Sugoi (So Unbelievably Good (Or Incredible))
Swobo (Sadly Wears Out Before Others)
About a year ago, in one of my seasonal frostbite-fuelled spending sprees, I ordered two merino jerseys, from Minx. They were too gorgeous to choose between, so I bought them both. One was from Swobo, the other from Sugoi. Both were made of New Zealand wool, and flattered me in totally different ways. The Swobo one was black and chic; the Sugoi one was grey and sleek. They kept me warm on cold days, and stopped me from smelling too awful. I was delighted with them.
But this soon changed. Within a couple of months, the Swobo jersey had two holes in the back: one in the pocket, where I’d been keeping my phone, and the other where the seam between the pockets joins the main body of the jersey (inconveniently the main pressure point of my bag). I blamed myself for treating it too roughly, and started wearing a gilet over it, to protect it. But it carried on unravelling, and now, a year later, it looks something like this:
See all the holes? It’s also worn so thin that it’s transparent in places (which is why I’m protecting my modesty in the first photo). I’ve been reluctant to give it a bad review, because it was a really lovely jersey when it was brand new, but it’s really not fit for purpose – unless you’re only planning to wear it for a gentle canal path pootle (with panniers) once or twice a summer.
The Sugoi jersey, on the other hand, became – and remains – one of my favourite pieces of kit. It does everything you’d expect from merino – it keeps me warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and it somehow magics away all the bad smells, so that I can wear it for days on end without people starting to avoid me. It’s lovely and soft and cosy. It’s also extremely flattering – it’s cut quite long, so gives me a nice sleek silhouette, and is about as elegant as it’s possible to look in what is technically sportswear. Because of this, I started to wear it all the time. Seriously. I wear it for work, as a base layer and on its own. I wear it at the weekend. I wear it with jeans. I wear it to the pub. I wear it on dates. I even sometimes wear it in bed.
And despite all this – it’s still going strong! It must have undergone several times the number of courier days that the Swobo one did, and endured my heavy bag swinging across it about 50 times a day, and yet its only hole is a tiny snag in one sleeve, where I caught it on something. It costs about £90, and is worth every penny.
Here’s a picture – and alongside it is the new one I bought today (in black; it also comes in red), complete with ninja-style hood. So now I’ll be able to wash it slightly more often!