I have been looking for a new cycling jersey recently. It was supposed to be a short sleeve one, made in 100% of lightweight wool. And also one that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. It turned out to be a nearly impossible task.
First, I looked at Rapha. They make some pretty nice jerseys! I really like the colors and styling - they don't try to look too much retro but also they don't have team logos and brand names all over the place. They are made of 100% Merino wool. Great! Unfortunately, at $200 and more a piece, they are ridiculously expensive. I gave up on Rapha.
Then I checked what Ibex sells. Much smaller selection here. A few wool jerseys, starting at $120. Still not cheap, although I like the green Indie Freeride. I decided to look further.
Then I found Swvre. Not many wool products there. Plus, from the pictures on their website I figured that since I am not a hipster and I am not planning on growing a full-face beard, I don't deserve Swrve products.
I looked at a couple more websites but I couldn't find anything that would look relatively plain, be made of 100% wool and be reasonably priced. Then, I ended up ordering Minus33 703 Lightweight Crew Neck Top. It was a no-brainer at $47. Especially that I already have their 705 Midweight Crew Neck Top and I really like it. Now I have a lighter, short-sleeve version of it. Of course, it is not a cycling jersey. Maybe that's why it costs so much less. But I have hard time noticing any significant differences between those tops and real jerseys. They are equally comfortable and compared to a jersey they lack a zipper (I don't need one anyway) and... back pockets. Seriously, from the functional standpoint, those back pockets are the only feature I am missing here. Hmm... it seems that attaching back pockets to Merino wool shirt costs between $70 and $150. At these prices, I am going to pass on pockets and use simple wool shirts for cycling.
What pockets are used for? (Source: SoCalTrialRiders.org)