Your New Favorite Summer Tee Might Be Made Out of…Wool?

As someone who’s always on the hunt for the perfect T-shirt, I have a lot of them. My drawer is jammed with a few dozen blank tees from at least 16 different brands. They range from cheap bulk buys to esoteric rarities, but they’re all made from 100% cotton without any synthetics. In that sense, I’m a T-shirt purist. So when I came across Proof’s 72-Hour Merino tee, I wasn’t so keen on the idea of a non-cotton version—let alone one made of wool—hugging my torso during the height of summer.

Merino wool’s wondrous properties are well-documented. It’s insulating, sure, the perfect fabric to keep you cozy in the form of a turtleneck sweater. But it’s also quick-drying, moisture-wicking, antimicrobial, and temperature-regulating, not to mention more durable than cotton—in short, an ideal summer fiber. If those sound more like the type of performance specs developed in a lab than the doings of good ol’ Mother Nature, you might want to check your skepticism, at least temporarily. Because on top of all that, Proof claims their shirt is durable and comfortable enough to wear for three days straight—without smelling! Sound a little too good to be true? Agreed. So I decided to check it out for myself. 

Frankly, I wasn’t prepared for how soft the 72-Hour tee is. At first feel, it’s almost comically lightweight and unexpectedly silky, more like tissue paper than a T-shirt meant to handle the rigors of outdoor excursions or a long weekend upstate. But the fabric is stretchy and impressively durable. (It’s made with a healthy helping of nylon for extra strength, so it’s machine washable too.) When I first put it on, I could tell pretty fast that it was more breathable than its cotton counterparts. And at the end of a hot and humid New York City day, I didn’t notice the usual dampness I associate with my other T-shirts, no matter how airy. The fabric wasn’t sopping wet, and, blessedly, it wasn’t clinging to my skin.

Huckberry Proof 72-Hour Merino Tee – Black

Merino wool’s technical prowess was enough to pique my interest, but the fabric also lends the shirt something most people wouldn’t consider—a really great drape. Merino wool has an elegant, dressy feel that’s almost bouncy, so it won’t make you look like you’re swimming in a smoothie of synthetic materials. Proof uses a super-fine, 16.5 micron version of the fabric—not quite in line with the standards of a Loro Piana suit, but leagues above those plastic-wrapped multipack options. Plus, the silhouette is slim, which makes it great as an undershirt. (If you prefer your tees big and boxy, this one’s not for you.) 

As for Proof’s grand claims of odorlessness…well, it likely varies on a case by case basis. At the end of its three day run (I’m nothing if not committed), the tee wasn’t floating in a cloud of my personal bouquet. That said, I have the luxury of a washing machine at my disposal. But if I could only throw one T-shirt in a carry-on, I’m probably packing Proof’s over the conventional cotton options.

Is it a bit pricey for a plain, solid-colored tee? Absolutely. It’s easy to see where your money goes, though. And if you’re looking to trim the fat in your T-shirt drawer, you could make it through the week on just two or three of these (though the 21 different colors might compel you to buy a whole bunch more). So take it from me, a (semi)professional T-shirt connoisseur: If you’re looking for the one tee that’ll help you survive summer feeling your freshest, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better alternative—but you should definitely still wash it. 

Huckberry Proof 72-Hour Merino Tee – Navy

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