Icebreaker fans will be delighted by the latest designs in its 2014 Spring Summer collection. Featured in the collection are woven shirts and featherweight t-shirts for men, and summer dresses, woven shorts, and, for the first time from Icebreaker, yoga-wear for women. I recently had the opportunity to put the latter to the test.
As a yoga teacher, I was thrilled to read that New Zealand’s merino clothing specialists, Icebreaker, are breaking into yoga-wear. Following the wellness-clothing trend, and mimicking designs released by other popular yoga clothing brands, I believe this part of the 2014 collection will be a hit. A variety of merino wool tops, leggings, and shorts in fun colours will see buyers walking away with the perfect active wear outfit.
I tried and tested the Spirit Capri leggings, the Sublime Top, and the Spirit Tank, not only in yoga classes, but also in a range of cardio and leisure activities. At first, I was a bit dubious about merino wool as a fabric for active wear clothing – after all, doesn’t wool keep us warm? I was pleasantly surprised at the immense breathability of these garments, and actually found I remained cooler in these than in other fitness wear. For those who like to work up a sweat, know also that one of the benefits of merino is that it doesn’t smell, even when you’ve worked really hard. Combine that with immense comfort and moveability, and you’ve got a core collection that easily transcends from the gym or yoga studio to other more leisurely activities.
How successful these items will be specifically as yoga wear, I think will largely depend on what sort of yoga you do, and how intensely you practice. The comfort and moveability of the clothing means that it allows for wonderful versatility of movement, and that all postures, including intense stretches, can be achieved without hindrance. That said, while the looseness of the Spirit Tank meant it was joyously breathable and unrestrictive, it did have a downfall: after every few cycles of sun salutations or inversions, it slid upwards from my hips, exposing my midriff. I prefer a top that remains in place while I move, as adjusting clothing during a yoga sequence interrupts the flow. From this point of view, I preferred the Sublime Top, a snug fitting and very flattering racer back (in fun bright orange). Also of note is that I got the definite sense that, after a number of yoga sessions, the Spirit Capri leggings would start to get a bit misshapen at the knees from bending.
Over all, the three yoga-inspired 2014 Spring Summer Icebreaker items that I sampled, made for ideal all-round active wear clothing. They were comfortable for yoga, walking, cardio classes, biking, running, and lounging and, because they are merino, are suitable as all-season wear. These items are attractive and flattering, and come in striking, vibrant colours, making them as much about functionality as style.
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