Since taking the helm as De Soto’s CFO in 2011, Femme designer (and wife of De Soto co-founder Emilio De Soto) has made fashion and function a priority. While De Soto’s apparel innovations (cooling fabrics, custom-designed apparel and their one-of-a-kind two-piece T1 wetsuit) has made them a continued presence in the triathlon market since the 1990s, Tracy De Soto’s Femme lines have continued to bring bright colors and flattering fits to the female triathlon masses.
With several new cuts and patterns for their 2014 Femme Carrera line, female triathletes can expect a variety of options for their training and racing needs. From skirt-wrapped cycling shorts to loose-fitting tank tops, the Carrera line combines fun prints with their patented Carrera Skin and Carrera Pique fabrics. The Carrera Skin fabric is a nylon/spandex blend that is lightweight, breathable and quick-drying while also offering sun protection. The Carrera Pique fabric, which is found in their high-end Carrera cycling shorts, is a soft blend of spandex that is guaranteed not to rub you wrong even on the longest of rides.
I would describe the Carrera Sprint Top as best fit for a spin class or very short brick workout or mini triathlon. The print, a mix of pastel flowers against a sugary pink base, would normally be a tad too girly for my taste were it not for the strategic placement of the flower print against the sides of the top. This made the already flattering cut extra sleek. I appreciates the bell-shape cut of the top in the back, which is essential for any female looking to spend any amount of time in the aero position. I found the top to be slightly snug, not in the abdominal area but mostly in the neck and shoulders, and whereas in most cuts I am a small, I sized up to a medium and it fit quite well. The built-in bra in the Carrera is one of the better ones I’ve worn—it was soft and non-rubbing, and it provided quite adequate support for both a run and time in the saddle. That said according to the website they suggest additional support for anyone with more than a C-cup.
I wore this top for several indoor cycling sessions and it kept me fairly dry in even the most dimly lit, basement of torture trainer sessions. After my rides, the top would be dry in no time at all, which is key if you do indoor classes followed by strength training, as I often do.
The Carrera Femme Tri Capri is the ultimate in spin-class attire. It offers a solution to the problem of heading to cycling class in a huge, diaper-esque pair of cycling shorts. It’s just not a good look. The tri pad is seamless and offers just enough padding for a cycling class or short ride, but it’s thin enough that you could get by wearing it out to coffee after class. The 3.5-inch wide half folding waist band is incredibly comfortable and flattering, with none of the elastic-waist band sausage casing look. The pant fabric hits at mid-calf and is made of the signature Carrera Skin, which is softer and more lightweight than the average cycling short. Overall, a high quality, fashionable take on tri shorts that can be worn to and from cycling class, short rides and brick workouts with ease.