23 Jan

Learning to be warm: synthetic undershirts

I’ve been blogging about my quest to remain warm in the winter. I talked about silk here, and wool here.

Wool has been scratchy, and silk the smoothest (and on a per weight basis, warmer). But yesterday the temperatures dropped down into single digits, negative with wind chill. There were drafts all throughout the house.

A week ago I acquired this Patagonia Capilene undershirt. It is about as thick as the Icebreaker wool shirt, not as smooth as my silk shirts. So it doesn’t slide as much, which is what I liked about the silk (a second skin).

However, the Capilene #2 shirt was, hands down, the warmest base layer I’ve used yet. In fact, it wore well this weekend in multiple environs, from warm room parties to going out in the 30 degree weather under my polo to get something from the car. I was chilled, but not dangerously so.

I pulled it out again on Tuesday due to the single digit temps so I could go outside.

This could be a go-to shirt, though I’m curious to see what will happen come warmer temperatures. I’m looking for something very versatile, so we’ll see. But this is so far my favorite of the shirts.

Next up, everyone has been emailing me that I *must* try Uniqlo’s undershirts. I’ve gotten enough positive recs that I will order one soon, once I get reimbursed for the wool shirts (I’m not made of money).

The other thing people have been encouraging me to do is purchase a mid-weight or heavy silk long sleeved shirt and have it tailored into a short sleeve (and to do the same with Patoginia) to get a killer warm undershirt that breathes well.

This is smart, and I will consider once I’ve moved through the Uniqlo test.

(Oh, and washing instructions for the Capilene are much simpler than silk, which I have to make sure not to harm with my stupidity, so that’s a bonus).