A few weeks ago Nichole wrote about Bandelettes "anti-chafing thigh bands". I usually peek into her posts before they're published and I was as curious about this new accessory as many of you were. The Bandelettes people were nice enough to send me a pair to try out too! I'll admit, I had my doubts about how well they'd work for me. Nichole and I have a lot in common, but in some ways we're total opposites. She's always hot, I'm always cold. She's a laid-back stay-at-home mom, I'm a hyperactive and childless shopping addict. Neither of us are that girly, but she's the girlier one. I do like skirts and dresses too (especially now that I'm losing weight again), but I have absurdly sensitive skin. I've gotten rashes from seams and zippers, had allergic reactions to necklaces and earrings, shredded my feet in half an hour in new shoes, and had all sorts of other trouble from clothing and accessories. "Chub rub" is a problem for almost every woman at some point, but I have tiny scars from it. Over the years I've powdered, slathered, balmed, and even worn boxers trying to avoid the pain and skin damage from chafing. Nichole's right about the shorts, they can cling and stick and make you sweaty. Stockings and tights are fine in the winter, but we have hot summers here and stockings feel disgusting on a muggy day. Lotions, balms, powders, and other products help, but they wear off. Reapplying in public can be tricky or messy and if you forget your product at home, you might as well not have bothered in the first place. I'm gonna sound all infomercial-y here, but... There has to be a better way! Could Bandelettes be it?
I was apprehensive. Lace scares me. It can cause chafing! When my pair arrived, the texture reassured me. They're very soft. Don't think scratchy bra lace, think the soft stuff that edges camis. They're pretty too, with a large, dense floral pattern.
Even more reassuring was the grippy (but not sticky) silicon band at both edges of each Bandeltte. It's a lot like the stuff at the edges of the cups of strapless bras. This pair is a Size C and fit snugly, but comfortably, when I tried them on.
They're even prettier on. I
They'd look cute peeking out from the cuffs of shorts, but I don't wear shorts. They've got a second lace pattern too, but I prefer this one.
I finally got to actually wear them last Wednesday. I only wear my own "girl clothes" a few times a week. I have a uniform for work and I prefer loungewear at home for lazy comfort, but errands and shopping happen at least twice most weeks. It was horrible out on Wednesday, humid and 90-ish. I wore them under my favorite denim mid-thigh skirt, happily escaping my sweltering jeans for a change. The Bandelettes looked a bit long on my short legs (I have a 27" inseam even though I'm 5'7"), but weren't visible beyond my hemline while I was standing. When I sat I had to keep an eye on things, but they were only slightly visible on the sides with this skirt. If you were looking for them, you'd see them, but you wouldn't notice otherwise.
With any undergarment, fit and comfort will depend on the way you're shaped. Nichole didn't have any rolling issues. I had a little bit of rolling at the back along the upper edge, depending on where I positioned them. Moving them down a little bit fixed that. At one point the one on my right leg felt like it was moving around when I walked briskly. I even ducked into a bathroom, swearing it was slipping. It wasn't. I have no idea quite what was going on. It stayed in place just fine. I think it might be just a bit too large, but I'm not sure if the next size down would fit my left. My right thigh is a smidge smaller and firmer-toned than my left. I'm all kinds of wonky.
I won't say that I had 100% protection from chafing, but it was a MAJOR improvement over anything else I've tried. The only irritation I had was where the lower edges rubbed the thigh of the opposite leg slightly. Without any chafing protection I get redness, swelling, and tiny spots of broken skin. This was just a slight rubbing. No slippery hands or powdery mess and no awkward reapplying in the car or a public bathroom.
My skin was still in pretty great shape after six hours of shopping, but how were the Bandelettes holding up? There was already a bit of outer surface pilling on both of them, where they'd rubbed together as I walked. No actual damage, but the surface of the lace was already starting to look a little worn. Nichole didn't notice wear to hers, but I'd had a more active day in mine. I'm also tough on things. I walk fast and rarely stand still for long. Shoes, pants, undies, etc all have a tough time keeping up. The Bandelettes may have looked a little worse for wear, but I can see them holding up better than some tights I've worn.
I only had one real problem with them and it's a sensitive topic. This might be TMI, but it's the kind of thing I'd want to know if I was reading this. They're potentially awkward in the bathroom. If you have to sit, they'll touch the seat. I didn't want that! Especially not in a mall bathroom! Stockings or shorts would be pulled down and I guess I could have pulled one or both Bandelettes down and then re-situated them when I was done, but I hovered instead. Not easy when you have joint pain. I asked Nichole how she handled this problem. Turns out she didn't use the bathroom while wearing them. I'm still not sure what I'll do about this next time I wear them. What do people who wear garters do?
The good points:
- Very protective
- Comfortable, especially on hot days
- Don't slip or crawl
The not-so-good points:
- They swished slightly when I walked
- Might be too long for some skirt or dress styles
- They sit wherever you do, if you get my meaning
- May quickly look worn out if you're active
Bottom line: I'm impressed! They look and feel good and drastically reduced irritation from chafing.. They did make a little noise as I walked, but it wasn't that noticeable. They held up pretty well to a long day of shopping, but showed a bit of wear. At $15 they're reasonably priced. I'm sure I'll be reaching for them the next time I go bare-legged. They're the best solution I've tried.
Sneaky me, I worked a hint of polish into a non-polish post. If you're wondering, it's Sally Hansen Private I. You'll get a better view of it later this week. What do you use to combat "chub rub"?
Products in this post were provided free-of-charge for my unbiased review. No compensation was received.