Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Conversion

By my own admission, I'm not a shopaholic. I don't even consider myself a "shopper". In fact, I don't like actually going to a store to buy clothes; I tend to be a situational shopper- I just find something I like while out and about or grocery shopping or traveling, whatever the particular situation.

So it is with great astonishment, as I see my closet is filling up, that I have to admit that not only do I like to shop (online) but that I have an obsession with a particular brand of wool clothing, Ibex. It began so innocently with an order of their super-soft 17.5 micron merino wool polo shirt. I loved it and it was on sale so I bought 2 more in different colors. They fit well, are versatile and styled nicely. This was happening around the same time that I convinced my bike club, COGS, to get wool jerseys with the club name on it.

With Ibex, I figured that their softest merino clothes are beautiful, durable, less stinky than synthetics and a hell of a lot cheaper than the Scottish cashmere that I had been dreaming of, so I allotted myself some shopping funds and headed off to their website.

I got an email from Ibex one day and their full-zip sweaters were on sale and in a deep red color that would accentuate my dark hair. I bought one and, again, it fit well, with sleeves long enough for me yet still just right in the torso, something that is increasingly hard to find. Then I found that my rain gear wasn't quite up to snuff and Ibex makes a softshell Pingo jacket (not to be confused with pinga, a word in Spanish that you shouldn't use) and it was on sale. Oh, and just for fun, I threw in a pair of their boy shorts to wear snowshoeing. Maybe that's a little too personal but I couldn't believe that wearing wool undies could be so comfortable. I was on a trip and accidentally sat on my hydration tube, soaking myself to the skin. But the wool kept me warm and they dried in a flash.

Then, I received confirmation that I was an addict. Ibex sent me a survey, promising free shipping for life in return for answering a few simple questions. Well, you can only imagine where that has lead to. While the ordinary people (like you) have to pay tax and shipping, I am spared the latter. And they always either have stuff I want on sale or price reductions in their outlet. And they are so nice in reminding me with friendly emails.

Recently, just when I thought I had kicked the habit, I was lured by their 50% off sale and decided to finally purchase a longsleeve top I had admired since last season. The Razzle, a jacquard print top with shaping darts and an invisible 13-inch zipper made in their softest merino wool. It makes these cool August days more bearable because I get to wear my new, classy Ibex wool top.

Where this will all lead to, I don't know. Am I a more enlightened person because I am converting my closet into wool? Are there a bunch of New Zealand sheep out there who are standing around, shivering in the cold? I don't know the answer but if you want to start an addiction of your own, Ibex can be found at their website and also (usually) at Second Ascent in Ballard.

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