Since her early days as a graphic designer for publications like Triathlete Magazine, Betty Designs founder Kristin Mayer has made a name for herself as both an elite athlete and creative artist. After years of designing race kits and apparel for companies like Zoot and K-Swiss, Mayer struck out on her own with Betty Designs, where she aimed to create at line “where runway fashion meets sport.” Her skull and butterfly motif is symbolic of her own belief that being a badass is beautiful, and her edgy swim, triathlon, paddling, casual and cyclist apparel designs continue to be some of the boldest you’ll see on the roads and in the water.
Betty Designs 2014 line up is full of new prints, most notably the Tropical Stripe and World Champion. The former is an edgy take on the tropics, with bold white and black palm trees intermixed with bold color blocks and, of course, the signature skull and butterfly motif. The World Champion print offers stripes of varying colors and color-coordinated patterns, intermixed with subtle inspirational text.
Now, I love a good one-piece suit. As a longtime Masters devotee, there’s nothing worse than a swimsuit that cuts into you uncomfortably, or worse one that starts to stretch out after a few weeks of consistent swimming. The 81-percent polyester, 19-percent Lycra blend (with an additional 100-percent polyester lining) means this suit is soft and comfortable enough for even your longest sets while at the same time being incredibly chlorine resistant. The racerback design has extra-thin straps and a low-cut back for a slightly daring fit while still offering that one-piece coverage. If you’re a bikini gal (which I am on occasion), I highly suggest checking out some of the Betty Designs two-pieces, which stay in place even during butterfly but offer an even more fashionable take on competitive swimwear. I haven’t worn this suit once without getting at least a few compliments. The swimsuit sizing is fairly standard (26-36), but as with any polyester suit, if you’re unsure it’s always best to go up a size since the highly durable material offers less elasticity than your average swimsuit.
The World Champion cycling kit (short $99, jersey $119) combines high-mileage functionality with fashion. The details of the fit—female specific carbon chamois, no-grip leg closures that stay in place and wicking fabrics are complemented nicely with purely stylish attributes like polka-dots and feminine flair. The jersey has three back pockets, a cute Raglan-sleeve cut around the short-sleeved arms and a full zipper. The fabric on the jersey, Ti-Ex, is a super-soft, polyester blend with a Titanium finish for extra durability and wicking power. The short is made of ExoComp compression fabric, with a female specific carbon pad and Powerband, silicone-free leg closures that stay in place without digging into your skin or rubbing at all. I took this kit out on a very sweaty three-plus hour ride, and it kept me not only cool and dry, but after the ride I had to direct several other female cyclists to the Betty Designs website so they could check out some fashionable duds for themselves.