything you want in an active dress, including bright, whimsical patterns, the signature, built-in pocketed short, and a sturdy shelf bra. Only this time, it can get wet.
Built-in bra? Check. Shorts with silicone grippers to prevent sliding? Check. Waterproof material that dries in a flash?! Check, check, check. The Play Dress is the splashiest exercise dress yet, and the daisy print is just the cherry on top.
Available in: Sizes XS-5XL
Yep. The Play Dress is the exercise dress you can comfortably swim in, or, at the very least, enjoy a cool splash. Kitty and Vibe took its silky soft, UPF 50 swim fabric and turned it into an adorable swim dress that can be splashed and dried quickly, perfect for lake days, paddle trips, and other wet n' wild adventures. It was the brand's first venture into athleisure, and I, for one, am not complaining.
As someone who owns possibly a dozen exercise dresses, the Play Dress was the first one I could actually submerge underwater—important for someone who spends the majority of her free time boating, fishing, and paddle boarding. Could I theoretically get my other, moisture-wicking dresses wet? Sure, I don't think technical polyester isn't waterproof. But the times I did take them paddling, they wouldn't dry as fast, often showed "stains" (even when it was just from water), and were left soggy and weighed down for much of the day.
Not the Play Dress. Since it's made from the same fabric as the Kitty and Vibe swimsuits, it handles H2O like a champ, and dries in a flash, too. Even when I did submerge it (the result of a toppled paddle board), it dried within ten minutes of me being back in the sun, returning to its original shape and staving off any soggy bottoms in the meantime. After wearing it all summer, getting it wet and stretching it out, it's held its shape like a dream. Other competitive brands I've worn stretch out from stepping into them and pulling them on. So far, the Play Dress looks and feels as good as new, wet or dry.
And the details are impressive, besides just being swimmable. Like other exercise dresses, the Play Dress sports a simple A-line cut with adjustable, cross-back straps. There's also a built-in shelf bra (something most exercise dresses didn't have until recently), double pockets, and silicone grips on the built-in shorts to prevent them from riding up while you walk and swim. All of this comes available in sizes XS-5XL, ensuring everybody has a comfortable dress to swim and play in.
Suffice to say, I'll be wearing my Play Dress for the next four years, and hopefully, the next four after that. It's cute, waterproof, and pretty much the easiest way to get dressed every morning in the summer. If you need me, I'll be here in my dress, eagerly awaiting the next round of innovations brands are going to surprise us with.
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