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You don't have to play tennis or golf to appreciate just how versatile (and comfortable) a workout dress can be.
The sporty style has joined the likes of leggings and biker shorts as an athleisure staple that can be worn even on days when you don't have a workout scheduled. And it's a trend that fashion pros have gotten behind.
That's why style expert Melissa Garcia stopped by TODAY to share all of the easy ways you can style the trend she's calling the "perfect blend of comfy casual and sleek elevation." From sweatshirts to sneakers, she has all of the chic picks to make the dress of the summer a permanent staple in your wardrobe.
Below are trendy options that you can wear just about anywhere.
Exercise dresses seen on TODAY
Garcia says this dress "started it all," and credits Outdoor Voices for starting the trend. It has more than 3,000 rave reviews from shoppers that love its comfortable features such as the adjustable straps, biker shorts underneath that have pockets and the moisture-wicking material. She recommends pairing it with a white sneaker and a chic belt bag.
Reformation's exercise dress features a fitted bodice and a relaxed skirt, which makes for a dress that can complement any figure. The dress itself is made from recycled plastic bottles, so you can feel as good about your purchase as you'll look in the dress. Garcia styled it with a button down tied around the waist for an elevated feel, but the top can also come in handy on those chilly days.
Garcia says Halara's dress is a great way to get in on the trend without breaking the bank. It comes in several different colors and sizes XS-3X. Style it with a baseball cap to top off the sporty look.
An affordable option from Amazon, this exercise dress comes in 6 different colors that cover all of the basics. Plus, it has pockets! We're pretty much sold on that fact alone, but also love that it's a bestseller with more than 100 verified five-star reviews. Garcia says a cropped hoodie can make it easy to turn an exercise dress into a fall staple. This way, it's almost like two outfits in one — take off the hoodie to wear the dress alone or throw it on to make it look like you're wearing a top and a skirt.
This dress from Old Navy comes in petite, tall and regular sizes to help better match your frame. It’s made with a moisture-wicking technology that helps keep you dry all day long. Plus, you won’t need to put on a bra, because the dress already has one built in. Garcia styled it with a denim jacket and comfortable slides.
What is the exercise dress trend?
Shop TODAY also spoke with other style experts for more insight on the exercise dress trend.
"I am a huge fan of exercise dresses," said style expert Brittney Levine. Not only are they comfortable, but they flatter a range of different body types, she said.
Stylist Samantha Brown added that finding a good pair of shorts can often be a challenge for women, because many don't offer the right amount of coverage or can ride up in uncomfortable ways. An exercise dress can be a stylish warm-weather alternative. "They’re really easy and convenient and there’s not a lot of thought you have to put into the look," she said. "It’s not a matter of matching up a skirt and a bottom." You can wear it directly from a workout class to a coffee date or you can throw it on before heading out the door to pick up the kids from school or run errands.
Most of them are made with a sweat-wicking and lightweight material which makes them perfect for summer, but they're also a great transitional piece. "There’s something that feels a little bit more seasonally appropriate about a dress versus shorts as we go into September," Brown said. "Even though September is technically fall, it can still be 70 or 80 degrees, so I definitely think we can extend these outfits for another couple of months."
To style, Levine suggests throwing on a light jacket, like a white or classic blue denim option or a sporty zip-up. To complete the simple yet chic look, she recommends slipping on a pair of slides, like Birkenstocks or even those pillow sandals that are everywhere right now.
Whether you’re playing a round of golf or making a quick run to the grocery store, you’ll look super stylish in this stretchy knit dress. It has an A-line cut and a flattering crisscross back. And at just $35, it’s one of the more affordable options out there.
This sleeveless workout dress is currently the No. 1 bestselling women's sports dress on Amazon. You can choose between 18 different colors and patterns, including two tie dye options. It's a slim fit, so the brand recommends sizing up if you want a looser feel.
"If athleisure and cocktail attire had a baby, it would be this dress," wrote one Shop TODAY writer. The stylish piece of activewear is made with advanced cooling technology and sweat-wicking material, so you stay cool and dry all day long.
For a sustainable and fashionable take on the trend, look no further than Girlfriend Collective’s popular Undress. The sweat-wicking material is made from recycled plastic water bottles. As an added bonus, it’s ultra-lightweight, “buttery soft” and even has a UPF 50+ rating to keep you protected. “These dresses are all I want to wear in the summer,” wrote one reviewer. “They're lightweight, flattering, soft and cozy — I've worn them out to dinner with fun shoes, on hikes, and literally just for house naps.”
This dress can easily be worn to brunch or out to dinner with friends, and it's made from a sporty lightweight knit fabric that will help keep you cool and comfortable. It's available in multiple colors and extended sizes as well.
You can also grab this option from Nike, which has a built-in inner bodysuit, that holds you in but still allows you plenty of freedom to move, whether you're on a walk or a run. There are seven color options to choose from, plus, it's made with at least 50 percent recycled materials.
Brown said that you can find some good options at Athleta. This tennis dress, for example, is perfect for wearing both on and off the court. It has a mesh material in the back, which adds a stylish touch and also allows for airflow.
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