I failed the 'Skims latex workout' – it burned calories but even a full bottle of lube didn't save me from the pain | The Sun
16th March 2023

FANS of Kim Kardashian's Skims adore the snug clothes that make customers look totally snatched without going to the gym.

But one infamous offering from the fashion brand is so difficult to wear that putting it on and taking it off is a workout in and of itself.

But when I tried the "Skims latex dress workout," I underestimated just how exhausting (and messy) it would be.

The premise was straightforward: I would put on, and take off, the Skims latex dress ten times.

I would also wear a fitness tracker to monitor my heart rate and calories burned.

It may seem simple, but any fashion influencer will warn you the Skims Latex Long Sleeve Dress, $128, is devilishly difficult to navigate.

Latex is stretchy, but also clingy. It's hard to get in and out of, but easy to rip if you aren't cautious.

The Skims latex minidress is basically a full-body resistance band.

In theory, it should make for an effective (and stylish!) workout, right?

From the headline of this article, you may think you understand just how poorly this experiment played out.

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Yeah, I get it. I thought I was prepared, too, because I watched my colleague Kaleigh Werner's video about the latex dress.

After I had a good laugh at her expense, I only felt a little guilty when she messaged me a word of warning.

"Hattie, you are going to NEED lube for the Skims dress!!! TRUST ME," she wrote. "IT IS TRULY TERRIBLE."

Since I had two full bottles of personal lubricant at the ready, I thought I was prepared.

Two bottles seemed like too much, in fact. "This is overkill," I thought as I organized my lube and unpacked my dress from its box.

It wasn't.

While the latex dress looks super shiny in Instagram photos and Skims modeling campaigns, fresh out of the box, it looked like deli meat.

I got the dress in the shade bronze and a size medium. What I unboxed looked like a human-size cold cut.

As I lubed it up, inside and out, it quickly began developing that trademark latex shine – and an accompanying aroma.

The rubbery smell of the latex seemed to be "activated" by the lubricant, with a noxious, chemical odor blooming underneath.

I even sniffed my bottle of lubricant to see if it had developed mildew while I wasn't looking.

Nope! The dress itself smelled like a rubbery death fart. Sexy.

Undeterred, I followed Kaleigh's advice and used more lubricant than I thought I'd need before cheerily sliding the dress over my calves.

Once it reached my calves, I applied a little more lube. And a little more. And then splashed some directly on my thighs.

Finally, it started moving, gliding up my thighs until it hit my glutes, then springing over my hips with a harsh snapping sound.

At first, I forced the skirt back down over my front, but I quickly realized it would be easier to get my arms into the sleeves first.

That required more lubricant, on top of the lube I'd already dumped into the dress, but during this early stage, I considered it an investment.

I wormed my arms into the sleeves, carefully stretching the latex over my fitness tracker, fearful of snapping the material.

Even with my arms slimed up, it took me a while to inch my way into the dress.

Finally, though, I was able to push my hands through the sleeves and roll the skirt down over my shorts.

Now I just had to zip it.

Trying to zip the dress with my slippery hands felt impossible, so I grabbed a washcloth, which gave me a slightly better grip.

Still, it took a shocking amount of brute strength to close the dress over my chest.

Once the zipper was done up, I was rewarded with lightheadedness and a bizarre fluttering sensation at the side of my neck.

In a few seconds, I realized the neck of the dress was so tight, I could feel my pulse in my throat.

Eager to start the "taking off the dress" part of my day, I checked my heart rate.

It was nearing 110 beats per minute, and I could feel every one of them thanks to the dress.

I unzipped, then began to take my arms out of the sleeves. A sharp pain in my back and shoulders reminded me to roll up the skirt first.

Then, it was skirt up, sleeves down, arms out, skirt down, butt through and dress off, in that approximate order.

I looked at the clock. My first round of putting on and taking off the dress took a total of 15 minutes.

But now I had the mechanics down.

I was certain I'd be able to reduce my time and speed through these reps (or, y'know, whatever a TikTok fitness girl would say).

Through some evil alchemy, the lube I'd coated myself and the dress with didn't sustain me through my second attempt to put on the dress.

Plenty of it absorbed into my bra and shorts, but I'm convinced the rest evaporated into thin air.

So, I dutifully doused myself in more, but as I wriggled my arms into the sleeves, something bizarre happened.

I felt a sudden, searing pain along the inside of my left arm. It burned and pinched at the same time.

When I was a teenager, a jellyfish stung me while I was swimming in the ocean. That's the closest comparison I can muster for this specific pain.

Even now, it's not clear what the problem was; I think a stray hair or an air bubble created a seal or suction that ripped at my skin.

I tried to work the mysterious "bubble of pain" down my arm and out the sleeve, but it just spread the pain up and down my arm.

Once my right arm was fully in the sleeve, the pain on the surface of my left arm became unbearable.

I couldn't even zip the dress, and I had to be pulled out of it since I couldn't move my left arm without tears springing to my eyes.

Physically, I couldn't find anything wrong besides angry red patches of irritated skin all along my arm.

I chalked that up as "attempt number two," and counted it even without zipping the dress all the way.

By this point, my fitness tracker was totally lube-logged, and I moved it to my ankle, where I hoped it would stay dry but still monitor my vitals.

During my third attempt to put on the dress, I felt my confidence starting to flag.

The sweat and lubricant were coagulating on my skin, creating a layer of film that was more sticky than slick.

Every time I thought I had the dress figured out, something new would confound me.

The hem would get folded and stuck, or the skirt and bodice would twist around my midsection.

Getting the zipper straight was a losing battle, and the latex ripped out my hair throughout the entire experiment.

At one point, I even took a break to clip my long nails. I worried I'd rip a hole in the material (and hurt myself while doing so).

On my fourth attempt, I had the dress midway up my hips when a new part of my body started screaming for mercy: my bladder.

I hurried to get the tight dress on and off, so I could run for the bathroom for a quick break.

During the brief respite from my latex lockdown, I felt my muscles aching as though I'd suffered through leg, arm, and core workouts at the gym.

All hope was draining by the time I started round five. I was feeling a little delirious, too, probably from lack of oxygen.

By this point, I was on the last dregs of my first bottle of lubricant, and I knew I'd need to pop open another one soon.

As I danced through the hysteria, I realized there was a big air pocket filling the front part of the dress.

When I pumped my arms down, a huge puff of air blew up at my face – and the zipper popped open, leaving me exposed.

The popping sound was terrifying, and I was reminded that the latex dress can be seriously dangerous.

Prying the dress off was so difficult, I considered switching my bralette and shorts for a pair of Spanx.

But when I tried, my body was so covered in lube-sweat panic-goo that I couldn't get the shapewear over my calves.

Was it a cruel twist of irony, or Kim Kardashian's master plan? Who can say! I was too worn out to do any investigative journalism.

All I know is, my sixth attempt at the dress workout was the last.

My fitness tracker (which moved back to my wrist when I couldn't get a pulse on my ankle) was totally coated in slime.

Still, it detected my heart rate intermittently.

At the highest point, my heart rate reached 122 beats per minute. The fitness tracker thought I walked 1.5 miles.

After I took the dress off for the last time, the watch said I'd burned 185 calories over my 90-minute "workout."

But I'm sure I burned more calories in the thirty minutes of cleanup that followed.

There was lube on the floor, my bed, my vanity, on my other clothes, and splattered over my phone's camera.

And though I'd put my hair in a ponytail, it was gelled down with lube, sticking to my neck and dripping down my back.

I didn't get through all 10 repetitions of my "exercise." Technically, I failed the experiment.

But at least my thesis was correct: the Skims latex dress is "activewear" in the truest sense.

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If you're looking to tone up, spend your $128 on a gym membership.

The harshest interval training would be less painful than this at-home workout, even if you don't look quite as stylish.

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