What It Is: More than a workout panty, a pair of NYC-made Dear Kates provides protection against light leaks – like if you pee your pants a little doing jumping jacks or when you want the added comfort of “period underwear” at the gym. Dear Kate is underwear for women with a built-in breathable liner that protects like a panty liner (but without that icky feeling of wearing one that shifts around and doesn’t breathe); athletic styles come in thong and hipster cuts. There’s also the “I Am Strong” Running Bikini.
Feelin’ the Love: I own a drawerful of (mostly cotton) workout thongs, but my Hazel Sport Thong with Full Lining feels the most luxurious (body: 76% nylon, 24% lycra; lining: 100% micropolyester). The liner is soft and cushy like there’s something extra in there, but it’s not at all bulky.
I’m blogging here about intimates, so there’s no escaping getting personal. I could jump around all day without leaking urine in my Lulus. But, wouldn’t you know it, my heaviest period days have a knack for falling on vital gym days. Nothing says “added assurance” against small spills like three breathable layers of wicking, stain-releasing and leak-resistant fabric.
Created by a woman with a degree in chemical engineering, this clever undie technology holds its own. As a test, I dribbled a teaspoon of water into the gusset (crotch area) of my Dear Kates. The effect was a slightly damp inner lining, but the moisture didn’t permeate the outer layer. Even if you don’t deal with urinary incontinence, and period overflow isn’t on your mind, you might want to wear light-colored leggings without the worry of crotch-sweat conspicuously seeping through. More points for Dear Kate.
If I Could Change One Thing: I love the sporty look of these silky, black Hazel underwear with colorful trim in either green, yellow or blue (I got blue). But the trim also adds seams around the edges, especially with its detail at the sides (see photos). This takes away from a seamless look when you’re wearing form-fitting workout tights. I’d love to see a seamless workout style from Dear Kate.
As for sizing, they seem true to size. I’m a 0-2 in skirts and pants and size small in other underwear brands. The Dear Kate XS I got is perhaps too snug. These workout underwear are stretchy, so they still feel comfortable, but they do dig into my hips a little; a size up would probably eliminate this problem. Check their sizing chart before you buy.
Should You Buy a Pair? If Dear Kate makes you feel comfortable and confident enough to swing a kettlebell in your undies (as per photo), then go for it! If you’d prefer to cover them up with tights or shorts, I think you’ll still enjoy these added-protection, machine-washable workout underwear for women; $32-36 USD per pair. DearKates.com