I’ve accumulated a few good pieces of cold weather gear over the years, but I’m finding myself needing more of it this year. So, the hunt is on! This first round will cover tops, but I’ll also be featuring a round of some cold weather bottoms soon, too.
Oiselle lux funnel neck
This mock neck top was a bit of a wildcard for me. First of all, this was my first time trying Oiselle. Besides that, I don’t have anything quite like this top. It has a similar look to lululemon’s morning miles top, but at a slightly lower price. It’s not really your standard running gear look, but a little more subtle. The mock neck adds both style and a little extra warmth.
The design of the top itself is pretty simple. The only extra feature is the thumbholes. The best thing about this top is definitely the fabric. It’s incredibly soft and feels great against the skin. The fabric is a medium weight that’s thicker than a standard long sleeve but not as thick as a full-on thermal fabric.
The size 2 fits similarly on me as it does on the model. Slightly relaxed, but not overly loose. The size 2 is listed as equivalent to XS, so I would say it fits true to size or slightly small, depending on your desired fit.
Although it’s simple, I really like this top. The design is simple but effective, and the fabric is lovely. I’m keeping this one.
Oiselle wazzy wool half zip
Another top from Oiselle that I took a chance on. The allure of this top, as the name suggests, is that it’s almost all merino wool with just a little spandex for stretch. In the past, I’ve avoided wool because it bothered my skin, but I’ve been trying to give it another chance. I absolutely love my Tracksmith wool blend tank, so I thought Oiselle’s wool might be a winner, too. This color is a pretty medium shade of blue, and was especially appealing since color options seem few and far between right now.
The merino is quite lightweight, think t-shirt thickness. Wool is known to have excellent thermal properties, but in very cold temperatures, I expect you’d want to layer this for adequate warmth. Although the fabric is soft, unfortunately it still seemed to bother my skin. I didn’t love how it felt.
I found the fit to be pretty boxy. It’s meant to be a relaxed fit, but even with that in mind, it still fits pretty large. I purchased this in a size 2, which, as above, they consider equivalent to XS. I recommend sizing down in this top.
The features on the top are relatively simple. You have your standard issue thumbholes and 1/2 zip. There’s also a large side zip pocket that fits my phone inside, but it seems like it would bounce around a lot during a run, particularly given the loose fit.
Overall, both the fit and fabric weren’t ideal for me, so it was an easy decision to return.
Athleta stowe hoodie
I really liked the look of this hoodie for layering for both running and winter hiking. I purchased this in an XXS and the cut is on the generous side to allow for layering. For a more fitted look, size down. It comes down to the mid/low hip, which helps with warmth.
The warmth factor for this top is pretty high. It’s a thicker fabric. While the outside has a smooth, slightly silky feel, the inside of the fabric is soft with a brushed, fleecy feel. It’s quite cozy compared to most technical tops. I really like the weight, warmth, and feel of the top. If you’re looking for good warmth for your outdoor workouts, the stowe hoodie definitely delivers on that front.
As for other design elements… The hood is fairly shallow to keep it from being bulky. The front collar also comes up slightly higher, so when you have the hood up you have a bit of neck protection. The collar took some fussing to get it to lie in a way that didn’t feel annoying against my neck since the hood tends to draw the collar back toward your neck. From the back, the hem and arced seaming is reminiscent of the stronger hoodie that I also have.
The hoodie has a couple reflective accents at the back and the cuffs, but they’re fairly subtle. Abyss is a beautiful deep teal, more on the green side of teal rather than blue-ish.
My main issue with this top is the front view. You can see there’s a very conspicuous seam running right across the front. The hoodie already has a relaxed fit, and the seam makes it look twice as boxy. In my view, it turns an otherwise cute top with good potential to something bland.
In addition to the kangaroo pocket at the front, the right side has an extra zip pocket for your phone or anything else you’re worried might fall out. The top also has thumbholes, but does not have fold-over cuffs.
Overall, this top had potential to be a fantastic winter running/outdoor hoodie, but the awkward, boxy front look doomed it for me, so I reluctantly decided to return it. If you don’t think those aspects would bother you, I’d definitely suggest checking it out, because everything else about this top is great.