You grew up in cotton t-shirts and you loved them; but then you started working out, and you heard that cotton will kill you. So you ditched the fabric in favor of "technical" workout t-shirts, usually made of polyester or another synthetic fiber. And that turned out OK. You're not dead. The tech-fiber garments do indeed wick away moisture. But you know what they are not? Comfortable. Sadly, most are not.
Here's where the story takes a happy turn. Meet the Carrollton, a shirt from up-and-coming performance apparel company tasc (the lowercase spelling is intentional). The very first time you touch this shirt, you feel like you're dealing something completely different—in a good way:
How is the Carrollton an upgrade over a typical tech-fiber shirt? Let's count the ways:
Most technical tees are itchy. The Carrollton is not.
The Carrollton shirt is cotton-level soft to the touch. But when you work out in it, you can enjoy all of the sweat-wicking benefits of synthetic fabric. You can also relax in the Carrollton, and you'll be completely cozy. Not only that, you'll actually look good. Why? Because . . .
Whereas many technical t-shirts are boxy, the Carrollton has more of a tailored cut that is flattering to most athletic builds.
Notice we wrote "tailored," not "tight." This isn't one of those spandex blends that ends up looking like a sausage casing on anyone other than Adrian Peterson. The fit is true-to-form, and the garment flows comfortably when you move.
And in perhaps the biggest coup of all . . .
The Carrollton is an anti-stink shirt.
A dirty little secret in the tech shirt world is that the pores that make the shirts so good at wicking away moisture are also great at collecting odor-producing germs. "Those nooks and crannies were a perfect place for bacteria to collect," Craig Vanderoef, then an apparel product manager for Brooks and today a director of running apparel at adidas, once said in an interview with Runner's World. "When you reintroduced moisture and warmth the next time the garment was worn, they came back to life and multiplied like crazy."
The Carrollton avoids this pernicious problem because it's made from a blend of organic cotton with viscose from bamboo—yes, the plant that grows from the ground. The processing required to turn bamboo into something you can wear must involve some chemicals, but it sure seems like a more natural starting point for a shirt than polyester, which is made of coal, water, air and petroleum. So for now we'll call that a win too.
But again, the biggest story here is comfort. Wearing this shirt feels a lot more like wearing a comfortable cotton t-shirt than you get out of most technical tees. You can try one yourself by going to tascperformance.com, where you'll find many different styles to choose from. And you can get 15 percent off your order by signing up for their email list.
Here's a direct link to the Carrollton on tasc's website.
And you can find more gift ideas for athletes in STACK's 2016 Holiday Gift Guide.
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