Well, I’m WAY past this demographic. (I doubt the girl in this pic is even there yet.) But, my husband’s aunt had hot flashes until the day she died at 84. Clearly, endocrine fluctuations can continue long after menopause. If you’ve dealt with hot flashes you know what it suddenly means to have to strip off layers, even in the dead of winter.
So I was intrigued when a lovely woman in the UK named Nancy Zeffman contacted me about trying out some of her clothing. Nancy is the co-founder of a company called Cucumber, as in “cool as a cucumber.” She and her long-time friend, Eileen Willet, saw a need for stylish, sustainable sleepwear and loungewear that could help a woman maintain an even body temperature, day and night, hot flash or non-hot flash.
Sustainability vs. Aesthetics
Now, this is where I had to stretch. Being a Lazy Fashionista™ I simply love the idea of loungewear. But also being mostly Natural in my style essences, I have a visceral resistance to anything not made from natural fibers. All Cucumber clothing is either made from high-tech sustainable synthetics fabrics or those that have some synthetic in the textile. They are anti-microbial (an odor-eliminator) and they wick moisture away from the body. They describe their textiles as “thermo-regulating and moisture wicking.” That means you will not have to wash them as often as most similar items. The fabrics also incorporate volcanic minerals that “keep the body at the ideal core temperature.” I decided to reserve judgement and try a few of their items.
Nancy sent me three things from the collection: this Pacific Blue oversize tee, a Rose ballet top, and a pair of Cream drawstring pants. The first thing I loved was the packaging. They arrived in a padded paper bag that was sealed firmly with sewn thread instead of plastic tape. A light layer of tissue was wrapped around the clothes. In spite of making the trip all the way from London, neither the bag nor its contents showed any damage or wear. So far so good.
Although they advertise that their clothes are essentially “no-wrinkle” they were a little wrinkled. Not surprising, though, based on the distance they traveled. But the information sheet that came with them said that a warm iron would take care of wrinkles, and they did so, quite easily.
Namaste and Nighty Night
The tee and pants are featured in a few places on the site, including their sleepwear section. I chose to try them out for my meditation, yoga asanas, and hand weight workout. The drawstring pants are made from a silky fabric that was extremely comfortable and yes, silky, but not slippery like a satin-like fabric would be. I’m going to be wearing these a lot for multiple purposes. The blue top was a little boxy on me, but most every loose-fitting tee is. Still, it felt very comfortable. In fact, I’m wearing it as I write this post.
The rose ballet top is nowhere in my personal color palette, but I just loved it anyway. It hangs like the surplice ballet tops we wore over our leotards after ballet class. I think it is a style that would be flattering on almost anyone. There is a decidedly feminine flavor to all their clothing.
As it is winter here, I wasn’t sweating much (I rarely do anyway unless I’m in a sauna for some length of time.) But I can well imagine how I would have welcomed these items back when I was sticking a leg out from under the covers in the middle of the night, or flipping the blanket back and forth to fan myself.
Here’s my summary. They make very high quality well-made items, designed with simple but sophisticated styling. They will last a very long time, and several of the pieces can serve multiple purposes such as going from the gym to lunch or out for errands, without looking frumpy or sweaty. That explains why they aren’t inexpensive. But you’re paying for quality. The fact that they keep you cool, wick moisture away, and are odor free after a few wearings, add to the benefits.
Their sizes are listed for the UK, but the conversion is simple with this chart. I think their items are very much worth checking out if you are looking for workout clothes, travel items, sleepwear, or just some very nice pieces to feel comfy and luxurious wearing around the house.
(BTW – I receive no compensation for this review or for any of your purchases from Cucumber.)
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