After reviewing Outlier’s Ramielust T-Shirt, I was waiting on the edge of my seat from them to drop some more ramie gear. They released the Ramienorth Pivot, Ramielight Breezy Pivot, Ramielight Camp Collar Shortsleeve, and Ramielight Mojave Shortsleeve. So many choices, I went with the Ramienorth for the heavier weight and better nipple coverage. I’ve now been testing it for many weeks and doing so in a climate the shirt was made for: the hot and humid summer of Houston, TX.
There’s something fun about wearing a long sleeve shirt when the feels like index hits 105°F and still feeling comfortable. Well, as comfortable as you can possibly be.
This is straightforward, 100% Ramie woven in a 200gsm cloth. It is a really heavy fabric, and as such is not the most breathable fabric. I’ll get more into that later, but for now the fabric itself.
This shirt is very prone to wrinkles, similar to linen, but a different type of wrinkles. These are more along the lines of creases, which can be quite annoying. They drop out quickly if you steam the shirt, but release very gradually if you decide to just wear the shirt.
The big thing with this shirt is the hand feel. The Ramie is decently rough feeling, bordering on scratchy to some with more sensitive skin. I notice it when I put it on, but after a few minutes I don’t notice it again. One thing to note is that the Ramienorth is a completely different feeling and looking fabric than the Ramielust we tested. The Ramielust is like an open weave with a slight sheen, whereas the north is like an oxford workshirt with a true matte finish.
One nice thing about the weight of this, the drape is fantastic and the rigidity of the fabric gives a really nice look to the shirt.
Fit and Style
First, let me start with the Pivot sleeve. This is something only Outlier does, I believe they have a patent on it or something. Here’s the thing, it’s the best sleeve out there. Tons of motion without a need for stretch in the garment. It’s dangerous, because you forget you are wearing a light colored, rather expensive shirt and probably shouldn’t be moving around furniture and stuff. Anyways…
This shirt has a great cut and a fantastic fit. I have absolutely no complaints about any of it, top marks at every turn.
Here’s the big question: how does this shirt feel when you are wearing it in 95°F sunny weather with 78% humidity and a dew point hovering at 75°F (for those who don’t know, that’s pretty darn hot and leads to something feeling well over 100°F). This shirt works, and it works insanely well.
Ramie works better than linen down here in Houston, and not just because of the moisture wicking. Let me back up. This shirt dries absurdly fast, I would say it is the fastest drying button down I have, by a decent margin — even over synthetic shirts. It is almost wearable straight out of the washing machine, certainly wearable in a couple hours. Because of that, it keeps you really cool, but because of the weight you don’t get cold like you can with the Ramielust shirt.
Here’s the deal, in hot climates like Houston most of your time is spent quickly moving from one AC area to the next. With periods of “why do we live here, oh my god” in between those zones. Ok, yes, I did wear this around outside and all that, but here’s the thing. This shirt performs very well when you are in the heat, but where most ‘cool’ shirts fall down is back in the AC. Because you want to be comfortable inside and outside.
That’s where this shirt is a home run. When you come inside it doesn’t give you chills wearing this shirt. I suspect this is because it is not as breathable as the Ramielust, or even a standard linen shirt. That does hurt you a little in cooling outside (get the Ramielight to solve that), but it really helps you out once you get into the AC. Which is where I want to be anyways.
This is the best performing shirt I have found for Houston weather. Hands down.
My Twitter summary review then is: So good, I wish I could wear it to work. I partly bought the Ramienorth thinking it might be able to work in the office on say Friday. I don’t think I can, it’s to sloppy looking with the rumples and wrinkles the shirt gets. Just like how it is hard to pull that off with linen, it is hard with Ramie. That’s fine, because I wear this shirt a ton. I can only get about 1-2 wears out of it, but it dries so fast I simply wash it after every wear.