Note: this shirt was provided for review purposes.
The merino button down market is crowded, but diverse. It spans from shirts that easily blend into the office, to shirts that you almost wonder if they are best suited for pajamas. Unbound Merino set out to create an exceptional merino wool button down that can easily be worn untucked for exploration, or tucked in for business. I’ve been testing it now for sometime, and it’s really great.
The shirt is a heavy 56% merino wool, 44% organic cotton blend. I don’t have a fabric weight for it, but I will say it is as heavy as the Outlier NYCO Oxfords that I have — which was the most surprising part. I think that weight helps the looks a lot.
Overall the material looks like cotton, but is soft like nice merino can be. It’s stealth — no one will know this is anything different. Great hand feel.
The biggest question for me with this shirt was how well it would resist odors, with almost half the material being cotton. What’s surprising is that I was never able to get it to stink — even after wearing it flying twice without washing. The odor resistance is equal to that of any other merino garment which is surprising and impressive.
The next factor with this shirt is the weight, as it is heavier than any other merino button down I have. I wore it both in Houston heat, and the dry climate of Arizona — and in both settings it performed well. It wears a touch warmer than my other wool shirts, but still breathes really well.
What the weight really gains you is structure, and from a performance aspect that plays out to a shirt that wrinkles far less than a standard thin merino shirt. It will wrinkle, but when it does it typically will not look bad — still wearable.
I think the biggest performance hit is that the shirt sits trim and can restrict arm movement a bit more than I am used to at this point for performance shirting.
Fit & Style
I absolutely love the fit and style of this shirt. It’s a classic oxford button down in every way. The drape is exceptional, and the cut is very modern. It looks sharp.
Let’s first talk about the collar — which is top notch. Of all the shirts I have, the collar on this one is easily the best. Ditto the cuffs.
Where this shirt has the most trouble is when you want to go tuck it in. On my body the length of the shirt is about a half inch shorter than I would want it for tucking in. I never had issue with the shirt, I just needed to make sure to check the back of the shirt when I stood up. So you can easily pass it off tucked in if you want, but if that’s your primary use case there are better options.
This shirt is simply more casual in looks and is best worn untucked.
I’ve really come to love this shirt, and if you are someone who generally wears a button down untucked as your look — you could buy both colors of this shirt and be set for everything. It’s a very versatile and durable feeling shirt. I wish there were more color options, but that’s nitpicking.
As a travel shirt, this is probably among the best out there, and will easily be my flying go to from here forward. Great stuff.