I read Alyssa's piece about Dear Kates, the leak-resistant underdrawers, with that old familiar feeling growing in my chest. If you're fat, you might know the one. It starts out all, "Oh, that's cute!" and ends with the bitterness of not being able to buy the cool thing that's being reviewed. But Alyssa mentioned plus sizes were available. And hope, pernicious and persistent, stirred within me.
Dear Kate, you see, has a small Queen Size offering. It looks like this is a fairly new development and, of course, there is not the same range of styles available as in straight sizes. (Check out the awesome Look Book.) The (totally expected) style disappointment was overwhelmed by my excitement that these things even come in plus sizes at all. That's worth a temporary stay in judgment, for me at least, to give them a chance to expand.
Despite my hips exceeding their size chart by a few inches, I suspected the 3X would work for me. I requested a pair to test and then a few days later, I started my period. It's like it was meant to be.
Here's my obligatory heavy period story: I stayed home on the first day of my period this time around because I couldn't stop sneezing. I figured sneezing plus heavy bleeding were a bad combination -- and I was so right. I made a good choice when I didn't go to work. Unlike my desk chair at the day job, my couch is made of tactical velvet and cleans up easy.
Gross, I know. But true. I'm not ashamed.
But then, in a miracle of timing, my trial pair of Dear Kate panties arrived with the afternoon mail. They came in a box, which is utterly precious and a nice higher-end touch. Lane Bryant ships their unmentionables in clear plastic bags so you have a mountain of trash after opening everything. This was a refreshingly pleasant change in experience. And they fit fantastically. Super-comfortable and not at all binding.
I got the high-waisted style, the Rosa brief. They are not sexy, unless you are into that retro aesthetic. Which I kind of am so I dig it. But life (and underwear) is not always about sexy; sometimes it's about luxury.
As was previously reported, the Dear Kates are made of a wonderfully soft and silky material. It's not they they feel substantial -- it's more that they feel like a high quality garment. The underwear is well-made and nicely finished. Your drawers from the LB are not going to measure up to this.
They're also super effective -- the period-wear portion of the Dear Kate program is exactly as Alyssa described it. But they are pretty awesome for regular, non-period wear as well.
Because, my fellow fat people, let's be real: When your thighs touch, sometimes things in that general area get a little sweaty. That can lead to uncomfortable chaffing, especially when you're wearing tights or leggings. These underpants stop that moisture from spreading the same way they do period leakage. That's why they're awesome for activewear situations, though the Sport style is sadly not available in plus sizes yet. I like these a lot for when I'm going to walk several miles. I also like them for when I'm going to spend all day wearing tights.
I like them so much, in fact, that I was eager to buy a few more pairs. And that's when I got hit with sticker shock: The plus size option is between 10 and 20 bucks more expensive than the straight size option. The Dear Kate rep says it's down to the amount of high tech fabric used in plus sizes, which is a pretty common excuse, honestly. I have to roll my eyes at it a little bit (a size small takes less fabric than a size large but no one charges extra for size larges or less for size smalls!) but then the rep (who was very understanding) gave me a discount code.
And with a discount code to help absorb some of the price difference, my love of these drawers overwhelms my wallet and restraint! Because 25% is a big deal! And this really is the best underwear I've worn. I am taking advantage of this discount code and I hope y'all will, too, regardless of size because this code is for all of us! Enter DEARJANE when ordering to save 25%. The code is good until March 15th!