Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
There are two types of people: those who like soft, cotton shirts and those who like scratchy, wool ones. This article is for the latter. Sure, it’s nice to wear soft clothing, but nothing can compare to the warmth offered by a wool. Such shirts are some of the most traditional pieces of Americana clothing so there are a million different variants on the market, which is exactly why we’ve narrowed things down for you. These aren’t the only good options out there, but they are certainly some of the best.
1) Pendleton: Board Shirt in Acadia Park Stripe
It’s impossible to talk about wool shirts without bring up Pendleton. They’ve been producing some of the nicest wool flannels for over one hundred and fifty years, and the reputation they’ve gained is nothing short of stellar (read our history of the shirt). This Board Shirt is styled based on those worn by surfers in the 1960s, slightly longer than most flannels and designed with a square hem. It’s pictured here in Acadia Park Stripe, a wide horizontal stripe reminiscent of patterns usually used for blankets.
Available for $125 from Pendleton.
2) Engineered Garments: CPO Shirt
CPO Shirts are one of the most popular styles of flannels, based on those worn by Chief Petty Officers of the United States Navy. Engineered Garments interpretation of the traditional CPO Shirt is an excellent replica, featuring the recognizable snap front pockets with a few extras to spare. This shirt is constructed from a 20oz. melton wool with a corduroy lined collar, so it is sure to keep you warm this winter.
Available for $429 from End Clothing.
3) Frank Leder: Donegal Wool Over Shirt
Frank Leder’s German-made Donegal Wool Over Shirt is not your everyday wool shirt. While Donegal tweed is a traditional type of fabric, it’s rarely seen in shirt form, usually being styled into sport coats or formal pants. That said, the fabric makes for a shirt that will both look fantastic and help you to escape the cold.
Available for $233 from Unionmade Goods.
4) Buzz Rickson’s: Type C.P.O. Shirt
Buzz Rickson’s is brand dedicated to creating some of the best reproductions on the market. Their CPO Shirt is one such replica, featuring many of the same design aspects as Engineered Garments CPO, but in a more understated package. This shirt features only one front chest pocket and is made from a beautiful, blue wool fabric.
Available for £199 from Buzz Rickson’s Europe.
5) Woolrich: Alaskan Wool Shirt in New Gray
Like Pendleton, Woolrich has much experience producing wool shirts, and the results really speak for themselves. Their Alaskan Wool Shirt is a great introduction to both Woolrich’s productions and wool shirts in general; it’s produced from a mid-weight 11.5Oz. wool/nylon fabric that is warm enough to wear by itself or as an over-shirt. It features a mild diagonal-stripe pattern, and comes in several simple colorways.
Available for $119 from Woolrich.
Plus One – Stephan Schneider: Shirt Layer Dark
If there is one wool shirt that was able to catch my eye right away, it is Stephan Schneider’s Shirt Layer Dark. Ordinarily, wool shirts only come in a handful of different patterns and colors, which is why it is so refreshing to see a new design thrown into the mix. Not only is this shirt constructed in a unique, patchwork-esque style, but it features ribbed cuffs and hidden hand pockets ala a lowkey jacket.
Available for $535CAD from Neighbor.