First launched by surfer Gideon Bright, the ankle-length, waterproof robe was designed as an outdoor changing robe for surfers in 2010.

We’ve all been there. You brave a swim in the brisk English sea and then face the struggle of changing without a warm and private place in which to do so.

With its fast-drying and super-warm towelled interior designed to help the sea-soaked get dry, the dryrobe is oversized so you can get changed underneath it, pulling your arms inside to take off your swimwear without flashing.

Customers are an equal split of men and women. The company didn’t actively market to other hobbyists, but it spread naturally into other activities including runners, mountain bikers and campers as people discovered how useful it can be.

With an internal waterproof phone pocket, it is also fast becoming a popular coat for dog walking, popping to the shops, or for wearing on your daily stroll.

Like the Ugg and the Croc, the Dryrobe is divisive, but continues to grow in popularity.

The Instagram page @dry_robe_count_, documents Dryrobes where Dryrobes were not designed to be. There’s the woman in the supermarket; the mum on the school run; the man in the cafe; Russell Brand in a field of sheep.

In November 2020, a laminated sign appeared on a lamppost in Sandycove, Ireland that said “No Dryrobe or Dryrobe types!!!”.

You can get them in blue, black, red and purple, but the most eyecatching is a camo number with a hot-pink fluffy interior.

It has taken 12 years for Dryrobe to reach this point. The founder, a 54-year-old dad from north Devon who has surfed from a young age, was 16 when his mother made him a waterproof robe with a towel lining and a hood so he could stay warm and change more easily on the beach. Years later, he improved on the prototype in his shed, selling the first official Dryrobe in December 2010. In 2012, production moved to China, and in 2016 the brand partnered with Adidas to produce Team GB Dryrobes for Olympic swimmers and divers.

The website has kept expanding the collections available, and there are sizes for kids as well as dryrobe doggie coats with reflective piping and car seats.