Trying out Nuu-Muu at Southampton parkrun

Tamsyn running whilst pushing a buggy. She is wearing a Ruu-Muu running dress.

Last Saturday was another parkrun at Southampton for me. It was also a great opportunity to try out an interesting product that I’ve been sent – a Nuu-Muu (or more precisely, a Ruu-Muu).

What is a Nuu-Muu?

I was recently contacted by Carolyn from Nuu-Muu to ask whether I’d like to try their product. I was completely intrigued as I’d never heard of Nuu-Muu. When I first heard the word Nuu-Muu, I thought of Homer Simpson putting on weight and wearing a muumuu, which is not a look that I’m aspiring to!

Homer Simpson wearing a garish blue muumuu with bright pink flowers on it.
Homer Simpson wearing a muumuu

The good news is that I was wrong. Nuu-Muu do make floral tunics (and plenty of other patterns), but they’re flattering clothes for active people.

With the goal of encouraging women to love themselves into action, we make exercise dresses that are flattering to lovely ladies of all shapes and sizes. Comfy and convenient, they will flatter you as you run, bike, swim — and chase your baby around! 

Carolyn McCarthy, Nuu-Muu

OK, but what’s a Ruu-Muu?

I explored the website which answered all of my questions. Nuu-Muu make three main products:

  • Nuu-Muu Classic
  • Ruu-Muu Back Pocket
  • Scoop Neck Pocket

They also make long-sleeved t-shirts that can be layered with the tunics, tote bags and water bottles. (There’s also a cute touch that tunics are available in children’s sizes. M loves to try to look like me, so she’d love one!)

I was able to try any of the dresses, so I chose a Ruu-Muu. This was described as

Our classic key-hole exercise dress with two pockets at the lower back.


I preferred the detail on the neckline to the scoop neck (and felt that it would cover my sports bras better). I thought that having pockets on the lower back would be good for when I go running as I need to carry and inhaler and a key.

What’s the sizing like?

I really liked the names that sizes are given:

  • (XS)tatic 0-2 (UK 2-4)
  • (S)assy 4-6 (UK 6-8)
  • (M)arvelous 6-8 (UK 8-10)
  • (L)ovely 10-12 (UK 12-14)
  • (XL)ent 14-16 (UK 16-18)
  • (2XL)ent 16-18 (UK 18-20)
  • (3XL)ent 20-22 (UK 22-24)

My lack of sleep and lack of time to exercise combined with being in an office full of treats means that I’ve put on weight recently. I’m determined to lose it, but I didn’t want to risk ordering a dress that was too small. Fortunately, Tunix (the UK stockists of Nuu-Muu) have a UK size chart with the measurements. I went for size L for Lovely as I didn’t want to risk it being too tight. It was perfect for me.

Measurements for Nuu-Muu exercise dresses and US/UK dress sizes.

What are the designs like?

There is a wide range of dresses in bright colours and also more muted tones. I particularly loved Lagoon and Aurora, but they were out of stock in my size, so I went for Julep. It’s an attractive dress, although it’s perhaps not as vibrant as a lot of my exercise clothes. However, being a lighter colour makes it cool to wear and perhaps more versatile. (Saturday was a great day to try it as I was planning to go to an event immediately after parkrun and had no time to change!)

A green and blue patterned nuumuu.
Julep Ruu-Muu.
A bright green, turquoise and yellow patterned nuumuu.
Lagoon Ruu-Muu
A pink, purple and turquoise patterned nuumuu.
Aurora Ruu-Muu.

So how did my parkrun go?

Most of my run was great… but at about 3.5km, M decided that she had had enough of being a passive participant and she waned to run too. At 2.5, M is too young to do a parkrun – she’s not old enough to be registered for another 18 months and also it’s not healthy for a child her age to try to run such a long distance. However, I do want her to enjoy taking part in sports, so I agreed that she could come out of the buggy for a bit.

She enthusiastically ran 100m and then jogged another hundred metres or so, before trotting out one of her favourite euphemisms, “I need a cuddle, Mummy!” This translates as “Please pick me up and carry me!” She’s too heavy for me to carry her very far, so I gave her the choice of walking or getting back in the buggy. After some protests, she agreed to go back in the buggy, but resisted having the straps done up.

I felt really frustrated as a large portion of the final 1.5km of Southampton parkrun is down a steep hill. I was hoping to pick up the pace a bit as I was intending to go a a ‘nearly new’ sale, but I couldn’t risk going quickly without M being strapped in. She was very tired and wanted to curl up and go to sleep, but she also wanted to talk to me. The photo below shows the awkward position that she was in, as well as showing off my Ruu-Muu.

Tamsyn running whilst pushing a buggy. She is wearing a Ruu-Muu running dress made by Nuu-Muu.
© Clare Satterly

What was my finish time? And what was the Ruu-Muu like to run in?

So, onto the important bit – what was my time. With the unplanned interlude in the middle, my final time was not as bad as I expected:

Tamsyn's result from Southampton parkrun #360 on 18th May 2019: 36:37.

It’s still a long way off my PB (and my buggy PB), but at least I finished!

As for the Ruu-Muu, it attracted quite a lot of attention and I was on the receiving end of quite a lot of jokey comments about having lost my shorts. Saturday was a hot day, so I chose to wear a pair of lycra cycling shorts under it, but I felt quite cool. It was loose fitting and stretchy and did not chafe. The Ruu-Muu has a figure-flattering cut. I’m looking forward to wearing it for cycling and I think it would be great for yoga classes where I don’t have to do any inversions.

I’ve washed the Ruu-Muu and it has come out of the machine looking perfect, but I think I would be worried about pinning a race number on it, so if I chose to wear it for a race, I think I’d use a number belt.

Have you ever run in a dress?

If you want to read more about someone else’s experiences, check out Dr Juliet McGrattan’s blog.

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