My super-cute new bikini is just that -- super cute. A recent weekend trip to Galveston proved that it was no match for an active session of beach Frisbee, or even a shallow dive into the water. Since I'm not a nip-slip kind of girl, I knew I would need a better suit for summer days when I would be doing more than lounging with my pals, Trashy Novel and Hangover, by the pool. Initially I started searching for a one-piece, but when an e-mail for Dry Dudz™ appeared in my inbox, I was excited about the promise of a two-piece that would also deliver good performance.
DryDudz swimwear promises fast-drying, "four-way stretch comfort," antibacterial performance clothing for both men and women. I own a lot of high-performance gear -- shorts, undergarments, shirts, tanks, bandannas, socks and just about anything else you can imagine -- and I have a healthy skepticism about companies who make big promises about "high-performance," especially when the price tag is adjusted accordingly. At a glance the DryDudz prices seemed reasonable ($40 for bikini tops, $85 for bikini bottom/board-short combos for women; $95 2-in-1 shell/board-short combo for men) and convinced me to give them a test run.
The color and print designs are limited but adorable. I had a tough time choosing, but ultimately I went with the grass-green/sky-blue MYA suit, although I was sorely tempted by the orange-and-gray plaid ALEXA. There is also a basic black and a solid yellow that caught my eye, but I'm trying to stay away from solids this summer and wear more prints. Anyway. My suit arrived in the mail and I put it on immediately, wearing it around the house for a few hours to see how it fit. The top is a basic double-tie -- one around the neck, the other around the back. The bottoms are a boy short, which aren't the most flattering cut for my body type (I of the Land of Hip and Thigh), but they are the most comfortable. The board shorts are loose but not baggy, and are actually a little more flattering as a result; there is also a back pocket which is big enough for some cash and a credit card and ID, and secures with a strong Velcro closure.
The boy short bikini bottom has a yoga-style waistband which is comfortable and flattering. I almost feel like the yoke of the criss-cross didn't line up exactly in my middle, which made me feel a little lopsided when I looked in the mirror, but that may be my OCD talking. You can also roll the waistband over if you like a lower cut; this reveals a "Get Your Dudz On" message in the back of the short -- clever little marketing trick.
I like a simple, triangle-style bikini top and this one is well-fitting, but the liner pads are visible -- very visible. Even after moving them around within the fabric, the outline of the pad is noticeable because it is much smaller than the total area of the bikini triangles. I hope the company will adjust the design by either making the pads larger or creating a sewn-in liner because it's so incredibly obvious. I have to wonder if, as the top size goes up (I'm a small), the visibility of the pad increases as well.
All of the things the company promises are true (from what I can tell -- I didn't do any bacteria tests or anything). The fabric is comfortable and fast-drying. I went swimming and diving, played Frisbee and went for a quick run with the suit under my running clothes. The boy short bikini bottom mounts to the board short with an ingenious little tab-and-Velcro closure -- a tab on the bikini is threaded through a loop in the board short, and the Velcro keeps them securely together. I felt very secure and "tucked in," and the coverage on both pieces is excellent.
From a performance standpoint the top is also great -- I felt very secure in the double-tie, because I could adjust it as tightly as it needed to be for various activities. The cups on the bikini top are large (read: no side boob) and a little gapping on the side was corrected by adjusting the tightness of the top strap. However, there is no underwire support, so while a tighter tie around my neck is enough support for me, I'm not sure a woman in a D-cup will feel secure in a double-tie bikini top. All tie-back bikinis are uncomfortable for lounging -- that knot digs into your back after a while -- but that's not a design flaw specific to this top, so if you like a tie-back, you will like this one.
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Whether I took the suit off or kept it on, the dry time was really fast compared to a traditional swimsuit. For someone who is going in and out of the water, or who will be combining a sweaty workout with a swim, this is probably the most valuable feature of the suit. Only a long-term, continuous wearing will tell how well the antibacterial treatment will prevent the accumulation of odors, but after just a couple of wearings, the suit remained odor-free.
The DryDudz suit, while not perfect, definitely addresses issues people who are active in their swimwear are concerned with: dry time, comfort, coverage and odor. While I would caution a woman who is larger on top to consider how important an underwire is to her personal sense of comfort, this is a really cute swimsuit that does what it says it will do. If they address my number-one issue -- the poor fit of the liner pads in the bikini top -- I could see myself getting a lot of use out of a DryDudz suit.
The swimsuit was provided by DryDudz; all opinions are the author's own.