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Athletic wear has become mainstream, driven by staying at home for three years. From leggings to bike shorts to skorts (yes, skorts), these styles have been less about fitness and more about fashion. For months and months, I’ve been seeing tennis dresses everywhere. These aren’t your ’90s polo dresses, made from thick, pique fabric and paired with pearls. No, these are exercise and workout dresses made from athletic fabric with a bodysuit underneath, and they’re everywhere. I got the chance to test three of the most popular ones on the market from Outdoor Voices, Aerie, and Girlfriend Collective. Each dress has thin straps and a stretchy bodysuit with shorts underneath, but that’s about as far as the comparisons go.
The Exercise Dress from Outdoor Voices was my overall favorite. It’s sleek and comfortable, slightly swishy (in a good way), and comes in multiple neutral colors, so it’s easy to wear on its own or layered under a shirt or sweater. The adjustable straps felt secure, the fabric was by far the lightest feeling of the bunch (though it wrinkled the easiest), and the shorts underneath were the perfect length. Each leg has its own pocket and a grip on the shorts to keep them from rolling up. It’s the perfect fitness dress for summer pickleball matches, running errands, and even hitting the gym.