At this point, athleisure has turned into its very own category of clothing. Whether it’s because we’ve spent the last two-ish years opting for stretchy spandex over inflexible fabrics, everyone can agree, that there’s no way we’re giving up our comfy loungewear lifestyles.
If there’s a silver lining to the pandemic, it has to be the evolution and acceptance of athleisure wear. In-person meetings quickly transitioned into virtual Zoom ones would ultimately change the fashion landscape, and an obsession-worthy item — the Outdoor Voices Exercise Dress — would emerge as one of the clear winners from an otherwise blah era.
Along with the obsession-worthiness of any fashion item, also comes the heftier price tag, and the Exercise Dress is no exception. Thanks to social media platforms like TikTok, where everyday products quickly go viral, shoppers’ knowledge of cult favorites has given us plenty of options when it comes to duping designer athleisure wear.
What Is the Exercise Dress?
Austin-based athleisure brand Outdoor Voices debuted the Exercise Dress in 2018 and it became an instant fan favorite. But what is it about this simple, yet overwhelmingly popular dress? It has moisture-wicking fabric and built-in shorts under an A-line skirt that allow this dress to truly do it all but wash the dishes. From hiking and Pilates to brunch with the girl, the Exercise Dress is just as cute as it is functional.
But is there really such thing as “the perfect workout dress?” First, the Exercise Dress isn’t cheap. Forking over $100 on just one item isn’t always the most feasible for a lot of shoppers. Second, it’s hard to overlook key flaws like the unadjustable straps and inability of its built-in shorts to stay put — literally it’s only job.
As smart, savvy brands have started putting their own twist on the iconic dress, you (and we) now have many options to choose from that are, in some cases, $50 less than the original and do have adjustable straps for getting the most perfect fit.
7 Best Exercise Dress Dupes to Shop Now
1. Halara In My Feels Cloudful Air Activity Dress
For half the price and triple the color options, Halara’s In My Feels Everyday Dress is what dupe dreams are made of. The 2-in-1 dress features a silky yet breathable lightweight fabric that is lined and features built-in shorts. It has thin straps that form a fun teardrop racerback for added detail.
Price: $49.95 at Halara
2. Girlfriend Collective Lola Dress
This uber-popular workout dress is hard to keep in stock. In fact, the fog color is one of the few with almost every size available. It has a built-in bra with just enough flounce in the skirt and lightweight FLOAT inner shorts. Best of all, it’s made from 90% recycled plastic bottles.
Price: $61.60 (reg. $88) at Girlfriend Collective
3. Aerie OFFLINE Exercise Dress
Aerie is a fan favorite because of its silky cool fabrics, inclusive sizes and trendy designs. The OFFLINE dress seamlessly fits into their lineup of instant classics. Featuring a soft nylon fabric and built-in shorts, the OFFLINE dress makes a fun statement with crisscross straps in the back.
Price: $54.95 at Aerie
4. Abercrombie & Fitch Traveler Mini Dress
Abercrombie has undergone quite a rebranding. And, lately, it seems that just about every influencer has been seen in their adorable Traveler Mini Dress. The plain yet flattering mini dress features a stretchy material that’s made to move with you plus built-in shorts and adjustable straps.
Price: $70 at Abercrombie & Fitch
5. Amazon Workout Dress
Who doesn’t love a good Amazon find? To be honest, some of my favorite athleisure pieces are from Amazon. It’s not hard to tell why the women’s workout dress from KuaCua is an Amazon bestseller. The workout dress is made of a stretchy and cool nylon/spandex blend, has four-way stretch and offers removable cups and built-in shorts. This dress is available in 20 different colors and patterns.
Price: $32.99 on Amazon
6. Old Navy PowerSoft Performance Mini Swing Dress
Leave it to Old Navy to have a super competitive Exercise Dress alternative. This one has a scoop neck, adjustable racerback straps, a built-in shelf bra and removable padded cups. The A-line-shaped skirt is flowy and flattering for dressing up or down with effortless flair.
Price: $44.99 at Old Navy
7. Victoria’s Secret Essential Sport Dress
This one-and-done sporty dress from Victoria’s Secret will be your new favorite athleisure staple at a ridiculously amazing price. The racerback tank dress in a stretchy, body-skimming fabric with a super cute flattering silhouette and built-in shorts.
Price: $35.97 (reg. $59.95) at Victoria’s Secret
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