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Columbia.

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Let’s face it: September in Canada can be pretty unpredictable. While there’s definitely cool, breezy days, most of the month continues to be dominated by heat and humidity — especially if you live further south.

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Columbia’s stylish clothing and athletic wear are designed with the elements in mind and are the perfect options for hot and humid Canadian summers. The brand’s lightweight line of Freezer dresses are made with Omni-Freeze™ technology to help keep the body cool by releasing heat from the fabric while you wear it. Not only does the Freezer dress help beat the heat, but it’s also made with the brand’s Omni-Shade capability: tightly knit fabric that actually helps shield your skin from UV rays thanks to UPF 50 protection. And the best part? Columbia is currently having a massive sale on their Freezer dresses, with more than 40% off.

Women's PFG Freezer™ III Dress. Available in six colours.
Women’s PFG Freezer™ III Dress. Available in six colours.

SHOP IT: Columbia, $40 (originally $70)

The simple, classic designs of the Freezer style dresses help provide the perfect blank canvas for any summer activity. From (socially distanced) outdoor gatherings to a casual home office environment, the silhouettes of the cooling dresses made from a jersey/polyester blend with elastane can be dressed up or down with the right footwear and accessories. Even if you do happen to break a sweat (or have a spill) the fabric is quick-drying, and will help avoid any uncomfortable situations this summer.

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Even better? The Freezer dresses are size inclusive, perfect for anyone and everyone in both straight and plus sizes.

While reviewers seem to love the dress, we wanted to try it out ourselves. Below, check out our honest thoughts on the Columbia Freezer dress.

Alyssa Tria, Shopping Writer

Even as a regular shopper in the petite section of the women’s department, midi dresses have always been a must-have and a favourite in my wardrobe. Midi dresses have always somehow fallen at the most flattering and comfortable length for me, below the knee and right above my calves, something typical maxi and mini dresses could never do. So when I was given the chance to try out Columbia’s Freezer Dress, I was excited about the new addition to my summer dress collection.

But like a lot of clothing that I browse through online, the description of sizing and fabric was too good to be to true to fit my small frame. Even with an XS, its stretchy, silky-smooth, and lightweight fabric did nothing for my figure — it kind of just hung there like a tent. Which is too bad because just from its touch I can understand why shoppers have been loving this dress for summer and vacations. It feels like a bathing suit! This dress combines moisture-wicking and advanced cooling technology that’s breezy enough for hot weather conditions.

I’d say its the perfect, easy-to-wear dress to do errands while also being a functional and fashion choice for anyone who simply loves spending a lot of time under the sun.

Kate Mendonca, Shopping Writer

Although summer may be ending, I’m sure that many women will still appreciate clothing made from breathable and lightweight fabric like the Freezer Dress that I received. Its innovative cooling fabric helps to keep you feeling your best at even the warmest temperatures, and built-in UPF 50 helps protect your skin from the sun’s rays.

Featuring a scoop neckline and an A-line silhouette, this dress also offers plenty of stretch to get you through the day. It also skims the body for a flattering fit, and while I chose my regular size small, I can definitely see this working in a size up if you prefer a more flowing fit. While I wasn’t personally a fan of the cooling fabric (it feels a little too much like swimwear for me), I can see how it would certainly come in handy if you tend to run warm but still want to enjoy the outdoors.

Sarah Rohoman, Shopping Writer

I have mixed feelings about this dress. I decided to wear this dress on a day that I had a bunch of errands to run as well as on a day that was to be in the 30s. My first thought about the dress was that it isn’t super flattering. I wear a size 3X in most brands, and while the size 3X dress fit me in some places, it didn’t flatter me in ways that I usually look for in a dress. I found it to be tight across the bust and that the armpit kind of dug into my skin uncomfortably. It also didn’t skim away from my body in the way that A-line dresses usually do, so I felt a bit self conscious about that.

I will say that I thought the moisture wicking was great. I’m a pretty sweaty human being, and although my face and neck were damp with sweat from running back and forth all day, my lower back and under my bust didn’t feel damp at all, which is usually where I start to show sweat. I think the cooling technology was interesting, but might be better in a fitted shirt or shorts, since hot air was still able to travel up the dress. Overall, I think this was an interesting concept and something I’d wear if it was a little more flattering for my body, but if you like something a bit more form-fitting, this might work for you!

Elizabeth Di Filippo, Lifestyle Editor

Do you know the scene in “The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants” where America Ferrera’s character looks at the pants with reluctance and is adamant that they’re not going to fit her? That was me when I unboxed this dress.

I’m a dress size 6/8 but find it hard to find dresses or pants that fit around my hips. I ordered a size M, but I admit that I put off trying on this dress for as long as possible because I was positive that it wasn’t going to fit around my hips and that I would go into a shame spiral about my body.

I was relieved that the fit is A-line and fits looser at the hips than I thought when I held it up out of the box. It’s a very light dress, in a fabric similar to swimsuit material – which I think is beneficial if you’re someone who sweats a lot and is prone to back sweat or boob sweat in the summer when you wear form fitting clothes.

I’m personally a fan of solid colours, and could see this dress in black being a go-to for bathing-suit cover-ups, a sporty dress you can throw on while running errands. This would definitely be a good choice for beach days or to throw on while you’re on vacation since it’s super comfortable and has a UPF of 50 so that you can block out harmful UV rays.

Hilary Hagerman, Lifestyle Managing Editor

I’m usually a fan of tent-like midi and maxi dresses in the heat — but I was excited to try the Columbia Freezer Dress because it’s a favourite of Yahoo readers. This dress was definitely divisive among our editors — and I will admit that the fabric of the A-line version I tried was a bit too slim-fitting for my personal taste (but it fit true to size, so unless you’re a fan of all things oversized like me, I’d stick to your true size!). However, the shape of the garment was by no means unflattering — and if you’re looking for something stretchy and lightweight to enjoy the remaining hot days September has to offer (or you’re shopping ahead for next year), this is a great pick.

I was surprised by how the dress actually did feel cool on my skin — and like Kate said, this would definitely come in handy if you run hot, even if it’s just to wear around the house!

At just $40 right now, the Columbia Freezer dress is definitely a worthy investment if you’re someone who feels like they’re always a bit too hot — and the added UPF-50 is a great bonus (read more about the benefits of clothing with sun protection here). If I was shopping again, I think I’d opt for one of the brand’s longer dresses (like the Freezer Midi dress).

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