Review: The North Face Empower Hooded Dress

AthleisureReviewsThe North Face

A short while ago, I featured something a bit unexpected out of the North Face, a DRESS! As you know, I’m all about finding the crossover pieces from our favorite tried and true activewear brands and getting them into the business / casual / party wardrobe rotation as much as possible.

Seeing that it’s from a prior season, it’s on sale at for half off of its original price. Yay for us! It’s available in 3 colors: black, graphite gray and cosmic blue (navy). As of this writing, all colors are available in S-M-L-XL.

The North Face Empower Hooded Dress ($35)


So, what size did I order? Unfortunately for me, the North Face’s size charts weren’t helping me out much, and I really didn’t know what size to get. Fitted dress shopping sucks when you’re 2 different sizes on the top and bottom. So, I double checked the 6pm return policy and proceeded to order both an M and an L to try on. Shown in the photos directly above and below are the M.

The design of this dress isn’t too crazy, but I was drawn in by the hood. So were the rest of you – this dress was hands down the most commented on in that last 5FD.

Good news, with the way it crosses over, the head hole is large enough not to mess with your hair and makeup, but still narrow enough to make you feel a bit cozy.


As for the hood itself? Might not run around with it on for style… it’s a bit pointy. That could be the way it was folded and shipped, or just that this piece was tailored for the Conehead family.

Shown up to this point in the post is the size M. Having tried it on and felt it was just a little bit tight around the hips, I figured I’d try on the L just for kicks. The torso is already pretty roomy, so I was hesitant if sizing up so that I wouldn’t have to suck it in would work.


Shown above is the L. Quite roomy! Head on, it doesn’t adequately convey how loose it is. Let’s rotate me 90 degrees so you can see.

Pictured on the left is the M. Plenty o’ room in the midsection and shoulders, a smidge tight on the bottom but not indecently so. On the right, we see the L. Simply too much fabric for the look I’m going for, all shape is lost.

As for the fabric and other features, the fabric feels something along the lines of a technical rulu/spacer hybrid. I don’t know if I was very warm in it because it’s a toasty fabric, or it was 80 degrees out when I was shooting these photos. Either way, it is NOT meant to be cute in warmer months. This is definitely for the fall/winter rotation only.

Also worth noting: no thumbholes, no pockets.

I tried, but at the end of the day the M is the clear winner for me. So much of a winner that as soon as I finished up my little photo shoot at home, I popped the tags off, styled it with with a flat pair of Sorel ankle boots and the top half of the lululemon Quick Change Vest and off to into Saturday night I went.

The Verdict? I think it’s a great piece and plan to get lots of use out of it this winter. Now, if only late October could stop acting like mid September… 🙂

Click to Buy:


  1. Medium , definitely for you ! I’m just worried about the length ; do you feel you get any more of the length in large ? I think you are taller than me , I’m 5 ft 8 in but worry a medium may be short (I’m gonna wear tights with it anyways probably in winter )

    1. The little extra length is not enough to make up for how much extra fabric comes with sizing up. It felt like 2 totally different dresses. I’m ok with hems above the knee and I didn’t feel indecent standing, but I wouldn’t wear it without pants underneath if I heading to the office. Saturday night dinner? Whole different story 🙂

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