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A quest for a vest

Recently I've been searching to replace a couple of merino vests that I've run, cycled and just relaxed in for... oh... must be getting on 6 years now. They still fit just the way I like, but they are getting rather thin and there are some holes in one of them. It's time. I love merino base layers. I love the way they feel, and as I quite frequently cycle somewhere, then stand around for a bit, cycle somewhere else, and so on, having a top that copes with getting a little sweaty and not stinking or making me cold is quite important. I don't like those fancy sports fabrics so much. I can't stand the feel, and they always end up stinking. So the hunt for a new merino vest was on.

The originals were from Howies, but sadly they don't do their baselayers as vests at the moment. They do have one merino vest on offer, and I guess there was a warning on the catalogue page that it's a casual top and order down a size for a more sporty fit. I guess I should also have realised that in spite of the original tops fitting perfectly and the one long-sleeve base layer I've bought in the last year fitting pretty well, nothing else I've bought from Howies has fit me for years. For some reason, in spite of marketing to runners, cyclists and generally active people, they don't make clothes small enough for me. I appreciate that my size (160cm, 49kg) is a little on the small side, but I don't think I'm unusually tiny for an active person. 

Suffice to say, the vest had a fair amount of superfluous material, and a view down my (non-existant) cleavage that would have been pretty much indecent on a road bike. It was a good job it fit Clarkie pretty well, or it would have been straight back in the post. 

Next up is Finisterre. (I'd jump straight to Icebreaker, but I'm trying to support the slightly more local brands occasionally.) I know a Finisterre size 8 fits me pretty damn well, so that part is a winner. I got two Zephyr vests in the same colourway in the sale - Finisterre do some odd colour combinations that aren't to my taste, so I stuck with the simplest. The tops are really nice - smooth fabric, well made, fit well under the arm. There's just one tiny problem with them: 


It's kind of low-cut again. I'm flashing my bra above the line of the vest, and that bra there (an Icebreaker Sprite racerbacked bra) is one of my lower cut ones. The back is even worse:


(Thanks to Terry Webb at Didcot parkrun for the photos! I went a bit fast for my current fitness levels, I was hurting by the end.)

It's ok, women's sports vests mostly don't cover bras properly, so I'll keep the tops and wear them regardless. I like the way they fit generally, they are tight enough not to gape when I ride my road bike, and the colours remind me of my undergraduate college. I've fed back via the wonder of Twitter to both companies (complete with pictures), because if you don't say anything you just have to live with it. Kind of like voting. Fingers crossed, that'll do me for another 6 years before I have to go through this all over again!

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