You can expect to see quite a few dress reviews coming up, and you can thank GoLite for that. They send this cute little number for me to try out, and I promptly fell in love with it and became obsessed with dresses. Dresses for hiking, dresses for biking, dresses for travel, dresses for everything. And this is the one that started it all. I’ve had some sort of epiphany and I don’t know what I was thinking all these years. Planning out ensembles and outfits – I could have just grabbed a dress and gone. This sounds elementary, but as a woman who spent most of her girlhood AVOIDING dresses, it wasn’t that intuitive a leap for me. Dresses were for events and formal occasions, not for, you know, fun. When I first started this site, I never would have thought I’d be reviewing dresses and calling them “gear” but these days, they really are. It’s common now to find me on my daily hike in a dress, or running in a skirt, and even wearing dresses to casual occasions. And I am getting very sick of hearing “you look like a real girl!” or some such comment from, well, everyone I know.
I just love the concept – a super packable, wrinkle-free, quick drying reversible travel dress that doubles as a hiking outfit and can easily go out to a fancy dinner as well. I was skeptical of the reversible idea, as in past iterations (meaning: my second grade wardrobe) it has not seemed to be implemented all that well, but the Cayambe is perfectly designed to serve as two dresses in one. My favorite color combo is the one shown above, the light blue paired with dark grey – it’s gorgeous and with the dark grey on the outside, you even have a hope of keeping it at least looking clean after a hike or other adventure. There is a variety of color options available so you’re bound to find something you like.
I appreciate the bra-friendly straps and bodice, and the well-thought out ruching at the bust which prevents gappage. That’s right, bend and stretch as you please; you won’t be giving a peep show while you do it. Well, it IS a dress, so you know, bend and stretch as you please within reason and you won’t give a peep show.
Dresses are one of those options that women don’t appreciate as much as they should. Sure, we typically don’t get as many gear options as the dudes (and Geargals is of course working to help change that) but the humble dress has certainly come a long way. It’s no longer a hindrance to outdoor sport – it’s an enhancement. Now, WE get the best gear: the simplest, most versatile, and easiest-to-pack gear option on the market. Now, I have no problem with dudes in dresses and I do know a probably higher-than-average number of men who are willing to wear a dress or skirt. But I think dudes are really missing out, here. I love hiking in a dress; it’s cooler and simpler; a nice space-saver. I don’t have to think about the whole shirt-pants-shorts-capris thing; just throw on the dress and there you are – dressed. I love it. The hiking/travel dress concept is so good that my gearguy has started wistfully talking about wanting to wear a kilt. This I gotta see.
Anyway, back to the Cayambe – for those worried about the modesty factor, you don’t have to worry. The full, swishy skirt can be easily arranged to properly cover yourself in any sitting position, and there is more than enough drape to hide panty lines and other bulgy bits – a good thing, for this is a very lightweight item with thin fabric. The cut is a bit empire-waistish, which some will like and some will not. I don’t tend to like an empire waist, but I don’t mind this one since the cut of the dress is fitted enough to avoid the pregnant-lady look. It’s a cute, attractive cut but modest enough to wear to work with no qualms. Most importantly, it’s a great functional option for travel or hiking. Enjoy!
EDIT – A reader wrote in to ask me about sizing, so here’s the skinny. The Cayambe is true to size, maybe even a little generously. I usually wear a small and that’s just about right for me in this dress as well. I tried a size M as well and although it worked OK, it was just a bit too voluminous. Very comfy though. Long story short: order your normal size.