Shrink and Pink...Never...

by Mary Bardell December 04, 2018

Kitsbow doesn’t ‘Shrink and Pink’


In the outdoor industry, there’s a little joke that to sell to women, most companies just make men’s clothing smaller and color it traditionally “feminine” colors. We call it “shrink and pink,” and it’s a pretty lousy way to approach women who ride hard  in the real world.


We don’t shrink and pink here at Kitsbow, and I can tell you why.


For as long as the company has been around, we’ve gone on “work rides.” It’s a way for us to bond as a team, a way for us to test out designs and materials, and (if we’re being honest) a way to get paid to ride. So while other companies do the Happy Hour thing, our version is Wear-Test Wednesday. While other companies go on “retreats” with “trust falls” and whatever, we literally retreat into Trione-Annadel on our bikes to start our Friday morning's.


I have always loved the fact that Kitsbow walks the walk. When I first joined the scene in 2015, I was struck by their push for lean, domestic manufacturing using the most innovative materials out there. I instantly fell in love with the gear, but as fate would have it, our first round of women’s shorts had been a small batch that sold out of before I joined the team.


One unusually warm afternoon not long after I joined, we were heading out for a work ride and our new production manager, Ilana, needed a pair of shorts. She boldly ripped open a pair of the Men’s Adjuster Shorts, and left the room to put them on.  She returned looking phenomenal. Inspired by how the shorts fit her curves and performed flawlessly on the bike, the other women in the office tried them on, too.


It was like wildfire: Regardless of body type -- Sarah, tall and lanky, me with my larger than average power pony thighs and Amy with her ex-ballerina legs -- we all looked great. Plus, the shorts rode incredibly well, no snagging on the seatpost, no saggy booty. We were hooked.


The Women’s RG shorts came along in 2016 and, with good reason, sold like hotcakes and we sere soon out of core sizes. In the meantime, some of our female ambassadors needed shorts. We’d send them the Men’s Adjuster Shorts, Ventilated shorts or Origin Shorts- all shorts styles looked amazing on.


To this day, you’ll see the women of Kitsbow (and quite a few female customers who have seen just how well they look and ride) sporting the Men’s Shorts.


That’s why we make sure we don’t ever fall into the “shrink and pink” trap. Instead, we actually design the finest gear out there for both men and women. And sometimes, it just so happens to be the same short by default.  

 

And yes, we will be restocking the RG short with it's shorter length, but in the meantime, if you are a hard riding woman who expects a lot out of her technical gear, give the men's short a try. I'm pretty sure you are going to love them.


 






Mary Bardell
Mary Bardell

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