It’s cold and rainy outside as I type this review, but I feel like I’m at a yoga retreat in my spa-style outfit of SIAMS and a VERSISTYLE from ABH Design. I met ABH Design Founder Carley Stenson at the New York Health and Beauty Media Event this Fall. She was wearing Siams pants and the Versistyle top, and I was captivated by her unique brand of clothing that can fold flat, is eco-friendly. many sizes, and can be worn a variety of ways. Stenson is from Canada, but both these products, she told me, are totally unique to the U.S. market.
SIAMS are yoga-style pants from Thailand that are one size fits all. They come 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 allure) were created by the slim and graceful Ms., Stenson when she was traveling on the island of Koh Phi Phi in Thailand. She saw this style of pants and quickly realized their benefits for travelers, and ever body. And, by the way, 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 your in heaven….
I love the way SIAMS fold absolutely flat for travel or storage, not larger than perhaps two folded pillowcases. They remind me of the ones women in India wear under Salwar kameez. The large “paperbag-style” pants have a huge 56’ waist that fits small to very extra large people. 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 the Founder, they looks cute and yoga-adorable. On me, with a curvier figure, the extra bulk around the top wasn’t as flattering as would have wished. It wouldn’t stop me from wearing them outside, but I’d probably wear a sweater or large Tee to cover the top. Maybe I just need to do more yoga, but one size fits all does translate differently on different body types.
Be aware that SIAMS come in three different lengths: Short, Long and Extra Long. I guess I got the short (and there are toddlers and kids sizes as well). Yoga pants are traditionally no longer than the ankles, and the Thai are delicate and small-ish people as a rule.s But 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, or you’ll end up with cropped pants, and not full length ones. They also come in quite a few colors (mine were Khaki green, but there are plenty of other, favorite colors such as blue, yellow, blue, black, natural, etc.
I also got a sample of the top Carley was wearing that day at the Health and Beauty event–the Versistyle. I loved the way it looked on her, elegant and drape-y. The Versistyle is make of the softest fabric — a lovely, super-silky fabric made 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% biodegradeable, 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. If you wear it as a regular halter, that’s fine. However, you can make this piece into a one-shoulder (sarong)-type top, tie it around your neck,wear it as a cowell, a hood, a tube, a swimsuit sarong, or if you like itty bitty clothes, a form-fitting mini dress. It also folds flat (smaller than one pillowcase) and comes in different colors and sizes. Alas, the Xtra Large that was sent to me was NOT flattering on my bottom half. Maybe if I was half my age, and half my size!!! I admit my ego was a bit crushed when I realized that the Xtra Large was mildly snug (thank heavens I didn’t try the small!) but I am wearing it right now, as a one-shouldered, sarong-type top, and it feels amazing.
If you want to buy these for your resort vacation, holiday gifts, or just to lounge in at home, you can get them now on the ABH Design Web Site : www.ABHDesigns.ca The site is still under construction in places but hopefully by the time I post this, it will be 100% functional.