I never thought I'd write a post about underwear, but I love these so much that I can't help myself. When I moved from the Big Apple to the Frozen North two years ago, I had a vague idea that I'd probably have to dress warmer. But it took me a year and change to figure out that washable wool long underwear is a miracle invention.
I'm one of those people who is sensitive to wool. I can only wear wool sweaters over another shirt, and even then it often backfires. Many times I have emerged from the car to find that the place where the seatbelt meets my collarbone is bright pink--thanks to forced contact with my wool sweater.
But here on the Vermont / New Hampshire border, you can't swing a cat without hitting something made of SmartWool. First I tried one pair of socks, expecting them to itch and perhaps to shrink in the dryer. But... no problem! When I found myself doing extra loads of laundry just so I could get at those socks, I bought more.
But the long underwear... I couldn't do it. Just thinking about it made me itch. It will be sweaty, I thought. I'll break out in hives. I'm too cheap.
By the time my husband bought me a pair, I was the only holdout in my home. He and both children were already happily wearing woolies. And now I've become a sort of born-again woollies evangelist. Have you tried them? (I'm your pusher.)
Most people wear them under pants, but I think they look fine under a skirt and tall boots. They fit closely enough that the knees don't bag very easily. I wear them as a stand-in for tights.
These are the models I like, and none contains spandex or any other synthetics:
- Smartwool Midweight Women's Bottoms: Between $70 and $80 depending where you buy them. Most places carry only the black. (Note: I tried one pair of the light weight version and didn't like them. They bagged.)
- Ibex Women's Woolies Bottoms: $65. These are lighter weight than the Smartwools, with terrific stretch. They are my new favorites. Black only.
- HessNatur Organic Wool & Silk Leggings: $65. 70% Wool 30% Silk. These are ribbed, and the reason I bought them is that they came in a charcoal color and a brown. A girl likes a little variation, even if it can't be 100% wool.
Finally, for your amusement, I give you the wool bra, ladies. My zealotry has not yet reached these heights. But check it out. I dare you.