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I Bought a Workout Dress and I’m Never Going Back

Serena Williams in her Workout Dress
Serena Williams in her tennis style Workout Dress

Okay, that might be a bit of an overstatement considering that it gets incredibly cold and wet where I live in the winter months and it occasionally snows, so I may be rethinking the boldness of that claim around November time, but for the moment, it’s a fact. And all in all, if Serena Williams can win 23 Grand Slam singles titles in a dress, you and I can definitely go for a walk in one.

Let me tell you about the workout dress

If I am honest, I can’t actually take full credit for the idea. It was all thanks to an ad that popped up on my Instagram feed a few weeks ago, and it really did get me to thinking, “Why don’t we wear dresses to workout in? I mean, I am a huge dress fan, and I will literally wear one as often as I can. But having said that, I still end up hoofing about in a pair of black leggings and a black shirt like 90% of the time. Honestly, the reason for that is that I have three kids and am always in a rush in the mornings to find something that’s practical and durable enough to get me through the day (that isn’t jeans). I also workout in the mornings after I have dropped everyone off at their respective schools, had a snack, checked emails, etc. Now, I know what you are thinking—that all of this is simply fascinating, but what does that have to do with working out in a dress? Bear with me here.

So, the aforementioned post on Instagram got me wondering why I shouldn’t be wearing a dress to workout in. After all, my workout usually consists of going for strenuous walks up hills with wrist weights on or going to the gym, which for me has an all women’s section (which I think should be mandatory, as expressed in my opinion piece Making the Case for a Women’s Only Section in All Gyms). So basically, the point that I am making is that, for sure, in the warmer months, there really isn’t an activity that I do that I wouldn’t still be able to do equally well, if not better, in a stretchy workout dress.

Have I convinced you yet?

OK, just to be sure, let me take you through some of the questions that you may be asking yourself before taking the plunge into workout dresses over leggings.

What is the best dress for a workout?

Well, this one is going to be purely subjective, considering each person has a different body type and style preferences, but I can tell you about my experience with workout dresses. I started off with two different styles. I got them both in navy because, honestly, I am sick to death of always wearing black, but I still wanted to have a dark colour so that it doesn’t immediately look dirty after I put it on, as things tend to when you have young children.

The first style I got was a lycra-spandex facing back fit-and-flare type dress that comes complete with bike shorts to match, so you can be modest and have a pocket as well under your dress.

The second one that I got was a collared and pleated version that also came with shorts. This one gave more of a tennis player vibe than just an athleisure vibe, which is cute.

I actually love them both but I would say that for everyday workout activity somehow I fell more comfortable in the sports-back version above. But having said that, I think that if I was to want something that I could pop on and also wear to the shops or go to play golf in, then I would lean more towards the second one with the collar as it feels a little more preppy.

Can you wear a workout dress in the gym?

Ah, yeah! I love wearing this dress to the gym. Now, I think that we can all understand why this is a valid question. Nothing makes you more uncomfortable than the idea of trying to get your workout on while being concerned about the wandering gazes around the weights room. As I mentioned above, the gym that I attend is actually enlightened enough to have a women’s only section, which is sufficient for me to be able to get a good workout without feeling self-conscious about laying on my back and stretching my hamstrings with my toes literally over my head.

As I mentioned however, the dresses do come with a pair of bike shorts (they aren’t sewn in, they are a separate piece) which means you are as covered as you would ordinarily be in a pair of shorts anyway. I guess lastly on that note, how many times have you seen a pair of leggings be marketed to you with expressed quality of them NOT being see-through? I have seen adds like that hundreds of times. Furthermore, I also wonder, how covered up do we really feel when we are wearing leggings around? I mean the truth of the matter is that they are literally skin-tight and leave nothing to the imagination at all. We are literally barely covered running around the streets but because everyone does it we feel more comfortable doing it too.

Can I run in an exercise dress?

Can Serena Williams 23 Grand Slam singles titles in a dress? OK enough said.

Where can I buy a workout dress?

Well, that’s actually the easy part. As I mentioned I just jumped on old trusty Amazon to have a look to see what was available even though the ad that I saw was on Instagram for a completely different brand. If you would like to see the selection of dresses I have found on there, please make sure you check out my Amazon Influencer Storefront and check the Workout/Exercise section for the dresses that I have chosen.

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I foundered Donc Voilà Quoi while living in Tours, France in 2015 when I fell in love with the phrase! I have a longstanding love of language and words are my superpower. When I'm not talking or writing, you'll find me out and about in nature, watching a classic whodunit or cooking up a storm. For press enquiries, please email me on

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