How to upgrade your wardrobe with these wool essentials

If you want to always find something in your wardrobe to wear that will make you look great, feel comfortable and be sustainable, then check out these 12 wool items.

While working through my wardrobe, I realised that I always fall back on a small number of wool items that I wear all the time. These items are either super comfortable, protect me from the elements or just complete an outfit. Often one single wool item even does all of the above.
As buying wool items is always a little bit of an investment (that always pays off) you might like this little list of things to help you prioritise when shopping for wool.

Camisole shirt

I wear my camisole shirts all year round. In winter I always wear one underneath my shirts and blouses for that extra comfort and warmth. The camisole can always be tucked into your jeans or skirt and therefore keep your lower back warm and also avoid ugly exposures of your lower back or more when bending down. But that is just a little side effect. In summer I often use the camisoles when exercising at the gym but I also sleep in them on hot summer nights. They are also great to wear underneath slightly see-through tops in summer. I own camisoles in black and white. With those two colours I find that they always blend in perfectly with my wardrobe. Be sure to get a super fine version as you will be wearing it next to your skin. I personally love the soft quality of Mac Pac.

Short sleeve and long sleeve T-shirt

There is hardly a day where I don’t wear one of my soft merino wool t-shirts, be it long sleeves in winter or short sleeves in summers. There are of course plenty of t-shirts as such available. However, I find you need to distinguish between two types. You will find plenty of t-shirts that are designed for sports and outdoor activities. These t-shirts often have a high crew neckline and have flat seems to prevent any seams from irritating your skin. If you are looking to be active these t-shirts are great. However, my personal style is not at all athleisure, therefore I prefer to buy wool t-shirts that look a bit more fashionable. For me, that means having a neckline that is any other than crew, such as a nice v-neck or a scoop or even boat neckline. This also means that the seams or not flat and that the colours are decent enough to be combined with the rest of my wardrobe. Luckily there are more and more fashionable wool t-shirts available and you don’t need to rely on the sports brands if that is not your everyday style. Again, watch out to buy the softest merino wool that you find comfortable. With t-shirts, you might also like to check the weight of the fabric. Heavier weights are great for winter and lighter weights for summer.

Pencil Skirt

I did not realise it at the time, but when I was 16 my mother thought it was time to buy me a wool suit. This included a black blazer, black trousers and a black pencil skirt. Looking back I might have looked a little bit silly wearing a suit at 16, however, I still own the wool pencil skirt and it has served me well all this time. Obviously, a pencil skirt is a classic piece that can be combined in so many ways and worn to so many occasions depending on if you dress the skirt up or down. Owning a high-quality wool skirt that is well cut and well made is essential. I recommend a black pencil skirt, but depending on the colour pallet of your wardrobe you might also get a good use out of dark blue or grey one. Before investing into any patterned pencil skirts, stick to a unicolour one.

Wool Blazer

A blazer is known to be this one item that once you put it on, you already look well dressed. Blazers can be combined with jeans, dresses, skirts and can work in a casual or business setting. Deciding on the right kind of wool blazer is a bit more tricky and depends on your personal style. In wool fabrics there are the worsted fabrics, think of the fabrics of a classic men’s suit. Then there are also the woollen fabrics, think of a blazer made of tweed. When you know how to style a classic worsted fabric blazer, you will get a lot out of owning such a piece. I personally have not yet found my perfect worsted blazer yet. However, I do own many different woollen blazers made out of tweed fabrics. I love to combine them with jeans and a t-shirt or wear them over dresses. Finding a great wool blazer that is easy to combine with the rest of your closet in terms of cut, colour and fabric might take you a while, but it will be worth it.

Wool Trousers

I need to be honest here, I don’t yet own wool trousers but I am always fantasizing of owning a pair anytime soon. Whenever I see women pull off a great pair of wool trousers I get a bit envious. With all trousers, the secret here lies in finding the perfect cut that suits you well and that is also comfortable to spend your day in. I find there are two types of wool trousers, the one that blends in as a basic to a more exciting top or blazer and the centrepiece wool trousers that lets the rest of your clothes stand in the background. I think I will go for the latter one some day. When I do, I will let you know. To begin with, pick a dark colour like black, charcoal or navy as these colours will be good to combine with what you already own. Feeling bolder, then you can also try lighter colours like light flannel or a nice check print.

Long Johns or Leggings

I have to admit, that I am a person that tends to feel easily cold. This is why for around 6 months of the year I am wearing wool long johns or leggings underneath my jeans. I just find that super comfortable not to have the wind blow through the jeans onto my skin. As wool is also breathable and temperature regulating, I never feel hot when I am inside in heated rooms. I tend to also wear thin wool leggings in summers when wearing a dress, but that is just me. However, if you are not feeling constantly cold, but do live in an area where you get cold winters, you will still be happy to own some Long Johns to keep you warm and comfortable when active outdoors. But even if you don’t need anything for the cold or for any outdoor activities, I find owning a pair of black wool leggings essential. You can wear them around the house as leisure wear, combine them with a dress or bulky sweater or go and wear them to the gym.

Cardigan

Right after my camisole shirt, my two black and navy wool cardigans are probably my second most worn items I own as they just always seem to fit into my outfit. When you choose a cardigan, go for a basic style that can be worn with jeans and a t-shirt and with your dresses and skirts. The more adaptable your cardigan to your wardrobe the more you will get out of it. The same goes obviously for the colour. I also recommend that you choose a relatively thin knitted wool cardigan so that you can wear it all year round no matter what the temperatures are. I personally love the merino wool cardigans made by Uniqlo. They typically sell during autumn and winter at retail, but you can get them all year round online as well. They always offer a set of basic colours along with some seasonal ones.

Sweater

A wool sweater is a classic wool item. The variety in styles, colours, patterns, yarn thickness and knits is huge. My recommendation would be to invest into one or two basic machine knitted sweaters which you can combine with a lot of different outfits like wearing it underneath your blazer in winter, or combining it with your favourite type of jeans and skirts. In addition, I like to always have one statement sweater. A sweater that forms the centrepiece of your outfit. These type of sweaters tend to be more chunky and have a creative knit and pattern to them. These type of sweaters might also become your favourite comfy item as it will be cosy and comfortable to wear while traveling or relaxing at home.

Beanie

Maybe you hated it when your mother made you wear a wool beanie to school in winter. First of all, you thought wearing a beanie didn’t look cool and second of all the beanie was scratchy. The time of scratchy beanies is over, as there are plenty of soft merino wool items available. In addition, there are so many beanie styles out there to ensure you also find the one most suitable for your head and style. As soon as it gets a little bit colder, you see me wearing my beanie. I just find it super comfortable to be protected from wind, cold and rain.
If you don’t like beanies, you should have a look at the felted hats available, they always are a great fashion statement.

Scarf

I have been made fun of many times, that no matter what the weather, even in hot summer time, I was wearing a wool scarf. Well, we have already established that I get easily cold and I also don’t like air conditioning breathing down my neck. Anyways, as wool is temperature regulating, I never overheat with my wool scarf on, but besides all that, scarfs are such a great statement item to upgrade your outfit. I admit that I might have too many scarfs, but I would always argue that you cannot have too many scarfs (similar to handbags and shoes). I own scarfs in all sorts of colours, patterns, sizes, even beautifully embroidered ones (read more about scarfs here). I have super fine and thin scarves for summer and heavy chunky ones for winter. With a minimalist wardrobe these scarves always can bring an extra twist to your outfit. My favourite scarf is a huge but thin black one that I tend to carry around with me in my handbag. It has served me well as a blanket on an airplane, a blanket to sit on in the park, a pillow to sleep on the train, etc. I recommend that you get one versatile scarf that can be your partner in crime wherever you go.

Coat

Another classic wool item is the wool coat. Back in the day, our grandmothers would buy one wool coat and then wear it for 20 years or longer because it would just last so long and look so well. Unfortunately, we went through a fashion time where we did not want our coats to last that long because we were hungry for something new every new winter that came along. And now we are unhappy about our environmental problems. Anyways. A couple of years ago I found a 100% wool coat that I just love. I love the style, the fabric, the colour, the attention to detail. I have worn it every winter for the past 5 years. At some point the lining was kaputt and I got a new lining sewn into it because I just could not part with this coat and the thought of trying to find another new perfect wool coat was too daunting. I am just saying that these perfect wool coats are out there that will make us always well dressed and keep us warm that we no longer wish for a new coat in the next season.

Socks

There are so many different types of wool socks that you will be surprised once you look into them. Let’s start with our cosy, comfy winter socks that may have even been hand knitted by someone in your family. My mother knitted me quite a few and I wear them at home and when going to bed but also when I go out into the cold. However, the wool sock world does not stop there. There are wonderful wool socks that are great for sports and outdoor activity in winter and summer that I recommend you check out. And then there are also these beautiful thin and elegant wool socks that are typically worn by men in the business arena. However, I encourage you to dive into these luxurious thin and beautiful socks as they might become your next favourite item.

I hope you enjoyed this list of elementary wool items to complete your wardrobe. Do you have a favourite wool item that you think is missing in this list? Let me know, I would love to hear about it in the comments section below.

 

 

How to keep your baby comfortable with wool

Welcoming a baby into our world is always the most amazing moment. As I am writing this blog post my new godchild has just been born. Of course, I will wish to gift her a little welcoming present. This made me think about the best wool products for babies. I asked myself what would be the essential wool products for a newborn baby to have a comfortable and great start here on earth. Here is the list I came up with.

Baby blanket

A soft merino wool baby blanket is essential. I think this might be the number one wool item I gifted newborn babies the most so far. A handmade baby blanket is the most lovely and personal option and there are so many amazing patterns available. However, there are also amazing manufactured baby wool blankets out there that will keep babies warm but not overheat because of its breathability. A wool blanket will let babies sleep more comfortably compared to a synthetic blanket.

Merino wool beanie

I am not to say if babies need to wear a cap all the time or only when they need protection from the sun or the cold. Fact is, babies do need a beanie. Choosing a soft and lightweight merino beanie will work in summers and in winters and make the baby feel comfortable meaning not too hot and not too cold. Make sure the wool is really really soft so that the baby’s skin is not irritated.

Merino wool body

Babies grow so quickly that they outgrow their clothes so fast you can almost watch. A body is probably the most basic item a baby wears and there are wonderful bodies made out of merino wool that are super soft on the skin, breathable and moisture wicking, keeping your baby comfortable.

Wool socks or shoes

A good way of keeping babies feet warm is with little wool socks or knitted wool shoes. Hand knitted socks are a popular gift among the knitting community. However, socks tend to fall off easily because babies kick their feet so much. Therefore, I like the little wool shoes that have a little string so you can tie them around the baby’s ankle just to keep them on a little bit longer. Young parents go through many little socks as one seems to always get lost somehow. Therefore you can never have too many wool socks for the little ones.

Wool sweater

Especially during winter time, babies need an extra layer of warmth which is where a wool sweater or cardigan comes in handy. Again I think hand-knitted sweaters are a lovely option if you have a crafty knitter among your family or friends. Of course, there are also lovely options available in store. Take good care that the wool is very soft in order not to irritate your baby’s skin.

Sleeping bag

Sleep studies show that babies fall asleep faster and also sleep longer when sleeping on and in wool. A sleeping bag filled with wool helps your baby sleep comfortably at night ensuring that the baby does not overheat nor get too cold. Sleeping bags come in different weights depending on if you live in hot or colder climates.

Sheepskin

The best product for your baby to sleep on in its pushchair is a sheepskin. Does not matter if it is summer or winter, the sheepskin will always provide the right temperature for your baby and feel soft and comfortable. There are organic wool sheepskins especially for babies as well.

No matter if you buy only one of the wool items above or all of them, it will have a positive effect for the little one you are buying it for. I heard many midwives recommending wool, especially for newborns as it is the best fibre to keep a baby comfortable by being warm but not too hot.

Is there a wool item that you find most relevant for a baby? Do you have a particular product that you recommend? Do let me know in the comments below, I would love to hear about it.

The inventors of the Lasso slippers have just released their latest product, the Lasso bag, a felted wool backpack.

The Lasso bag is made from one single piece of waterproof wool-felt all made locally within a 500 km radius away from Paris.

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The idea behind the backpack is the same as with the slippers – the backpack arrives flat-packed at your doorstep and you give the product the final touch by assembling it yourself. The assembly is done with a strap that holds together the backpack. The straps to assemble the bag are at the same time the straps to carry the bag on your back.

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The team behind Lasso are skilled product designers who have given a lot of attention to detail to the design of the bag. The bag has a large pocket for any 15″ laptop and 2 small ones for phones, key and other accessories you want to keep tight. A 3D mesh at the back has been added for comfort while riding your bike. There are no additional gimmick pockets, no logo, no special design feature nobody needs. It is just a simple elegant backpack for everyday life.

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The bag comes in two different colour options – brown and black. However, to me, the colours look more like greige and dark charcoal. The strap to assemble the bag comes in 6 different colours: charcoal black, wool grey, brick red, peacock blue, pumpkin orange and kiwi green. You can always pick and choose your own colour combinations.

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All materials used for the bag are manufactured in Italy and France. The felt is made in Florence, Italy, in a factory using solar energy produced on site. It is made from 70 % wool and 30 % viscose to make it water repellant. It is very soft, yet very durable and will not tear apart from heavyweights in the bag.

The strap is made in Cholet, in France, from thick polyester wire with a very tight double stitch, making it very strong and stable.

All the assembly and logistics is done in Troyes, France. The packaging is a simple cotton tote bag, it protects the backpack, let it breathe during transport and is made so that it has a second life, instead of throwing it away.

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Manufacturing a product entirely in Italy and France reduces the carbon footprint of the product. At the same time, it was important to the Lasso team to make sure that all employees involved working on the product were working under good working conditions with minimum wages, health insurances and health & safety facilities.

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The bags are available for sale on the Lasso website at the price of 189 EUR.

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Visit the Lasso website and check out their other great products.

If you want to hear the full story behind the Lasso company, you can listen to an interview with the founder Gaspart Tiné Berès on the Wool Academy podcast here.

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