North by Northeast


Wonderful New Clothes
10 April, 2007, 8:39 pm
Filed under: bike, outdoors

I don’t buy a lot of clothes. When I do I think it over a whole lot first.

I’m a big fan of SmartWool and merino wool socks. LL Bean and EMS make and sell some pretty good knockoffs of SmartWool, and my collection is about 50/50. I say collection because I have probably 8-10 pairs, and wear nearly no other socks, year-round. Even at formal events. They’re phenomenal. My feet get very hot and cold (my doctor says people with asthma often have poor circulation in their feet) and sorry, sweaty. I would never again wear cotton socks, and poly socks feel weird after wearing the natural wool. And the wool controls the temps and moisture of your feet very well. They don’t hold odors well.

I need more, after years of daily use, many have begin to wear out. But interestingly, I’m not here to talk about socks at all.

sw_shirt.jpg

I’m here to say I just got a SmartWool shirt, and it may be the most comfortable shirt I’ve even put on. You feel no seams. It’s stretchy, so it hugs your body, but not in a lycra way. Just like it wants to be close to you, but yet its in no way confining. Very hard to explain. It’s like how your skin stretches when you squat, or bend your elbow. You don’t notice it. Soft like cashmere. Not itchy in the least (I’m sensitive to regular wool). Wonderful.

I’ll let you know how it makes out during hiking and biking… but I have a good feeling. I bought a midweight to wear as an outer garment most of the year, and as an undershirt for cold weather activities. It will fit nicely under my wool cycling jersey. They’re both damn expensive, but I must buy more.

PS – Dear SmartWool. I love you products. (Send me products and I’ll review them 😉 But your website, while beautiful, is brain-dead. Everything is clash. I can’t link to any thing on your site, I can’t copy text (say to put in my glowing review of your product on my blog), I click on the big, front page animation to look at your new spring line up and instead of taking me to your new spring lineup, you just reload the animation! Brilliant. Not at all. What gives with greying out all your products when selecting a line? (I figured it out now, after several trips to the site, but its really confusing) Why, if I click twice on the line’s name, so you then ungrey everything? Why is my back button broke? Loading screens stink. HTML is faster and easier to maintain. It has standard widgets, like scroll bars and text fields, and let’s me use my back button and save links directly to the things I want to spend money on, and recommend to my friends. You’re so right about the environment, and so wrong about hypertext. This saddens me.

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