Woolly Hubby
October 9, 2017 11:57 AM   Subscribe

My husband has become quite obsessed with merino wool clothing over the past year or so. With the holidays coming up, I'd like to get him a nice wool-related gift (doesn't have to be clothing), but he's already bought a lot of stuff for himself.

Wool items he already has: Darn Tough socks, Woolx boxers, Icebreaker undershirts and long underwear, Glerups slippers (his Christmas present last year - a big hit!). Any other good brands/items I could look into? Or other wool-related ideas?
posted by GoldenEel to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (30 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Ibex! He might like some wool pants, my husband loves the ones he got from there. They have other items like outdoor vests and scarves too. What about a balaclava or hat?
posted by barchan at 12:02 PM on October 9

Would he like a sheepskin?
posted by fancyoats at 12:19 PM on October 9 [1 favorite]

Rivendell is a bike manufacturer with a serious retro vibe. They sell a bunch of wool stuff (mostly bike-related, but they don't go for "bike-only" clothing), some of it made specifically for them.

How about some Maine Guide pants?

I have a merino bike jersey from Ibex and am very happy with it.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:24 PM on October 9

Merino hoodie? or midweight sweater? I have a zipneck from Icebreaker that I love. Or pair of their jersy travel pants - soft and comfy but look pretty respectable and are warm.
posted by leslies at 12:30 PM on October 9

My partner just got some Merino wool running shoes from these folks. So far she loves them, though it's only been a few weeks so I can't say anything about their longevity just yet.
posted by solotoro at 12:40 PM on October 9 [1 favorite]

Bombas socks and Uniqlo sweaters come to mind.
posted by matildaben at 12:40 PM on October 9

Yes, Ibex, not inexpensive but very good!!
posted by starfish at 12:46 PM on October 9

Depending on his fashion sense, Dale of Norway.
posted by rhizome at 12:47 PM on October 9

I have an older version of this Merino hoodie from Chrome and it's the best!
posted by beyond_pink at 12:49 PM on October 9 [2 favorites]

Allbirds. Sneakers or loafers. I just got the sneakers and they are super comfortable.
posted by carrioncomfort at 12:49 PM on October 9 [5 favorites]

Two possibly under-the-radar items he might like, which somehow both start with the letter "b":

1. Even as a big fan of wool and its properties, this wool "buff" is about 1000% more useful and comfortable than I expected it to be. Especially when traveling. It's a scarf, a hat, a headband, a balaclava, a mask... I carry one with me most places in the fall/winter.

2. Wool doesn't require washing as frequently as other clothing, and this brush is super helpful for removing everyday collections of hair, dust, crumbs, and miscellaneous debris. It's really a pleasure to use, too, the tip is angled just slightly and the wooden handle makes it feel sort of luxurious or old-timey or both.

My favorite wool undershirts are from Woolly Clothing. The ultralight (150gsm) stuff is super soft and light, and the cut seems more like a typical cotton t-shirt compared to Icebreaker or Ibex (which can be awkwardly narrow and long for my taste). Their stock can be weird at any given time, it seems like they restock once a year, so if it's been a while it can seem like everything is out of stock. But they're definitely the most comfortable shirts I've found, so I feel it's worth the hassle.
posted by sportbucket at 12:57 PM on October 9 [2 favorites]

Think he'd be into learning to knit? Because it's a wool lovers paradise, you get to just mess with wool for hours and hours and then wear it forever.
posted by sockermom at 1:03 PM on October 9 [2 favorites]

Wool Chuck Taylor high-tops from Woolrich+Converse.
posted by dayintoday at 1:11 PM on October 9 [1 favorite]

Commission a knitter friend to make him a hand-knit pair of socks, or a (superwash) sweater if you want to splurge. The wool won't be as hard-wearing as commercial merino stuff, but it's softer and prettier (you can choose any color combo in the world). Or, if you live in a climate cold enough for it, thrummed mittens are suuuuuper soft and still durable because the fluffy part is only on the inside.
posted by serelliya at 1:12 PM on October 9

For something unique, Etsy has lots of hand-knit socks and hand-cranked socks (i.e. knit on an antique or reproduction sock knitting machine). Some Etsy knitters will even custom-knit based on his foot measurements.

There are also clear Converse for showing-off hand-knit socks!
posted by homodachi at 1:16 PM on October 9 [2 favorites]

Smartwool does some nice button down fleeces and hiking shirts, and icebreaker does hiking shorts.
posted by mikek at 1:23 PM on October 9

Seconding that Chrome merino wool hoodie.
posted by purple_bird at 1:37 PM on October 9

Merino t-shirts (I like the Icebreaker ones myself) and a merino hoodie are incredible investments & will likely become favorite items of clothing. I have a merino long-sleeved shirt with a slightly higher neck and a short zipper at the neck, and it's one of the best things to bring on a trip or wear around for a shocking amount of the year.
posted by barnone at 1:49 PM on October 9

Merino sheepskin rug. Nothing like getting up in the morning & putting your feet on that awesome warm softness. Also nice to snuggle on if you have a fire place. Warning it will be claimed by any pets you own as their prime sleeping spot.
posted by wwax at 2:18 PM on October 9

My absolute favorite scarves are from Hugo Boss. I actually own two of the men's ones because I love them so much. I like the virgin wool ones, which are soft and super warm. I like the virgin wool ones better than their merino or cashmere ones. Here is one example, here is another.
posted by gudrun at 3:03 PM on October 9

What about a robe? I had a long wool robe once and loved it (a few decades ago so it aged out).
posted by MovableBookLady at 3:10 PM on October 9

I am currently a bit obsessed with everything from iO Merino in Australia. The shipping is worth it.
posted by zdravo at 4:00 PM on October 9

Gotta say, FITS socks are more comfortable than Darn Tough.

Also, the national parks wool blankets made by Pendleton are really great. I have a Crater Lake National Park one and it is large and warm and perfect in every way. It was expensive at the time, but man am I happy to have it ten years later!
posted by bennett being thrown at 4:24 PM on October 9 [2 favorites]

Depends a bit on his style but what about needle felting supplies for repairing wool clothes? Also good for making cute widdle felt animals.
posted by yeahlikethat at 4:43 PM on October 9

Do you live somewhere where it gets proper cold? These longjohns are absolutely terrific, but they're VERY heavyweight. I wear the top as a light sweater in California.
posted by mollymayhem at 5:12 PM on October 9

How about a woollen afghan or good quality woolen blanket?
posted by whitelotus at 6:45 PM on October 9

I have found glowing sky from New Zealand to have a much better quality than icebreaker (now) and IO merino.

Merino t shirts and jackets are the best!
posted by insomniax at 7:20 PM on October 9 [3 favorites]

We have a merino duvet/quilt/doona. It's washable, warm in winter and light in summer.
posted by Wantok at 1:27 AM on October 10

Ok, I might be *extremely* biassed, being an Aussie gal with my feet deep inside my own pair right now on this cool spring evening, but Ugg boots! Merino wool, toasty feet, they are an institution for a reason.

I notice USA retailers have mainly moccasin styled slippers, but you really want the toasty calves treatment with the tall ugg boots. And uh, all those crazy colours and mods, ignore. The original is still the best.
posted by honey-barbara at 4:05 AM on October 10

Here are some Merino things I own that aren't on your list. There will be a lot of Icebreaker on this list because 1. the stuff is well-made, and 2. there was a time when I had access to a serious discount on the stuff; I haven't purchased any of their stuff in like 5 years so caveat emptor.
  • long-sleeve Icebreaker shirts (not undershirts): great mid-weight second layers
  • long-sleeve Icebreaker/Smartwool sweaters: I have two half-zip pullovers that I love to death. Both are fairly heavyweight, like maybe 300 g/m^2. I think Smartwool stopped making this style which is why I got an Icebreaker later
  • light- or midweight fine wool scarf: great for dressing up or just staying warm on the motorcycle. I'm not a scarf guy but I've ended up using this almost as much as my wool hat.
  • close-fitting wool hat: I got tired of the low-quality synthetic hats I'd been gifted over the years and finally bought a nice Icebreaker Mogul. Warm, warm, warm, wears well, and is thin enough that I can wear it under a bicycle or motorcycle helmet in the winter.
  • merino wool knit tie - I'm not kidding. It's got a lovely look and hand and I regularly get compliments on it. I think this one came from LL Bean or Lands End or such.
  • Stoic running shirt - midweight, designed as a second layer. It's maybe 10% nylon and 5% lycra but that seems to have given it durability and saved it from wearing holes like my other light Stoic stuff did. (Don't get me wrong, those shirts provided a long life of hard service -- they just didn't survive as long as my other stuff.) Extra-long sleeves, a good cut, and stylish stitching accents. Looks good enough that I'll wear it to meetings with customers.
There are also wool glove liners; I know people who rave about them but I've never been able to get over the bulk of even the finest ones. When I need glove liners because of Cold Cold Cold, I go with polypro like my sock liners.
posted by introp at 9:26 AM on October 10

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