Around five (or more) years ago I was introduced to my first icebreaker. It was black with a green stripe down each arm. It cost a fortune, but I needed it anyway. Desperately. Thus commenced a severe addiction that shows no sign of abating.
Icebreakers are thermal garments knit of fine-spun Merino wool. Made in NZ, they are machine washable and wonderful. Back then, they were mainly available in a mid-weight, 'jumper' style. As the years have progressed, however, the range has diversified. Now you can get just about anything in the icebreaker range -- from thermals, jumpers, long-sleeved tops, T-shirts, polo-necks . . . even underwear.
My first icebreaker was bought for a purpose: travel to cold climates, in this case Nepal. Icebreakers are notoriously warm and, being ideal for layering, extremely travel-friendly. However, they have also proved to be excellent casual wear.
My second icebreaker was a lightweight long-sleeved top, grey, with some geometric design on the front. This one is ideal for day wear, and has proven fantastic for early morning walks to work -- particularly when coupled with icebreaker #1.
The combination worked so well, in fact, that it spawned a need for icebreakers #3 and #4 last winter. Icebreaker #3 is a black long-sleeved lightweight top, while #4 is a dusky pink mid-weight 'jumper' in the style of #1. The lightweight tops in particular are just so practical that it simply doesn't matter how much they cost to begin with -- they're worth it!
Which brings me to today. Snowgum (shrine of icebreaker here in Australia) had them on sale. So of course I had to go so I could introduce myself to icebreakers #5 and #6. The fifth one is another long-sleeved lightweight top, this one in a soft faun colour. I have no doubt I will get heaps of wear from it. It joins icebreakers #2 and #3 in my everyday wardrobe.
Icebreaker #6, however is the ultimate in icebreaker. It's a zip-fronted, expedition-weight 'jacket' in the style of a close-fitting fleece. It's slimline enough to fit underneath my goretex jacket, yet will easily fit over one of the tops. It's designed for high-performance mountain sports (!!), but it's also smart enough to wear casually and even to work. It's oh-so-warm and, being ultra ultra-fine merino wool, breathes.
Unfortunately it was not on sale. But that fact was irrelevant. This was love, obsession, covetousness.
I had to have it. I succumbed. I am wearing it now.
I will probably wear it every day for the foreseeable future.