It’s a bleak, rainy day as I’m typing this review, but I feel upbeat and relaxed in my spa-style outfit of SIAMS and a VERSISTYLE top and pants. You know, clothing can really change your mood!
I was introduced to Carley Stenson, Founder of a clothing company called ABH Design, at the New York Health and Beauty Media Event this Fall. This slim, graceful woman was modeling loose pants (Siams pants) and a soft, comfy-looking top (the Versistyle top). She looked like she was about to teach a yoga class, differentiated from all the people around her in business clothes and suits. Carley told me that her unusual brand of clothing is not just eco-friendly, and fits just about anyone, and can be worn a variety of ways, but it also folds almost completely flat–perfect for travel.
Ms. Stenson is from Canada, but Siams pants and Versistyles are unique to the U.S. market, and the Siams pants are from Thailand. At first glance, they look huge (you fold over the excess) and they are one size fits all (there are kids sizes, too). The arrive, folded neatly in a cloth pouch, with simple, illustrated directions on how to tie the pants. These 100% natural cotton pants (no need to iron them–a bit of a crinkle only adds to the casual look) were discovered by Ms., Stenson when she was traveling on the island of Koh Phi Phi in Thailand. She must have a keen eye, becuase she quickly realized how great these “fishermans pants” would be not just for all the things she wanted to do while on vacation, but also at home.
The Siams flame logo on the product is one that is seen on a number of temples throughout Thailand, especially in the former capital of Ayutthaya (I have been to this astounding place of jaw-dropping temples and will never forget it). The Thai meaning behind the symbol is to be close to the heavens. Therefore when wearing your Siams, you’re so comfortable its like you are in heaven….
….well….maybe I didn’t feel quite that strongly about the pants, but I when I first put them on, I quickly realized, as did Ms. Stenston, that these pants equal comfy love. When you unfold the pants they are voluminous, but they store flat, no larger than about two folded pillowcases. They remind me of the pants women in India wear under a Salwar kameez, allowing for weight loss or weight gain, or even pregnancy, just by adjusting the top. These Siams pants are really “paperbag-style” where you step into them, and fold the 56’ waist to fit. You wrap the pants to your waistline as you wish, then tie them tight with the attached, ties from the back. It felt strange wrapping the pants around me because they are so large (to begin with) but once I tied the ties at the front and wrapped down the existing fabric at the top, they fit comfortably and perfectly. There is even a large, back pocket if you need to stow something. The only issue I have with these wonderful pants is that on Carley (or someone tall and willowy), they looks cute and yogadorable. On me, with a curvier figure, the extra bulk around the top wasn’t as flattering. Maybe I just need to do more yoga, but one size fits all does translate differently on different body types. Still, since I got the SIAMS I am wearing them more and more. They’re comfortable, and they help me to relax!
Be aware that SIAMS come in three different lengths: Short, Long and Extra Long. The ones in the photo above are “cropped.” As a rule, Yoga pants are traditionally do not hit the floor, they linger above the ankle. I’m short and still, these pants were above ankle-length on me. If you are tall, check the size and length chart on the ABH Design Web Site to be sure you get the length, and the look, you want. Siams also come in quite a few colors (mine were Khaki green), including favorite basics such as blue, yellow, blue, black, natural.
Carley’s Versistyle top also intrigued me. She said it could be worn as a dress, a sarong and a bathing suit cover-up as well as a top. And, as you can see from the photos, it can be done! The Versistyle is make of the softest fabric — a lovely, super-silky, kitten-comfy material of bamboo fiber. The hang tag on my Versistyle informed me that bamboo absorbs up to four times quicker than other fibers alternatives. It is 100% biodegradable, and it’s natural, antibacterial properties make it ideal for those with sensitive skin.
The actual garment looks like a halter top with with three, bronze, pyramid-shaped studs, and I loved the way it looked so elegant and drape-y on Ms. Stenson. Body type matters, and on me, it was fine as a halter top, and a couple of other wrapped variations of that, such as a one-shoulder (sarong)-type top,cowell hood, and tube. But if you’re not slim, the cling-y fabric is definitely a fashion don’t as a form-fitting, micro-mini dress or bathing suit sarong. If you’re young and slim and fearless…and maybe I sound motherly with this advice, but I’d suggesting ordering a larger size than you’d normally buy so you aren’t leaving nothing to the imagination. But as a top, it’s stellar! It also folds flat (smaller than one pillowcase) and comes in different colors and sizes.Even the Xtra Large was mildly snug on me (thank heavens I didn’t try the small!) but I am wearing it right now as a sexy, one-shouldered top and it feels amazing!
Whether you’re just lounging around at home, or you want to wear something comfortable on your next vacation, these two pieces will get you through a host of days in comfort and unique style. Get a wardrobe of Siams and Versistyles, and your carry-on will have plenty of room for souvenirs. Order some now, and put them on when you get home from holiday shopping, and relax!
VERSiSTYLE costs $45.00 and SIAMS are #$32.95 or 3 pairs for $85.00 . So affordable for holiday gifts! Check them out on the ABH Design Web Site
Copyright ©Alison Blackman Dunham. All rights reserved. The Advice Sisters is a registered United States trademark. No content may be used or copied with written permission. If you want to use my work, please obtain it legally. For more information, Email Me. You can show your interest and support by subscribing to this blog. Several options are available on the right hand side of this blog. Also, you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter (@advicesisters). You can also read and subscribe to my National Luxury Lifestyles Column on the Examiner.com.
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