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Sporty summer dresses - best brands and where to find them

Updated on May 8, 2012

Are you an athletic woman who prefers to wear a dress with a sporty yet feminine appeal? If you do, then this article will help you to find a summer dress that is versatile enough to go from beach to sand while making you feel unstoppable!

My experience

I grew up loving the outdoors; but that has never detracted from my need to look and feel feminine. For several years I travelled with suitcases filled with clothing that catered for individual occasions; and carried around hefty suitcases that often provided comic relief for my family and friends. Well, about a couple years ago, I decided to fix that problem. I started travelling with mostly sporty summer dresses. From my personal experience, I have found that my selection of dresses offer me the luxury of wearing them in or out of the water, hiking, strolling, shopping and even to dinner.

I now have a collection of what I like to call “sporty summer dresses”, and have taken the time to research and shop around for brands that offer me the following features:

  • · High quality
  • · Stylish
  • · Wrinkle- phobic
  • · Light weight
  • · Flattering
  • · Quick- drying
  • · Comfortable
  • · Supportive
  • · Travel- friendly
  • · Easy- care

Top Brands

I decided to write this article so that I can share some of my recommended brands with you. I have listed them in an order that puts my favorite brand first. I also gave a description of my top five below.

Prana: Quinn dress
Prana: Quinn dress


I love the fact that Prana dresses are very flattering, and available in pretty summer prints. My only problem is that the prints tend to be antiquated at times. However, I get many compliments when I wear Prana dresses.

Athleta: Printed Nectar dress
Athleta: Printed Nectar dress


Athleta dresses are usually very comfortable and stylish. I like the fact that their short- sleeved dresses are just as appealing as their thin-strap dresses. Also, most of Athleta's dresses are suitable for both in-water and out-of-water adventures.

Patagonia: Margot dress
Patagonia: Margot dress


Dresses by Patagonia are the most versatile to me. The only down side is that they do not always offer support.

The North Face: Echo Lake Halter dress
The North Face: Echo Lake Halter dress

The North Face

I love the soft, wrinkle-free material of most dresses by The North Face. I am average height, and I have found that some of these dresses tend to end way below my knees- I usually prefer my dresses to hit just above the knees. However, dresses by The North Face are very figure- flattering, and are hence some of my favorite sporty summer dresses yet.

Columbia: freezer II dress
Columbia: freezer II dress


In 2011 I found some Columbia dresses with some very beautiful prints. I like the support I get from most of Columbia’s dresses. However, the chest area can be a bit revealing at times.

Where to find sporty summer dresses

Apart from the Brand- name stores themselves, the above mentioned brand name dresses can be found at the following sites online: Zappos, 6pm, Title Nine, Backcountry, Rei, Campmor, Sierra Trading Post, Amazon, Altrec, Mountain Gear, Rock creek, Moosejaw and a few other sites.

I hope this article was informative and provided you with a dress that suits your preferred comfort and style. For me, I like the idea that my choices of sporty summer dresses make packing for long vacations quick and simple; and that I feel confident when I wear them. The bonus is that I get many compliments when I least expect!

You can find information on online summer dresses at this link:


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