Many, many years ago I bought a giant purple wool sweater in Scotland; it became the top half of my winter uniform for 20+ years…until I started ignoring the care instructions and throwing it in the washing machine until it became too tiny to wear. So, I was excited to find the Royal Robbins First Fleet Mock Neck Sweater, an attractive, classic pullover made out of merino wool.

This sweater is lighter than my old bulky sweater and with the mock neck, I don’t need to wear a turtleneck under it to keep my neck warm. Instead I wear an ultra thin hemp or merino base layer tee.

I like the simple style and the open-weave pattern that runs down the front of the sweater, along the side seams, and around the shoulders and cuffs. The Royal Robbins First Fleet Mock Neck Sweater looks like a lighter, more feminine version of a fishermen’s sweater. It fits my requirement that my clothes be attractive yet casual, as well as able to perform when I get active. I just don’t have drawer space or suitcase space for clothes that can’t do double duty.

Since I live in a temperate climate, I rarely need to bundle up. I wear the First Fleet Mock Neck Sweater under an insulation jacket or rain shell in 30 to 40 degree F temperatures. I like that the sweater is lightweight, breathable, and softer than most wool sweaters. It’s not butter soft like some fine merino tops, but it’s a far cry more comfortable against my skin than my old school purple sweater.

I found the fit to be true to size, although I sized up because I wanted a big, baggy sweater for lounging when I travel.

Available in women’s sizes XS-XL, in Oatmeal, Charcoal, and Dark Violet

Manufacturer’s Site: www.royalrobbins.com

$85.00  $58.93 at REI