What I wear, when I wear it, and how it works on my bike
Nau is having a sale, so I purchased the dress I’ve been considering. I returned it immediately because it was not near the quality of other merino garments I have purchased from Nau, or from other retailers.
According to my email receipts, I purchased my first merino garment from nau in 2007: the merino zip T, in stone and in charcoal. (I also bought the motion dress, the roundhouse dress, the motion skirt, and the Base2 snap, not all merino, mind.) Later that year, I bought the merino LS zip T and LS merino crew. In 2008, I bought the merino cap sleeve in two colors, and in 2009, the merino2 wool dress. All told, my email receipts show more than 50 garments from nau, more than one-third of them merino wool garments.
I mention all the products I’ve purchased from nau in the last five years just to convey how much experience I have with the brand.
These items have all been in heavy rotation since I bought them. I wear them to work, for skiing, casually, on vacation. One has a hole where I put my fingernail through it, but otherwise, everything is in great shape. They are warm, soft, versatile, and each has held up very well. Although I frequently layer the pieces, there’s no need to do so–the merino is a good weight that drapes well, does not cling, and is not transparent. The garments don’t itch; don’t ravel; don’t pill and don’t wear out.
I have four unstructured merino knit dresses from nau: the merino2 wool dress in both java and caviar and the m2 dress in fossil and caviar.
So, I bought the new version of the dress in the grey stripe. I had held off buying the new version, mostly because I did not really need another black dress, but also because the other color was striped. I have nothing against stripes, generally, but I had purchased the m1 v-neck t short last fall in the striped fabric and felt the fabric was not as nice as the m1 v-neck I had purchased last spring, which was a solid color. Other folks did not seem disappointed in the striped v-neck, but I was. The wool was simply not as soft as the other merino shirts I had purchased from them, but I wondered if perhaps it was just the dye lot.
I was hesitant to try again, but went ahead and purchased the current version of the merino dress, in the grey stripe. I put it in the return post as soon as I tried it on. It was sorely disappointing.
The fabric was stiff and coarse and unpleasant and the dress did not have the drape or the weight of the two prior version. The wool was not as soft, not as comfortable. Worse, I could not only see my bra through the dress, but I could also see my belly button through the fabric, even though the dress was not tight on me. This was not the quality I expect from nau and not the quality of the other dresses.
I’m up to two strikes with what has been one of my favorite clothing stores for five years. There may be no more nau in my future, except what I already have!