Pre-lockdown, most of us had not heard of a post-swim drying robe, let alone seen one being worn on a day-to-day basis. Now, you can’t turn a corner in Dalkey, Dun Laoghaire or Blackrock without spotting multiples of the knee length throw-overs. If last winter is anything to go by, post-swim robes will be back out in force again any minute now as the temperature begins to drop. But what if we told you there were some more style-conscious options that will mean you’ll stand out in a sea of shiny thermo jackets?
Danish retailer Jysk, the well-priced purveyor of furniture, textiles and homewares, has released its padded robe, with a stylish quilted exterior and Terry fabric interior. Jysk’s robe comes with a tie waist (endlessly more flattering than some other more shapeless robes) and a snug hood. The windproof robe also features skintight sleeves for extra warmth and zip pockets for your phone and purse. The Danish brand has managed to produce a robe we’d actually want to wear post-dip – but let’s all agree to leave it there, robes for sea swims only. After all, there are far more beautiful coats, cloaks and capes we could be cuddling up in this winter…More on that soon.
All-weather sea swimmer Sarah Halliwell recommends some Irish options to wrap up in this winter …
The huge popularity of Dry Robes during lockdown have inspired lots of alternative options for warming up after your outdoor swim. We’ve written before about Bear Hug robes, available at Café de Journal in Monkstown and www.bearhug.ie.
And we are huge fans of Stable of Ireland’s beautiful indigo Irish linen swim towel, €120 (and matching tote bag with cheery yellow waterproof lining). See www.stableofireland.com – it’s endlessly versatile (towel/scarf/dress/tablecloth) and will last for ever – I currently have mine draped over a chair. I’m not into dressing up to swim (an old towelling dressing gown does the job perfectly well) but this is rather special, from the moment you see the elegant Stable bag. Beautiful, sustainable and stylish, this towel and bag bring an extra wave of pleasure to a chilly morning dip.
Another drying upgrade idea is Deerobe, a lockdown project created by sea-swimmer Deirdre McKnight. Her very soft and fluffy elasticated robes are made from bamboo (apparently antibacterial as well as more absorbent than cotton). You’ll probably want to wear it while lying on the sofa too. They are nicely presented and just fun – colourful and far easier than trying to keep a towel around you while you struggle back into your jeans. They’re rather more glamorous than some of the other options on the market, though not quite as properly warming if you’re continuing to dive in through the winter. www.deerobe.ie @deerobesea.
All these ideas would make thoughtful and appreciated gifts for a swimmer if you’re starting to think about December …
And, if you want to swim for good this month, you can raise money for charity while you swim by taking part in the 2021 RISE Foundation Big Dip swim challenge on Sunday October 10. Fundraise by taking a quick dip or simply make a donation to the Rise Foundation, to help fund the foundation’s work in support of those who have family members or a loved one with an alcohol, drug or gambling problem. The registered charity, founded by Senator Frances Black in 2009, provides therapy and other supports for people dealing with the addictive behaviour of others. Just swim as little or as far as you like, at your own pace. See www.therisefoundation.ie, and to participate or just contribute, people are asked to make a donation of €20 on the iDonate site. To fundraise for the Rise Foundation, swimmers can use the ‘start a fundraiser’ tab and ask friends and family for support. Sharing on social media, #dip4rise, also helps with contributions. For more information, see www.therisefoundation.ie.
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