You may never want to wear leggings again.

By Hillary Maglin
Updated July 14, 2020
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
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Courtesy of Outdoor Voices and Dick's Sporting Goods

For those who like to stay active, summer is all about exercising outdoors. But when it's especially hot out, wearing long leggings for hiking, running, and other workouts can feel extra constricting.

Enter exercise dresses.

It may sound counterintuitive, but dresses actually make for ideal athletic wear, especially when they're specifically designed to move and breathe with your body. These options from trusted brands like Nike, Outdoor Voices, Columbia, and more hang just right on your body, and will never feel uncomfortable or get in the way as you exercise. Plus, you're guaranteed to look super stylish.

The Exercise Dress by Outdoor Voices

Courtesy of Outdoor Voices

You really can't go wrong with an exercise dress that is literally called "The Exercise Dress." This stylish option, made with soft, lightweight fabric and built-in shorts, is perfect for days when breaking a sweat is immediately followed by running errands or grabbing lunch. You just might catch yourself ordering one in all eight colors.

To buy: outdoorvoices.com, $100

Patagonia Fleetwith Dress

Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

This breezy, looser-fitting option has a seemingly endless number of selling points, but our favorites include the reinforcing cross-back straps, water-repellent material, and drawcord waist for a customizable fit. Not to mention, it's incredibly comfy to lounge in.

To buy: dickssportinggoods.com, from $56

Adidas Changeover Sleeveless Dress

Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

If you're looking for something simple and classic, this dress from Adidas is about to be your new go-to. One of the more affordable options on our list, the form-fitting yet breathable changeover dress offers unrestricted mobility and a longer back for added coverage. Basically, there's nothing you can't do in this dress.

To buy: dickssportinggoods.com, from $22

L.L. Bean Women's Fitness Dress

Courtesy of L.L. Bean

Got something with a little more shape in mind? Opt for this style from L.L. Bean. Not only does its slightly fitted waist complement your body's natural curves, but its full coverage design makes every exercise and activity more enjoyable.

To buy: llbean.com, $50

CALIA 'Journey' Hooded Sweater Dress

Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

If you tend to take on your outdoor workouts in the early morning or evening when temperatures are cooling down, a long sleeve sweater dress might be for you. This one by Carrie Underwood's fitness brand, CALIA, is hooded, lightweight, and oh-so-cozy. You'll have no trouble moving around with this thing on, and you'll feel pretty thrifty knowing you snagged it for under $50.

To buy: dickssportinggoods.com, $47

ASICS Women's Rally Dress

Courtesy of Amazon

This sporty dress from ASICS is the ideal option for ladies who work hard and play hard. It's tight  enough that it'll stay put on your body through even the most intense exercise, but it'll also remain comfy enough to keep on long after your workout is done. Plus, it comes in five eye-catching colors.

To buy: amazon.com, from $35

Columbia 'Freezer III' Dress

Courtesy of Amazon

Who said workouts can't be fun? If anyone ever did, they'd change their minds after trying on this movement-focused dress by Columbia. Available in 13 unique colors and patterns, the Freezer III dress is fun and functional. With its moisture-wicking fabric, advanced cooling technology, and UPF sun protection, you'll wonder why you didn't own it sooner.

To buy: amazon.com, from $24

Nike 'Court Maria' Tennis Dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

This dress is sure to perform on the tennis court, but it's a stellar choice for a host of other outdoor activities, too. Designed with a lace bodice, mesh lining, and breathable fabric, this figure-flattering option from Nike should top every fitness enthusiast's wishlist.

To buy: nordstrom.com, $120

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