Last Updated on October 8, 2018 by Heather Hart, ACSM EP, CSCS
Let’s face it: I’m not the most feminine woman in the world. That said, I’m not necessarily a tom-boy either. But…I have no earthly idea how to apply makeup, I don’t own a pair of heels, and anytime I need to dress up for something even semi-formal, I need to borrow an outfit, because everything I own is made up of sweat wicking material. So when I first saw the new releases of INKnBURN Sports Dress online, I thought to myself “cute…but that’s not for me.”
I love it when I’m wrong.
I have been a fan of INKnBURN since they first hit the running scene back in 2011. Their athletic apparel has been a staple in my closet ever since I discovered – and got my hands on – my first “Run or Die” kit. Since then, I’ve trained in, raced in, finished my first 100 mile in, hell, I even got engaged while wearing INKnBURN. So without further ado, here are a few thoughts on the new INKnBURN sports dresses.
- Dry I.C.E. technical fabric (instant cooling by evaporation)
- Quick wicking of moisture
- Vibrant lasting color
- Flat seamed with Seamsoft thread for chafe resistance
- Dress MSRP: $79.95
- 2 Thigh Pockets Perfect for iPhone, GU or Keys
- 4″ Inseam Moved Forward for Less Wear and More Comfort
- Drawstring Inside Waistband
- Triangle Crotch
- Wear 2-Way Waistband: Up or Rolled Down
- Flat Seamed with Seamsoft Thread for Chafe Resistance
- Shorts MSRP: $64.95
All INKnBURN apparel is made in the USA, and is literally 100 mile tested. You should see their badass sponsored athletes.
My biggest initial concern upon first seeing this dress was that it was going to feel heavy. I’m not sure why I thought this, the Dry I.C.E. fabric of all INKnBURN apparel is incredibly lightweight. Perhaps the added length, the idea of essentially what looks like a tank top that extends well past my waist, elicited the idea of something heavy with all of the extra fabric.
Turns out, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The INKnBURN sports dress slips on just like a tank top and is so incredibly lightweight, it almost feels like nothing at all. The fit and cut of the dress is tight enough to be feminine and not feel like I’m wearing a potato sack, but still loose enough to feel light and flowy, an absolute necessity for summers in the South. More importantly, the fit of the dress is functional for exercise: it fits well enough to stay put, yet loose enough to not inhibit any movement.
Though I realize where the length of the dress hits will vary by body type, I will say that for me, at 5’7″ tall, the length of the size small dress was exactly where I wanted it (just slightly higher than mid thigh).
The 4 inch matching shorts are not attached to the dress, and are in fact a completely separate piece of apparel. As such, you could absolutely wear any sort of compression shorts or tights underneath. However, INKnBURN does make matching 4 inch long shorts to match all of their dresses (sold separately).
The shorts are higher waisted with a comfortable, thick waistband that can flip down if desired. Both features are perfect for ensuring the shorts stay put when you run, ride, or workout and do not sink down below your hips. The shorts feature two large pockets on either thigh that are large enough to securely hold a phone, keys, an I.D., gels, or some cash (or any combination of all of the above).
The shorts are also long and thick enough that I feel 100% confident wearing them as regular workout shorts with a tank. Even those who prefer a little extra coverage for modesty will find them just long enough.
Of course the pattern on both is absolutely striking, as is standard for INKnBURN, who considers their company artwork on athletic apparel. The “Lust” pattern is gorgeous and incredibly detailed. Having owned INKnBURN pieces for over 7 years now, and having put them through obstacle course races, mud runs, and ultra marathons, I can attest the fabric, patterns, and colors withstanding the test of time.
IN SHORT: we all have personal preferences when it comes to athletic apparel. I’ve been an INKnBURN fan for years, so I have no doubt that the quality of this dress is absolutely top notch and worth the investment. The biggest surprise for me was not only how flattering and cute the dress is in person, but how comfortable it is. I practically live in workout gear anyway, so it’s nice to be able to feel a little fancier – albeit probably still covered in trail dirt – every now and again. In my opinion, this dress will work for anything from an easy 5K straight to brunch with friends, all the way to a rugged 100 mile ultramarathon. The athletic possibilities for this dress are endless!
*disclaimer* INKnBURN provided me with the dress & shorts for review at no charge, however, all opinions expressed are my own.
A huge thank you to my sister Holly S. for the awesome photos!
Heather Hart is an ACSM certified Exercise Physiologist, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), UESCA certified Ultrarunning Coach, RRCA certified Running Coach, co-founder of Hart Strength and Endurance Coaching, and creator of this site, Relentless Forward Commotion. She is a mom of two teen boys, and has been running and racing distances of 5K to 100+ miles for over a decade. Heather has been writing and encouraging others to find a love for fitness and movement since 2009.