When hot flashes abate, the other end of the body-temp spectrum kicks in, assisted by air conditioning or blasts of wind.
The shirt you'd hoped to wear three seasons is suddenly limited to a month. And travel! If ever caught touring when your thin cotton sweater might as well be transparent, you will welcome the Third Layer, an underlayer that adds warmth, not bulk.
The new microfibers
I have collected a supply of camisoles and lingerie tanks in Montréal, a famously frigid city, so when Adea offered me a test of one of their Italian-milled microfiber pieces, I accepted. (This is the only piece in the post that I did not buy myself.)
They sent a black spaghetti-strap cami ($49), which I wore for several weeks, testing it against similar ones already in my drawer: a poly-stretch cami (about $15 on sale from Lord & Taylor), a Cuddl Duds "climatesmart" (polyester) tank ($26 from The Bay), and a Hanro Touch-feeling microfiber ($90 from Garnet Hill).
The last two, along with the Adea, market themselves as "breathable" microfiber, wicking moisture away from the skin.
While the L&T cami will bathe me in clammy sweat if I walk too quickly, the other products calmly adjust; I've worn them both indoors and out, in temperatures from 39F (4C) to about 70F (21C).
|Adea spaghetti-strap cami|
The hand was springier and more velvety than the L&T piece, no surprise, and as beautifully finished as the Hanro, but a touch thicker. Hands-down nicer than Cuddl Duds, which pilled at the underarm.
Normally I prefer natural fibers, but Adea and Hanro are clearly the sleek new generation of synthetics.
If the tee styles peeked from under a sweater or jacket, it won't look like my underwear is showing.
Many of Adea's camis, tanks and layering pieces are made in a dazzling range of colour; in the dead of winter, chiffon (a soft yellow) or rose red deliver a distinct lift. They offer the neutrals, too, in Italian hues like espresso and butercream.
The 3/4 sleeve scoopneck layering top would travel from airline cabin to bistro dinner. Price, $74. (The 3/4 sleeve V-neck layering top is $20 more. Why?) And since it breathes, you could even sleep in one!
A luxurious Third Layer is a thoughtful gift, and, in an unexpected shade like eggplant (shown above) makes a piquant surprise for une femme frileuse.
Sizing ranges from 2 (US 0-4) to 3x (US 20-22); see the size chart on the site, here. Adea provide a 30-day return policy and free shipping to Canada and the US.
Silk insulates, breathes and washes well, so I wear and recommend Lands' End's silk pointelle; price for a sleeveless tank, $40. My LE top is not as huggy as the microfibers, nor is the colour as fast; the black fades over time.
Hanro's 70% wool/30 & 30 % silk blend Warmwear is terrific too, but at $110 for a short-sleeved v-neck, a premium-priced chill chaser.
I also have a couple of fine merino base layers, similar to MacPac's merino cami; price, about $39. This is a sportier piece, useful for cycling, climbing or skating, but a little heavy once you get indoors. On the road, you need at least a full overnight to dry them after handwashing.
In summary, the high-quality microfibers are versatile and launder beautifully, drying in a few hours. The merinos are good for sports—some are treated to resist odor-causing microbes—but may be too casual for other occasions. Fine silk knit is a good light insulator, especially if you don't tolerate wool, but the colour range is limited to neutrals and pastels, and when it shows, it looks exactly like what it is, your underwear.
I'd take the microfibers on a trip, hands down; their usefulness makes the cost bearable.
Have you found your sensitivity to cold has changed? How do you manage?