Availability: company website
How Obtained: sample from company
RBR Sponsor: no
Tested: 30+ hours
Gritty Girls Can Have Function and Fashion
A few months back I received an email announcing that women’s premium athletic apparel company GRACEDBYGRIT had partnered with endurance clothing brand Betty Designs to add the company’s first cycling kit to their collection. (Since then they’ve also come out with a cycling capris pant). Both companies are California-based and located near one another.
To be honest, up until the email arrived in my inbox, I had never heard of GRACEDBYGRIT, but I was excited for several reasons. First, they are both women-owned and -run businesses. Second, I’m very familiar with Betty Designs’ unique designs and high quality, owning a couple of their kits myself. I find that when women design apparel for women, it tends to fit great, look great, and perform great.
In addition, I was intrigued by the GRACEDBYGRIT motto, “premium athletic apparel designed to empower and keep women safe,” and wanted to know more. So I reached out to the company in hopes of testing a full kit.
Unfortunately, the shorts did not fit, and could not be replaced in time for this review. However, the jersey fit perfectly. So in this review I’m only focusing on the jersey.
High-performance, breathable fabric
The first thing I noticed when I unpacked the jersey was how incredibly soft the fabric felt, almost like silk. No matter the type of riding, the fabric was breathable and wicked moisture. In addition, the use of side mesh panels and one strategically placed at the back of the neck, also combined to keep me cool.
The fabric design is unique incorporating both the GRACEDBYGRIT and Betty Designs logos. I received compliments each time I wore the jersey. What woman doesn’t want that?
Key design elements
Some nice design elements were included in the jersey, including incorporating two large rear pockets that make it easy to store/retrieve items. Also, the bottom hem only had silicon grippers on the back for a much better fit. The rear grippers kept the jersey in place; it didn’t ride up. The laser cut hem on the sleeves, along with the silicon dot grippers, made for a comfortable fit and kept the sleeves in place. Finally, the flat-locked seams added to the comfort and prevented chaffing.
The only suggestion I have regarding improvement is to use a lighter gauge zipper and pull. The one on this jersey was a bit heavy and sometimes cause the fabric not to lay flat. Also, the zipper tab was made of uncoated metal, which is uncommon. I’d also suggest incorporating a zipper garage into the design for a cleaner look and to avoid any chance of chaffing of the skin or shorts.
Putting safety first
GRACEDBYGRIT includes a detachable safety whistle with every shipment. The whistle was inspired by the tragic death of Chelsea King, a San Diego teen whose death on a trail run could have been prevented if she had a way to attract attention. The whistle securely loops onto any piece of GRACEDBYGRIT apparel.
Women-owned and run GRACEDBYGRIT’s first venture into cycling apparel hits a high mark. The fit of their jersey is a collaboration with another woman-owned business, Betty Designs. The incredibly soft fabric, good fit and high performance were spot-on. And you can’t beat getting compliments when you wear it.
I think one of the key statements on the company’s website sums up their type of customer. “Every woman has experienced that difficult moment that she thinks might just break her. How we make it through those moments defines us. We have realized that our grittiest moments give us our grace. Every woman has been GRACEDBYGRIT.”
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women's cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri's full bio.