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Winter Silks: Another Awesome Shirt for Adventure Travel

WinterSilks Unisex Spunsilk Mock Turtleneck

Another incredible find is the WinterSilks company, ( Selling only silk and silk/cotton clothing, they’ve got a gorgeous array of long winter underwear, base layers, sweaters, dress clothing, and more. Needing cold weather shirts that could be layered, we tried out their mid-weight filament silk turtleneck.

We found this shirt to be too lightweight for we wanted – we could never wear it on its own. It did have a delicious “slinky” feeling to it, and could have been used as a dressy item for warmth, but our budget is tight, so back it went.

After several hours poring over their online catalogue, and using their online customer service chat, we finally settled on the unisex spunsilk mock turtleneck. When the packages finally arrived (they’d gotten caught in the Christmas returned items backlog), we ripped them open and tried on the shirts. This “heavyweight” silk shirt feels much more like a brushed cotton than the slinky feeling of the other. It is far from what I consider heavyweight, but we can certainly wear it on its own.

So what’s to like about it?

The most notable thing about these shirts is how incredibly soft and comfortable the darn things are. I will openly confess – I wore my “capri blue” shirt every single day for a solid seven days, and nearly cried when I knew I had to take it off to wash it. I bought two of them, and I wore the “dusty teal” every single night as pajamas for the entire seven nights, too.

The mock neck is just right – it doesn’t strangle like some turtlenecks do. We like the ribbed cuffs, too. The cut is relaxed but not too loose, and the sleeves are long enough. One huge plus is that it’s long, so there aren’t any cold gaps around the waistline.

The weight to warmth ratio is just astonishing. They are as light as air, and pack down into nothing. I haven’t yet had them stuffed away in a pack so I’ll let you know how that turns out, but I always wear them under some other layer, so I don’t care – the wrinkles won’t show anyway.

It is a unisex sizing system, so women need to order a full size down from a woman’s sizing. I found the sleeves to be perfect for me on the ‘small’ but Chelsea got an ‘extra-small’ and the sleeves were a bit short. It wasn’t a deal-breaker for her though.

These pure silk shirts do require some care in washing and I’m a bit afraid they’re not as tough as I might like them to be, considering how demanding our lifestyle is. The shirts will snag – I have a small snag on my overnight shirt from the Velcro on my sleep sack, but it’s not too bad, though I find my self being careful now. I did get a small bit of oil on the back of one shirt and it did wash out, but WinterSilks washing directions say to be careful of food and stains.

I hand washed mine in a bucket with CampSuds (from REI), squeezed them out (not supposed to wring or twist them), and put each one on a towel. They can’t be hung to dry until they’ve already dried a bit, as they’ll stretch out oddly, but I hung mine over a hangar with clothespins, and it worked fine (though I did have pull marks on the hem). I put the other one over the back of a chair, and that worked even better. My dusty teal shirt dried in time to wear to bed!!

My final analysis? I want more silk shirts and want to add silk long johns. At $48 each they aren’t cheap (we got ours on a year-end clearance sale for $32), and I wish I could hang them to dry right away after washing, but the comfort and warmth of these little jewels is so awesome, that I’ll gladly take the extra care.

I will probably order a silk turtleneck from Lands’ End, because they advertise that the silk is interlock, and is thicker. And with a $30 price tag I can get three from Lands End for the price of two at WinterSilks. I’ll keep you posted.