Once upon a time I loved a running skirt. Then, I decided to stop loving that running skirt. Partly because the owner was saying things I didn’t like, partly because the skirt was failing me on a functional level. (According to the owner, it’s because I’m the body type that maybe shouldn’t be wearing their gear.) So! I asked for suggestions and help! Here are reviews of the two skirts I tried. Spoiler Alert: I loved them both.
Brooks PR Mesh Skort II
(Pictures of me wearing the skirt at my 50K.)
Brooks Mesh – Several of the colors are on sale right now! – I tried this one because Fleet Feet had it in my size on the racks and 30% off, like 2 days before my 50K. I really needed something to wear to that race since my normal skirt (The lululemon one) had chaffed me so bad at my 13.1 the week before due to simple disintegration of the fabric. You’re NOT supposed to break in new gear on race day, especially not a race that last 7 hours. But since I knew my normal skirt would chafe after 2 hours, it couldn’t get much worse.
I wore the Mesh Skort for my 50K, didn’t even put any anti-chaffing means on my thighs at all and it stayed perfectly in place the entire 7 hours. No chafing. No wedgies. No readjustments needed. The shorts have the adhesive strip along the under side that worked beautifully and everything else fit well. It had the standard small back pocket (for a key, but that day for my chapstick) and an awesome light mesh pocket built on the top part of the shorts, under the skirt, where I carried a pack of Honey Stinger Chews the entire day. It was my backup pack for emergency fuel and it stayed in that pocket the whole run, never bothering me. I’ve never thought that I wish I had a pocket there before, but now that I do? I can’t imagine running without it!
My only tiny “complaint” is it’s not as flattering as my last skirt. It’s a straight line, no ruffles which I found really flattering on the Lulu skirt. It may be a little long for me, which makes me feel like I look short. It has a tiny little flair/bump at the seam on the waist that makes me feel like it adds bulk where I don’t need it. So, not as flattering as the Lulu skirt, but way more functional.
Oiselle Bum Wrap
Oiselle Bum Wrap – This skirt was recommended to me on that last post as well. However, it’s a brand I’m not familiar with and no one in this town sells the skirt. So, without being able to either see it in person on someone else (that’s how I discovered the Lulu one before) or without being able to try it on, I didn’t really want to deal with purchasing one online.
BUT THEN – They contacted me and offered to send me one for free to try. So, Keep that in mind while you read this. FREE STUFF! I still am giving a pragmatic, fully tested review. But still…FREE STUFF!
When I first tried the skirt on I put it on backwards. Because the pocket that is on the back of all my other skirts is on the front of this one. Threw me off a bit. At first this seemed like a bad idea, I thought that my key would annoy me in that pocket on my belly instead of at my back. But, I never noticed it after I put the key in. So, if that would steer you away too, know that I’ve run in it 3 times and never noticed my key at my waist.
The other thing I was worried about the first time I wore it is the fact that it does NOT have the sticky stuff on the underside of the shorts. In my head – that is what keeps all of the other shorts in place on the skirts I like. I bought two Nike skorts once, neither had the sticky stuff, and they both rode up HORRIBLY meaning I A) chaffed and B) was constantly readjusting. I was worried this skirt would have the same effect since it didn’t have the sticky stuff.
I wore it on a 3-mile run at the treadmill first. I didn’t want to be out in the open and find out A) the key irritated me or B) the shorts rode up constantly. I didn’t have either problem! So, I braved it on an hour-long run out in the wild. Again – the key didn’t bother me and the shorts stayed in place!
So! Time for a real test. A long run. Last weekend I wore it on my 23-mile long run. The run took about 4 hours (time worn is more important than distance) and it never needed readjusting and it didn’t cause chafing. SCORE! It passed the tests!
I really like the look of this skirt ON MY BODY. But – I don’t think it’s like the Lululemon which would be flattering on EVERYONE. It has that flare to the skirt which I love and I do think is flattering on everyone, but it’s called a “Bum Wrap” for a reason. The skirt part is nothing more than fabric wrapped around your butt. If you have a bigger butt (mine’s probably average?) then you may not feel like it covers well. OR – if you’re tall – I’m not sure how it would look that the shorts are longer than the skirt. So – if you are tall or have a bigger butt – you may want to test it on your own for appearance. I’d be curious if the style would be as flattering on those body types as it is on me.
Functionality 8/10 (I really wish it had a second pocket.)
Appearance 10/10 (For MY body type. Average height. Average butt.)
Final Notes On The Comparison
I’m torn as to which one I like the best, to be honest. I like the look of the Oiselle Bum Wrap better, I feel like it’s really flattering on my body. But – the Brooks Mesh has that extra pocket that really comes in handy. I think for my marathon in 2 weeks I’ll wear the Bum Wrap (assuming it’s warm enough for a skort) because there will be plenty of aid on the course and I shouldn’t need my own too much, but I may change my mind last minute because I really like the idea of having my own fuel in that extra pocket. (I can carry some in my water bottle but I like to keep my phone on me too, so I can’t carry much.) I’m very happy with them both – honestly…I’d like to have one more of each.
Addendum On Weather
Neither of these skirts have been worn yet in extreme heat. The thing I liked about the Lulu was the fabric was really light so it wasn’t bad in the summer. Both of theses skirts have thicker fabric. NOW – running gear fabric is very high-tech and thicker doesn’t necessarily mean hotter – but I did want to add that these have NOT been tested in sweaty weather. We’ll see how they do in a few months.