Dear Kate Leak-Free & Stylish Undies
Every year or so I come across a product that is so freakin’ genius and innovative that I want to give the founder my own personal money to invest alongside her/him. This time, it’s Dear Kate which makes stylish, leak-resistant and stain-proof undies. Dear Kate is run and founded by a young high-energy go-getter, Julie Sygiel, who reminds me of a young Charlotte from Sex and the City. While a senior at Brown University and studying chemical engineering (ahem), Julie conceived and started to develop Dear Kate undies as a school project. I met Julie at a group dinner during the ALT NYC conference. The next day I tracked her down and she sent me a pair of Dear Kate to try out. The verdict: I LOVE DEAR KATE UNDIES. I think Dear Kate will do for women’s mild urinary incontinence what Spanx has done for muffin tops. (We’ll chat some more about moms and mild incontinence below).
From just a quick look at Dear Kate’s website, the high-performance underwear do not compromise on style one bit. There are different colors and cuts. All of the styles are modern and adorably sexy. The technology behind this miracle leak-resistant underwear is a patent-pending, revolutionary fabric that includes three breathable layers (though it’s super-duper thin) that do three separate, yet important things: prevent staining (for heavy periods), provide leakage-protection and wicking.
I wore the Dear Kate Starlet Low-Rise Hipster with Mini Lining (no longer available so I linked to a similar style). It is so well-cut and adorable that I was even tempted to take a picture for you in my skivvies, but then I came to my senses. Dear Kate undies come with either mini lining (which is advertised as holding up to one (1) teaspoon of liquid and the full-lining, up to three (3) teaspoons of liquid. Before wearing, I filmed a little video where I put my Dear Kate leak-resistant undies to the test with water and the mini lining prevented over 1.5 teaspoons of water getting through. Only when I tried to get the mini-lined undies to resist 2 teaspoons did a TINY bit of water leak through. Very impressive.
Here’s the video where I “stress test” my Dear Kate leak-resistant underwear:
Truth is that I suffer from mild urinary stress incontinence. In fact, one in three women experience stress incontinence for 5 or more years after childbirth (what a great and original baby shower or new mom gift). I’m on year 10, and I’ve still got mild urinary stress incontinence, though it’s better now than it was the first couple of years postpartum. So, you know, regular things like sneezing and coughing can be very embarrassing indeed.
Urinary stress incontinence is not only common after childbirth but also common with aging (I’m 41 now) as your urinary sphincter and pelvic floor muscles lose strength.
My medium-sized Dear Kates fit true to size. I didn’t have an opportunity yet to test out the undies during menstruation but Dear Kates are not meant to be a replacement for feminine hygiene products but a level of protection against heavy period flow and staining. Dear Kate promises that you can throw your breathable undies in the wash (just no fabric softener or dryer sheets) and not treat it preciously despite their price.
Dear Kates are not inexpensive, at around $30 per pair, but they are speciality garments. An embarrassing leaking and/or period staining situation is highly embarrassing. I have been there and a pair of Dear Kates for each day of the week, though steep to buy in one swoop, is completely worth the $231 ($33 x 7, free shipping) to me in peace of mind. (If you are unhappy with your Dear Kates, they will replace your purchase for any reason, including fit).Published July 26, 2013. Last updated April 24, 2017.