Luckily, it’s pretty damn easy to dress well in Latin America. You really don’t need much. This isn’t New York City or Los Angeles. A little effort goes a long way here.
The custom suit might even be too much. For most gringos, your goal should simply be to NOT look like this:
I’ve rocked the goofy gringo look before, too.
This is the quintessential gringo look while traveling around Latin America. You’ve got the cargo shots, the flip-flops, and a soccer jersey or tank top.
If you’ve spent enough time in the region, you’ll come to recognize this look from a mile away. You know it when you’ve seen it. The goofy gringo travels all over Latin America – often in herds.
Now, rocking this attire while enjoying some time at the beach or even doing a little tourism in a warm city is perfectly fine.
The problem is gringos have taken this relaxed attire a little too far. Nowadays, you’ll see dudes rolling around major cities like Bogota, Colombia or Lima, Peru looking like scrubs.
Whereas locals are in pants and a button-down, some even in a suit, the gringo is strolling around like he’s at the beach in cities of 10+ million people. Cities that are the capital of said counties filled with business people and hard workers.
It’s not a good look. Unsurprisingly, many Latinos think gringos are complete and utter slobs.
Think about it. If people from different countries came to your city by the thousands and every single time you see one of them on the streets they look like they’re hungover and headed to the beach, you wouldn’t hold a high opinion of them, either.
Instead of rolling around looking like a slob, follow a few of these rules and you’ll soon be seen as the best-dressed gringo many a Latino has ever seen:
Wear Pants: Seriously, if you wear pants in public, locals in Latin America will give you more respect. They’ve seen enough of the cargo shorts and swimming trunks from foreigners. A decent pair of jeans during the day is all you need to impress.
No Flip-Flops: First off, flip-flops are horrible for your feet and ankles. Second, they look sloppy unless you’re going to the beach. I’ll never understand why gringos walk around in flip-flops so damn much. Just don’t do it unless you’re at the beach or pool.
Normal T-Shirts: Tank tops, soccer jerseys, and those weird “hippy clothing shirt” things are typical for the traveling gringo to roll around in while traveling in Latin America. Instead, just wear a normal v-neck or henley t-shirt in a basic color during the day.
Common sighting in Peru.
Basically, you want to look like you would back home. Think about how you would dress if you went to the library while at university or the coffee shop with a friend. Think how you would dress for a first date back home.
Just dress normally. Don’t come down to Latin America and become a scrub just because you’re a few miles away from home. That type of effort and attitudes gives gringos a bad name all over the region.
A Gringo’s Guide to Dressing Better, Style, and Fashion in Latin America
Now, we’re getting to the good stuff. If you want specific style advice while traveling Latin America, here it is.
Below you’ll find what you need to know about dressing well in Latin America and standing out from the gringo crowd in a good way.
While I’m no fashion blogger, here’s a little bit of specific advice about fashion in Latin America and how the average gringo can dress better:
Shoes For Travelers
They say shoes make a man and I cannot disagree. Just by not wearing flip-flops, you separate yourself from the gringo herd.
But there’s more to it than that.
If you want to look damn good while you’re living and traveling in Latin America, here’s what shoes and footwear I recommend:
Sperry Sneakers: I’ve worn this pair of Sperry’s for years. I think I’ve had three different pairs. Latin girls love them for some reason and I regularly get compliments on them, which is odd to me – as they’re a basic pair of shoes. These are my daytime shoes. I wear them to coffee shops, co-working spaces, and more. They look good with jeans.
Thursday Boot Company: I’ve worn this pair of boots by Thursday Boot Company for the past few years. They look impressive with a pair of dark jeans or nice travel pants. Plus, they’re durable as hell. One pair will last a couple years when properly shined every couple weeks while living in Latin America. Oh, and you’ll get compliments on them. Trust me.
Jeans and Travel Pants
You should get used to wearing pants while traveling in Latin America. Even when it’s hot as Hades outside, Latinos will wear pants. Hell, even when you start sweating the minute you step outside, people in Latin America will still wear pants.
It’s the culture. Unless you want to stick out like a sore thumb, and not in a good way, you’ll want to wear jeans or pants most of the time while living in the region.
Here are a few of my favorite jeans and travel pants:
Outlier Slim Dungarees: These are the best pair of travel pants I’ve ever seen, worn, or even heard of. They’re seriously awesome. Pricey, but awesome. I found them ideal for walking around during the day in Latin America, as they’re somewhat lightweight and you don’t get overheated.
Hudson Jeans: I’m a huge fan of Hudson Men’s Jeans, especially the darker washes. They look great while on a date or partying at night and match well with t-shirts and button-down. You can even dress them up with a blazer and look pretty damn stylish.
T-Shirts, V-Neck, Henleys
It’s super easy to dress better than the average gringo in Latin America during the daytime. Just wear a normal looking t-shirt, v-neck, or short-sleeve henley. Most travelers wear tank tops or scraggly soccer jerseys all day.
So, let’s dive in. A few of my favorite travel t-shirts include:
prAna Men’s V-Neck: For those who don’t like merino wool, the prAna men’s v-neck is the best travel t-shirt I’ve found. This shirt looks damn good. After wearing my heather grey prAna v-neck for years, I can attest to the style and durability of their products. Highly recommended.
Woolly Clothing Merino Wool Short Sleeve Henley: I have three of these merino wool travel shirts. Currently, I don’t travel with any other “t-shirts” while on the road. The Woolly Clothing Merino Wool Short Sleeve Henley looks fantastic and offers numerous benefits for travelers. I can’t recommend this product enough.
Rocking that short sleeve henley in Cali, Colombia.
Generally, Latin America is a fairly warm region. You really don’t need too many long sleeve shirts unless you plan to go hiking in cooler regions often.
As such, I typically only bring one long sleeve shirt with me while traveling Latin America. I recommend you do the same. No reason to overpack. Packing light is always packing tight.
Here’s my favorite:
Woolly Clothing Merino Wool Long Sleeve Henley: I’ve been wearing this long-sleeve henley all winter and it’s been fantastic. The Woolly Clothing Merino Wool Long Sleeve Henley is warm and it looks damn good. If you’re looking for one long sleeve shirt to pack, this should be the one.
I’ve met more than a few gringos who didn’t have a single button down in their backpack while traveling around Latin America. Only t-shirts and tank-tops. That’s fine and dandy, but not exactly ideal when trying to look stylish.
Plus, in many cities throughout the region, you’re not getting into a decent nightclub without at least a button down shirt on. T-shirts and sneakers aren’t flying at Lima Bar in Miraflores or Hotel V in Zona T.
Now, the style of button down you wear is a little more varied than other clothing items. The type of dress shirts you wear will be determined by your age, physique, hair color, skin color, and more.
So, it’s a bit difficult to give specific examples of dress shirts. But I’ll do my best.
Generally, one-color shirts or pattern shirts fair well in Latin America. Think sharp business attire or full-on Cuban drug dealer swag.
I often just rock a slim-fit white dress shirt when partying in Latin America. Just something basic like this:
It’s essential to unbutton as many buttons as possible.
Upper-class Latinos often like to rock one-color dress shirts that have a business or professional vibe. Mimicking that style tends to work damn well and looks great, especially in nightclubs.
The Cuban drug dealer look is also popular in Latin America. What do I mean by the Cuban drug dealer look? Well, it’s generally chino pants and a printed button-down shirt. Occasionally, they’ll rock a blazer.
Think about what Pitbull would wear during a Miami winter. In my mind, it’s something like this:
Cuban Drug Dealer 101.
Printer dress shirts like the one above fair well in Latin America, especially when mixed with a clashing color of paints. For example, you wouldn’t wear that shirt with jeans. You’d rock chino pants with it.
Here are a few other buttons downs that would look good in Latin America:
In many Latin American locales, you won’t have any need for jackets, blazers, or suits. In other places like Bogota, Colombia, some nicer clothing really comes in handy from time to time.
While I won’t give any specific blazer recommendations, as that’s too specific to the individual, I will say that military-style jackets seem to get a great reception here. I rarely bring a jacket, but when I do it usually looks like this:
Hard to see it.
I don’t see a ton of leather jackets in Latin America. Honestly, they just don’t seem to popular here. I can’t say I’d recommend leather down here.
You can definitely rock necklaces and earrings down here, too. Although, I’d say the watch and bracelet combo is by far the best way to go.
Oh, and sunglasses are a must. I usually just buy a knock-off pair of aviators from a street vendor for $5-6 USD when I arrive. No reason to spend big bucks on them, as they’ll probably get lost while you travel.
I’ve gotten more hate for wearing basketball shorts to the gym than any other fashion faux pas in Latin America. Seriously, I’ve found Latinos absolutely hate baggy basketball shorts with a passion.
I even had a girl offer to take me shopping for proper gym clothing, as she was so turned off by my Jordan shorts and high-top Nike shoes.
Many people in gyms throughout Latin America dress pretty well. Stylish track pants are common and name brands are always found. This is especially true in nice gyms, like Smart Fit or Body Tech.
Personally, I can’t be bothered to overpack on fancy gym clothes, but I did ditch the baggy basketball shorts and cutoff t-shirts.
In Cali, Colombia. Boardshorts still a little too baggy, but I’ll live.
These days I travel light, so a pair of trainers, one merino wool tank top, and a few pairs of board shorts is all I rock these days.
Here are a few gym attire recommendations for Latin America:
Chuck Taylors: These are ideal gym shoes while traveling because they don’t take up a lot of space in your luggage. Plus, Chuck Taylor shoes are stylish in the gym. Couldn’t recommend these enough.
Boardshorts: While boardshorts are not as stylish as track pants in the gym and look a little gringo beach bum, the benefits far outweigh the downsides. Boardshorts from brands like O’Neill look great and can be worn in the gym, to swim, and more.
Merino Wool Tank Top: I’m wearing a merino wool tank top in the photo above. It looks great in the gym and holds up during a good sweat. I love the Woolly Clothing tank-top and highly recommend it.
Going the Extra Mile: Getting Custom Clothes Made in Latin America
Last, but not least – I want to talk about one simple way to truly take your style to the next level in Latin America and back home.
What’s that? Getting custom clothing made while traveling.
Now, this may be above your pay grade or interest level, but it’s still worth talking about. In Latin America, you can get custom dress shirts, blazers, and suits made for rock bottom prices.
You just have to know where to look and how to find the high-quality craftsmanship.
I’m certainly no expert in this regard, but many of my buddies have gotten custom suits, blazers, and shirts made for pennies on the dollar compared to back home.
The quality is impeccable and the fit unbeatable. You can get fully customized suits created for $200-400 USD in places like Bogota, Colombia.
A custom cut dress shirt, made from a material you selected out of hundreds, only costs anywhere from $40-80 USD.
Stunning blazers handcrafted to your specific size often only cost $120-150.
If you’re into style and fashion, consider getting custom clothing made in Latin America. You’ll find prices 50-80% cheaper than back home and the quality is comparable.
Just make sure you search for custom clothing in big cities known as financial capitals of their country. Things Bogota, Colombia or Mexico City.
Also, remember that a good tailor isn’t going to turn around your suit or shirts in one weeks time. You’ll usually need to give them 2-3 weeks to finish your clothing, although a little bribery goes a long way here.
A Gringo’s Guide to Fashion in Latin America
Whew, that was a long one. But I wanted this post to be thorough. I wanted to give you an idea of exactly how to dress while traveling around Latin America.
I want my fellow gringos to look damn good.
Just remember – I’m no fashion blogger. I’m just a dude traveling around who puts an effort into not looking like a slob.
It’s pretty easy.
Drop the cargo shorts, flip-flops, and tank-tops. Just wear clothing like you do when you’re trying to look presentable back home and then add in a little Cuban drug dealer swag.
In my quest to find the best travel t-shirt for men, I’ve tested a number of merino wool products. From tank tops to t-shirts, beanies, and more! Traveling light while looking tight has always been an ideal.
The first decent travel t-shirt I ever tested? The Icebreaker Merino Wool Anatomica Short Sleeve V-Neck.
The lightweight v-neck was tailor-made for travel. You could wear it to the gym, on a hike, or to the beach. I loved this Icebreaker shirt for anything and everything active, but it wasn’t perfect…
While I was a fan, the Icebreaker Merino Wool V-Neck just wasn’t stylish enough to wear out at night or on a date – unless you were at a beach bar or wanted to look like a backpacker.
The material was so thin that the shirt almost looked like an undershirt more than something you could wear at nighttime.
So, I kept looking at other travel t-shirts. I tested a few before eventually finding the Woolly Clothing Merino Wool Short Sleeve Henley.
After testing out this merino wool henley, I was sold. I stopped searching for new t-shirts and stocked up. Here’s why…
Woolly Clothing & waterfalls.
Why Merino Wool?
Before we dive too deep, let’s take a look at why merino wool is the absolute ideal fabric for travelers.
See, there’s nothing wrong with cotton clothing. Before I got into travel clothes, I was rocking cotton t-shirts like all you plebes, too.
But it’s damn near impossible to travel light when you have 6-8+ t-shirts in your bag, along with another 4+ tank tops for the gym and beach. There just wasn’t enough room in my bag.
Then I found merino wool. With this fabric, you don’t have to pack 10+ t-shirts and tank tops on a 2-3 month trip. Why?
Because merino wool actively blocks odors and removes bacteria, you only need to wash these shirts once every 5+ days. Hell, I can even wear a merino wool tank top to the gym three straight days and it doesn’t smell.
As such, you only need a couple merino wool t-shirts and a couple tank tops. You can easily travel light, while still looking tight.
Now that we’ve cleared the air why travelers love merino wool, let’s get back to the Icebreaker Merino Wool V-Neck.
While this isn’t my favorite travel t-shirt of all-time, the Anatomica still offers a lot to the average traveler. Here’s what I like about the shirt:
The light blue and heather grey Icebreaker Merino Wool Anatomica V-Necks are great colors. These colors match with a number of shorts/pants and have a unique look to them that pops. I have the light blue shirt and it’s a fantastic color.
Fantastic For Gym or Beach
I wear my Icebreaker V-Neck to the gym all the time. If I’m going to the beach, I often wear this travel shirt, too.
Why? Because its lightweight and crazy comfortable. I can move freely when wearing this shirt in the gym. At the beach, this keeps my arms protected from sun rays, while still keeping my body cool due to the merino fabric.
Ideal in Heat
Merino wool is a unique fabric. You can wear merino wool in the freezing cold and feel warm, but you can also wear it in the heat and feel refreshed.
The Icebreaker V-Neck is made of lightweight materials. As such, the shirt is amazing when you know it’s going to be hot. That’s one of the reasons I wear this bad boy to the beach or gym all the time.
Rocking the Icebreaker Merino V-Neck in Cartagena, Colombia.
As I’ve already mentioned, this is one of the lightest shirts I’ve ever worn. At 150 GSM, the shirt was designed to be an ultralight piece of clothing.
While this hinders the versatility of the shirt, i.e. you wouldn’t want to wear it on a date, it does offer other benefits. For example, this is a great shirt to hike all day in, as you’ll never experience chaffing.
Woolly Clothing Short Sleeve Henley Review
I’ve talked about why I think the Woolly Clothing Short Sleeve Henley is the best travel t-shirt before. Suffice to say – I’m a huge fan.
There aren’t many travel shirts that look stylish enough to mack some babes after you’ve worn the same damn shirt for a week straight.
The Woolly Henley can do that and more!
Enough with the hype, though. Let’s dive in and take a look at why this shirt rocks. Here’s a few things I love about this travel shirt:
I’m all for wearing a lightweight t-shirt to the gym or beach, but I don’t want something paper-thin when I’m going to the coworking space to work or going to grab dinner with buddies.
I want a shirt that has cotton-like thickness and looks good. That’s exactly what the Woolly Clothing Henley offers. This shirt is 190 GSM – nearly identical to cotton.
Stylish Travel Shirt
I find Henley shirts, whether long or short sleeve, to be a stylish alternative to a regular crew neck. The Woolly Henley is no different. This shirt looks damn good.
In fact, I’ve even worn the grey Woolly Short Sleeve Henley to the club and had absolutely no issues. While I wouldn’t recommend it often, it can be done.
This shirt looks good dressed up and dressed down. It’s one of the reason I believe it’s the best travel t-shirt available.
Great in Warm & Cold
As Woolly Clothing uses a thicker fabric here, you can wear this shirt from 50-82 degrees Fahrenheit and you’ll be pretty comfortable.
Merino is a unique fabric that works well in hot and cold. I’ve found 190 GSM to be an ideal thickness – where the shirt isn’t too thin to wear on a cooler night, but not too thick to wearing on a few hour hike.
While prices fluctuate on Amazon, you can generally buy a Woolly Clothing product for about 10-20% cheaper than a similar product from Icebreaker.
I found Woolly Clothing to be just as high quality as Icebreaker. Thus, I believe the company offers much better value for the average customer, especially when considering how pricey merino clothing can be.
Looking good in Woolly Clothing!
Icebreaker Merino Wool V-Neck Vs. Woolly Clothing Short Sleeve Henley?
I tried to keep this comparison as fair as possible. While I’m a fan of both products, I have to admit the Woolly Clothing Henley is a bit more my speed.
Overall, if you’re looking for a multi-use travel shirt that you can wear to social gatherings and throughout your day-to-day life, check out the Woolly Clothing Merino Wool Short Sleeve Henley.
If you want a gym or beach travel t-shirt, then give the Icebreaker Merino Wool Anatomica V-Neck a try. It’s a good shirt, but more of a baselayer. Get yours here.
Does travel clothing suck? Well, that depends a lot on who you ask.
Many a traveler has hit the road with bags packed to the brim – only to find out they packed way too much stuff.
So, they decide to switch things up and buy a bunch of traveling clothing next trip. Instead of traveling with a pair of nice shoes and a couple button downs, they only have merino wool t-shirts, hiking pants, and trekking boots.
After getting face controlled at one too many night clubs, they conclude that travel clothing sucks and only dirty bums wear it.
These intrepid travelers then flip back to overpacking and eventually, stop traveling altogether – because it’s just so inconvenient. Or whatever.
Looking good in merino wool clothing.
My Take On Travel Clothes
Now, I get the criticisms of travel clothes. The garments certainly aren’t perfect, but things have changed a lot in the last couple years.
Back in the day, brands like Icebreaker and Smart Wool were generally the only decent travel clothing options. And you were almost guaranteed to look like a goofy gringo if you rolled into a bar or nightclub rocking their outfits.
Sure, they worked great for a hike and only had to be washed once every week or so, but they were far from stylish.
Things have changed as of late.
There’s dozens of brands producing travel clothing with merino wool, synthetic fibers, and more. These brands focus on creating travel clothing that’s not only useful, but in many cases – stylish, too.
You could rock some travel pants and a button down from Outlier to nice clubs in NYC, Mexico City, or Bogota, Colombia and look damn good.
Hell, you could wear the same shirt and pants out three nights in a row on one bender of a weekend and still look solid. Trust me, I’ve done it.
Merino wool t-shirts and henleys are absolutely ideal for day-to-day wear, too. Even travel underwear and socks can save you considerable space in your luggage.
Instead of packing 8-12 pair of socks for a couple month jaunt, you only need 2-4 pair of merino wool socks. The same goes for travel underwear.
Tl:DR – Travel clothing doesn’t have to suck these days. There’s up and coming brands producing stylish, useful travel clothes designed to offer impressive functionality and look damn good.
Why People Say Travel Clothing Sucks
The criticisms of travel clothing are still valid. To many, travel clothes suck. And honestly, I get that. You see pictures of scrubby looking gringos rolling around in horrific outfits like this all the time:
Swag Team Six.
Does it have to be this way? No! But that’s the misconception many have of travel clothing. Many claim that…
Travel Clothing is Ugly
There’s definitely some truth to this. Certain brands simply haven’t found a way to produce good looking clothing that’s ideal for travel. Just look what blogger Laura Lopuch had to say about this issue (Source):
Yet that’s exactly what you end up doing when you dress in travel clothing. You’ll walk down a German cobblestone street and be mistaken for an Ikea bedspread. Or a senior citizen tour bus will drive past you, then screech to a halt, the driver thinking you’re a lost old lady, only to find you’re a healthy 30 year-old stomping around town in a dress that looks like your grandmother’s curtains.
Travel Clothing is Expensive
There’s no doubt about that. Travel clothing tends to be pricier than regular clothes. In fact, you can expect to pay 2-3X more for clothing designed for travelers. Just look at these prices:
$110 USD for a damn t-shirt…Brooooo! That’s pricey. However, there’s a flip side to this. These shirts are designed so you only need 2-3 of them to complete your wardrobe.
Instead of buying 8-10 shirts, you only need a couple. Essentially, you pay extra for quality products that last a long time.
Travel Clothing is Itchy and Uncomfortable
Many claim that merino wool clothing is itchy. Others claim that travel clothing just isn’t tailored to fit well and tends to be uncomfortable. Again, there’s some truth to that.
Just look what at what this guy had to say (Source):
I decided to try a few merino shirts, including icebreaker, and guess what? They still itch. Maybe a bit less than other wool shirts, but the itch is still there.
Does Travel Clothing Suck? A Nomad’s Guide
No, travel clothing doesn’t suck. In fact, it can be pretty damn awesome for those of us looking to travel light and look tight.
Merino wool doesn’t have to be itchy. Travel clothing doesn’t have to break the bank. You can look damn good in it, too.
P.S: Sorry, ladies. I can’t comment much on women’s travel clothing, as I haven’t worn any.
Here’s how to make traveling clothing work for you:
It’s a stylish shirt and my favorite piece of travel clothing. I wear one of these bad boys nearly everyday. They never smell and only need to be washed once a week.
~ Travel Underwear That Doesn’t Suck
Adding travel underwear to my wardrobe was one update I made in 2018. I was nervous about updating my underwear, but I eventually pulled the trigged and bought three pair.
And I’m thrilled I did! I absolutely love them. Instead of having 8+ pairs of underwear in my luggage, I have three pair of merino wool underwear. Outside of socks, this may be the easiest way to save tons of space in your luggage.
It’s pretty hard to find a pair of travel pants that not only looks good enough to hit the club in, but also are better than a pair of jeans. You only have to wash jeans after 3-4 big nights out.
So, why spend big bucks on a pair of travel pants?
Well, I used to think the same way. Then I tried on a pair of Outlier Slim Dungarees and my whole way of thinking changed. These pants look great, last forever, never smell, and only need to be cleaned after a week of daily wear.
I get compliments on my Outlier pants all the time and I wear them at least 4-5 days each week. They still look new!
This isn’t travel clothing of the old. Nowadays, you have options when looking to pack light and look tight.
Does travel clothing suck? Not at all. You just have to know which brands to buy from and where to look. There’s stylish items like Outlier travel pants and Woolly Clothing t-shirts that are sure to have you looking good.
With a little effort, you can throw together a great wardrobe that’ll all fit into one carry-on bag.
If you invest in merino wool clothing, then you’ll probably end up searching how to wash merino wool. I know I did before the first-time I wash my favorite travel shirt.
See, many of these garments are expensive. If you spend $50 USD on a t-shirt, then you’ll typically want to take great care of them. You don’t want to wash away $50 just because you didn’t pay attention to the care instructions.
Luckily, it’s pretty easy to take care of your merino clothing. If you’ve ever washed clothes before, you’ll have no issues keeping merino wool so fresh and so clean.
Smooth looking merino wool tank top.
How to wash merino wool the right way? Let’s dive in!
Before I give you my specific tips on how to wash merino wool travel clothing and best practices, there’s something you should do…
Read the care instructions on any and every merino garment you plan to wash. Find out exactly how the manufacturer wants you to wash then items.
If you read the care label on a merino wool product and follow the instructions, you’ll avoid 99.9% of problems. The care label was designed with the advice needed to ensure your travel clothes last as long as possible.
If I follow these tips, I’m confident my merino tank top will last a long time through heavy gym use.
When buying any merino wool clothing, always start by reading the care label. Then simply follow the instructions when it’s time to wash the garment.
You’ll typically find the care label on a tag or around the neckline of the shirt. Care instructions are also often printed on paper and packaged with the item – to ensure you know how to care for the product.
For merino wool tank tops and t-shirts, you shouldn’t have much issue when washing the garments. Just follow these instructions and you should be good to go:
Get the Shirt Really Dirty: Feel free to wear your shirt to the gym 3-4 straight days or go on a four-hour hike in your merino clothes. The sturdy fabric can handle it and more!
Turn Inside Out: I ALWAYS turn my merino clothing inside out before I throw the apparel in the wash. I read about turning my merino travel socks inside out and started doing it with all my merino clothing. It seems to extend longevity.
Throw in the Washer: Throw the merino wool shirt in the washing machine. While like colors are preferable, it’s not a huge deal to mix and match after the first few washes.
Merino swagger with a machete!
Run on Cold: Many a merino shirt says warm or cool. I do all my laundry on cold. I recommend you do, too. Merino wool does great being washed in cold or cool water.
Soft, Gentle Detergent: Make sure to us a soft, gentle detergent with merino wool. No chlorine or bleach products.
Hang to Dry: While you can tumble dry merino clothing on low, I’d recommend hang drying or air drying merino clothing, especially t-shirts. These products dry quickly due to the nature of the wool.
Wait 3-8 Hours: It’ll take 3-8 hours for your merino clothing to fully dry – depending on the climate and how wet the apparel was when taken out of the machine. Now, you merino clothing is clean and ready to be worn, again.
Can You Hand Wash Merino Wool?
Of course! Merino wool is the premier fabric for travelers, so you can definitely wash it by hand when need be. Hand washing is a simple process, especially when you only have a few merino travelers’ clothes to clean.
To start, run some warm or cool water in the sink or a basin. Add just a little bit of gentle laundry detergent. Then add the pieces of merino clothing you want to clean. Allow the merino clothing to soak up some water and detergent as you move them around. Then let the apparel sit in the water for ten minutes or so.
Solid merino wool Henley after a hand washing.
Next, remove the clothing one by one. Rinse the items under the faucet for 20-30 seconds and make sure all the detergent is removed from the fabric.
Now, you take each pieces of clothing individually and wrap a towel around them. Next, roll the garment into the towel and apply pressure so the towel absorbs some excess liquid.
Then lay out the piece of merino clothing to air dry, preferably in the sun somewhere. In 3-8 hours, your clothing will be like new, again. Dry and ready to be worn.
How to Wash Merino Wool Clothing
It’s not difficult to wash or care for merino clothing. Just follow the instructions above and you’ll be good to go. The most important thing you can do is read the care instructions on any product you buy and follow them closely.
I was about to order my first merino wool travel shirt. I was excited. I’d done some research. But I was still concerned. Wool wasn’t a lightweight, ideal travel fabric in my mind. I had to know…Is merino wool itchy?
The Internet came to my rescue. I read forums and reviews. No one talked about merino wool being an itchy fabric. So I decided to pull the trigger and buy a travel t-shirt.
TL:DR – Is merino wool itchy? No. Merino wool is not itchy at all. Keep reading to find out why and see the best merino shirts for travelers.
Looking mad stylish in a merino wool t-shirt!
Is Merino Wool Itchy?
My first travel t-shirt came in. I was excited. I ripped open the package and tore off my shirt. It was time to try this thing on ASAP. I ran my fingers through the soft fabric and gave the shirt a quick smell.
Merino wool was soft and it didn’t have an odor. I put the shirt on. It felt amazing. There was no itch. Merino wool was soft and smooth. The fabric was nothing like the wool that suits were made out of.
I was impressed. I looked in the mirror. Merino had a unique sheen to it. The t-shirt didn’t itch. In fact, it felt great and looked way better than your average cotton t-shirt.
Now, I ended up not being a huge fan of my first experience with merino wool. But I fell in love with merino as the ideal fabric for travelers.
If you’re liked me, you probably heard the word “wool” and immediately thought that merino would be one itchy, uncomfortable fabric. Luckily, merino wool isn’t anything like the wool your grandpa used to rock.
Many associate itchiness with wool due to the diameter of the fibers found in typical wool. In “normal” wool garments, the fibers are large, broad, and are not too flexible. This means they’ll often aggravate the skin when pressed up. The fibers simply cannot bend when pressed against the skin, so they feel prickly and itchy.
Easy to ditch the itch with merino wool!
Merino wool doesn’t have this issue. You won’t feel itchy when wearing merino because the fibers of the fabric are much finer than traditional wool garments. With a small diameter, these merino fibers have flexibility and bend when pressed against the skin.
This means merino wool feels soft and comfortable when on your body. As well, the finer nature of these fibers allows merino wool to be elastic in nature. Many merino t-shirts conform to the body of the wearer. Thus, fit travelers tend to look fantastic in merino clothing.
Best Merino Wool Travel Clothes
As I’m such a big fan of merino wool, especially for travelers, I’ve tested a plethora of clothing made from the fabric. While I may not be an expert, I’ve certainly found my favorite merino wool t-shirts, tank tops, and travel socks.
If you’re looking to add stylish, non-itchy merino wool clothing to your wardrobe, check out these articles:
Is merino wool itchy? Not at all! The fabric is fine and will feel great on your skin. I promise. For minimalist and travelers alike, merino wool is the ideal fabric for a variety of clothing garments. Highly recommended.
What is merino wool? After a little experimenting with the unique fabric, I believe I’m qualified to answer that question.
See, I have a love-hate relationship with merino wool. Some merino clothing is stylish while offering a plethora of benefits for travelers. Other merino shirts look like trash and should be avoided be anyone who strives to not look like garbage on a daily basis.
While some travelers clothing looks fantastic, other pieces don’t. Still, there’s a lot to love about the unique fabric. So let’s dive in and learn a little more…what is merino wool?
First and foremost, merino is a breed of sheep. Originating in Spain, the breed was sent across seas to Australia and New Zealand nearly two centuries ago.
Since then, farmers in both countries have taken to developing the finest wool from merino sheep. But what makes merino sheep different from regular ones and their wool?
Merino sheep have developed a fleece that is made for extremes. Their wool is insulating and warm in the cold winter months, but still breathable and refreshing in the hot summer months.
Regular sheep would freeze to death in the extremes where merino live, like the New Zealand Southern Alps. But merinos flourish in the area due to their unique fleece that handles both temperature extremes, is extremely lightweight, and quite soft.
Why Travelers Love Merino Wool?
Travelers adore merino wool because the fabrics works. Nature can’t afford mistakes. The fabric was field-tested by animals living in extreme climates that are super hot in the summers and crazy cold in the winters.
If nature fails, the sheep will die. But nature didn’t make a mistake and merino sheep are still found in New Zealand and Australia to this day. Thus, travelers have the luxury of wearing merino wool clothing while on the road.
But what are the benefits of merino wool? Well, they’re vast:
Ideal in Every Climate
The biggest benefit of wearing merino wool clothing is temperature control. I can wear a merino wool shirt in 85 degree weather and not feel hot, but I can also throw the same shirt on a 45 degree day and still feel comfortable.
Due to the unique nature of merino wool, the clothing is ideal and hot and cold weather. The fleece was created by nature to protect sheep from hot and cold weather throughout some of the toughest regions on earth.
Merino wool offers better odor control than nearly every other fabric on the market. You can hit a huge workout in the gym, cover the shirt in sweat, and then set it over a chair to dry. The next day the shirt will be good as new and you won’t smell a single foul odor from it.
Merino’s unique odor blocking properties stem from the fabric’s complex chemical structure that locks in odor and actively removes bacteria – which can cause bad smells. If you’re active on the road and looking to manage bad smells, merino clothing is a MUST.
Rocking that merino wool shirt!
Ability to Travel Light
Due to merino wool’s unique abilities, it’s easy to travel light while wearing the fabric. Merino allows travelers to cut the clothing they pack in half – if not more. You only need a few t-shirts and tank tops when traveling with merino wool.
Personally, I own three merino wool t-shirts and two merino wool tank tops. For regular shirts, I don’t need anything else. If I had to, I could travel with one merino shirt and one merino tank top and be perfectly fine.
Stay Dry Capabilities
Merino wool is the original “Dri-Fit” fabric. Nike is just too cheap to use it. The fabric transfers moisture away from the body, which allows you to stay nice and dry while rocking your merino shirt.
Merino fibers have the ability to absorb over 35% of its dry weight in moisture while still looking and feeling completely dry to the touch. Due to the nature of the fabric, you’re less likely to sweat and sweat is less likely to absorb into your clothing.
Easy to Care For
Merino wool doesn’t need to be washed often. You can wear each piece of merino clothing 3-7 times before you need to wash it. The fabric doesn’t smell and naturally removes bacteria.
When it is time to wash everything, you can wash merino in the sink or washing machine. Just make sure to use cold water and turn the shirts inside out. Then let them air dry and your merino clothing will be ready to roll the next morning.
While merino may seem perfect on paper, many have wondered whether the fabric is comfortable. I’m here to tell you it is. Merino wool is exceptionally comfortable. It’s soft and feels great draped over the body. Cotton and Dri-Fit fabrics simply cannot compete with the comfort found in merino wool travel clothes.
More merino wool style.
Merino Wool Clothing For the Road
What is merino wool? While the question may come to mind, you probably also would like to see some merino wool products and find out if merino clothing could be for you.
If that’s you, check out a few of my reviews on merino wool products:
What is Merino Wool? Your Go-To Guide to the Ideal Fabric For Travelers
Curious what is merino wool? The information above should answer your question while explaining while many a traveler loves the unique fabric. If you plan to hit the road or just want to live a minimalist lifestyle, merino wool is the ideal fabric for all your clothing.