This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I’m not really a fan of cold weather, mostly because I get cold really easily. However, over the years I’ve mastered the art of layering clothes to get through winter without too much misery.
I’ve worn a lot of different synthetic base layers, but once I tried merino wool I never went back – it’s absorbent, warm and excellent at regulating body temperature. Plus, I’m all about natural materials. So when Sofee & Lenee, a mom-operated business in California, gave me the opportunity to try out one of their organic wool/silk blend undergarments from Hocosa of Switzerland I jumped on it.
And I found that there’s a lot to love about it!
What’s to love?
- The combination of wool and silk makes the shirt truly soft and lightweight.
- The materials are natural and organic.
- The garment is manufactured in an environmentally and socially responsible way.
- The design is attractive and makes the shirt extremely versatile.
What’s not to love?
- Wool and silk garments can be finicky to care for and should be washed in cold water only, or they may shrink.
The long underwear from Hocosa is made from 70 percent wool and 30 percent silk, which are both natural materials. In addition, the garments are certified organic. Since the base layer is in direct contact with the skin, it’s nice to know that they were manufactured without the use of toxic chemicals or heavy metals.
Unlike cotton, which leaves you wet and cold when you sweat, wool wicks away moisture from the body. I tried out the Hocosa the shirt in a variety of situations – hiking, downhill skiing and playing with the kids in the backyard and it did not disappoint in this regard. Even though I was sweating profusely while skiing (mostly from hauling kids up and down the bunny hill while wearing a down jacket in temps that ranged from 30-40 degrees), I was still perfectly comfortable. Nor did I notice any unpleasant smells after wearing it on the slopes for three days straight (wool curbs body odor naturally).
Since the Hocosa shirt contains silk, it is softer to the skin than other wool undergarments that I own. It is also more lightweight, so I probably wouldn’t wear it in extremely cold temperatures. Conversely, I can see myself getting a lot of use of it in the fall and spring as well as winter.
Another thing that I really like about the Hocosa shirt is that the v-neck design makes it feel less like long underwear and more like a regular long-sleeved shirt that can be worn on its own. It’s also available with short sleeves and as a camisole.
Hocosa’s wool/silk undergarments are certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) as well as BEST-certified by the International Association of Natural Textile Industry. This means every step of the production and supply chain meets stringent criteria for protecting workers, animals and the environment. For an environmentalist like myself, that’s a big selling point.
The bottom line:
At $68 ($42-$54 for children’s size) the Hocosa undershirt may seem expensive, but it is competitively priced for a high quality organic garment that has been manufactured in an environmentally sustainable way.
The only drawback that I found is that you have to be careful to wash it in cold water only, since warm water may shrink wool and silk clothes. Although the shirt can be washed in the machine, hand washing it in cold water would probably render the best long-term results. These extra steps can be an inconvenience.
Disclaimer: A Hocosa shirt was provided to me by Sofee and Lenee free of charge in order for me to conduct this review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Sofee and Lenee also generously offered to sponsor a giveaway for child-size wool/silk Hocosa undershirt (long-sleeved or short-sleeved, sizes ranging from 1 year-14 years), so make sure to enter by using the Rafflecopter below!
The giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents and closes on February 20, 2015, at midnight.