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dryrobe – mantra ‘Get changed, stay warm’

When did changing robes become a cult fashion item? Probably from around 10 years ago, when surfer dudes invented them to stay warm when changing out of wetsuits on windswept beaches. Since the boom in wild swimming and cold water therapy, they became the go-to garment after 50 lengths in an icy lido or a dip in Hampstead ponds; and have also been adopted by fashionistas seeking a waterproof and windproof cover-all that’s still stylish.

High up the changing robes hip list is dryrobe. Invented 10 years ago by Devon surfer Gideon Bright, dryrobe – with a lowercase d, and a distinctive logo – has earned its spurs in the changing robe Super League for various reasons: it’s the most absorbent changing robe on the market; it is eight times faster drying than any other change robe; and it is scientifically proven (at a leading UK sports university) to warm you up.

It’s also super stylish, and its celebrity fabs include Rita Ora, who wore a black camouflage with pink lining version while filming Twist in London; and Harry Styles and Emma Corrin, who kept snug in their dry robes when making the movie My Policeman last year. It’s not lacking in proper sporty cred, however: Team GB wore them during the past two Olympics, and its ambassadors include open water world champion Keri-anne Payne, and Sophie Hellyer, founder of the #RiseFierce movement, which inspires women to try cold water swimming.

Here are the finer details on dryrobe

Materials: The robe’s exterior is waterproof and windproof with heat-treated seams, which keep water out of the stitching. It has two-way super-durable YKK zips so you can unzip your robe from the bottom and the inside. The zips also help the garment withstand the internal pummelling it takes during a quick change. It’s made with 100% recycled fabrics and is B Corp certified, meaning it’s recognised for high standards of social and environmental performance. It also features eco-friendly, durable water repellents (DWR), which are better for the environment. The synthetic lambswool interior is made from recycled polyester, which means it wicks moisture away.

Colours: The outer fabric comes in forest green, purple, lime green, cobalt blue, red, navy, black, and its best-selling camouflage, which comes in green and black colourways. You can vary it with the moisture-wicking fleece linings, which come in black, grey, blue, red and pink.

Sleeve length: This is very much dictated by the season. Short-sleeve or three-quarter sleeve robes are good for milder weather and offer greater arm movement – a bit of wiggle room inside the garment is helpful when changing poolside or at the beach. Long sleeves are best for cold, wet weather, and when you need maximum warmth, coverage and protection.

Pockets: It has a plethora of pockets, such as an internal poacher’s pocket, for items such as keys, sunnies and phones, and outer ones that are fleece-lined to help keep your hands warm after a chilly swim, and roomy enough to stash a waffle towel in. Full-length robes have storm flaps, adjustable hoods and cuffs.

Size: These robes are intentionally oversized so you can change inside them. If you plan to use yours mostly to change in and need plenty of elbow room, stick to your usual size. If you plan to also wear the robe out, opt for a size below your usual. I am an average size 12, and I found the small size had ample room for changing inside, without having to unzip in order to get a costume over my head – and also looks better than the medium for going out in.

Weight: This isn’t a robe for packing light, but otherwise, it ticks every box – for swimming, sports, spectating and beyond.

Paying it back: dryrobe’s Warmth project supports great related charities and projects, such as the Royal National Lifeboats Institution, Surfers against Sewage, and the Wave Project, which helps vulnerable young people through surfing.

Price: available in adult and kids sizes – for example, an Advance short-sleeve dryrobe is from £140 (adults); and £85 (kids).



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