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The Minimalist Sweater

I Wore my Oliver Charles sweater for a week full of work, relaxation, and adventure.
January 13, 2022
By Lia Klinchik

ON THE PATH OF ECO-CONSCIOUS ADVENTURE

Introducing a five-part blog series about how you can get the most out of life on the road, traveling lightly, while also benefitting the environment and people around you.

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When I moved to Southern California, I was under the impression that the weather was going to stay around 70-75 degrees year-round.

I didn’t want to believe anyone who told me otherwise. To my surprise, I was mistaken! In the winter, temperatures can go as low as 40 degrees, and it’s overcast most days.

I grew up in the northeast and have been missing the pronunciation in the change of seasons. I’ve longed for a declaration of fall and winter.

I think I finally got that, but I was definitely unprepared wardrobe-wise.

After discovering Oliver Charles, I was intrigued about how and what they made their sweaters out of.

I’d never heard of khullu wool or 3D-knitting for clothing.

I was pretty content with merino wool, especially in regards to outdoor activity.

I thought to myself some questions you may also be thinking:

  • Is the quality of this sweater as good as Oliver Charles says it is?
  • How will khullu perform in everyday life, as well as for outdoor sports?
  • How will it affect my body when there are changes in temperature?
  • Is the sweater something I can wear over and over without washing?
  • How will this sweater become a staple piece of my wardrobe?
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

my First Impressions

Aside from my love for receiving letters and other things in the mail, I was so pleased to be met with Oliver Charles’s packaging.

The design is simple, minimalist like their sweaters, and thoughtful. There is something very hygge about this brand and their sweaters.

Along with this, I’ve never received a package in a tube before!

Instead of putting their sweaters in a cardboard box that most people would just throw out, they chose a tube.

In Feng Shui, the geometric shape of a circle (which includes cylinders), has a meaning of universal connectedness.

I like this because I feel that Oliver Charles understands the link between our way of life, what we wear, and where it comes from all of these are deeply interconnected and affect each other.

I was delighted by how soft the wool sweater was when I slipped it on and couldn’t wait to fit it into my wardrobe!

I was in for a treat this week with the gloomy weather and possible rain.

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Day 1

To start, I was really happy with how the Oliver Charles sweater fit on my body. I usually don’t purchase long sleeve shifts or light sweaters because I dislike the way they fit around my arms.

I hardly own any of those pieces of clothing, and so when the weather gets colder, I struggle with finding things to wear that will keep me warm.

I was worried that I’d think the Oliver Charles sweater would look funny on me because of that fact!

But I didn’t have any of these issues with it. I felt great about the way it was dressed on me.

I spend my time working with dried herbs and helping people find what they’re looking for in regards to holistic remedies.

At my job, we always keep the doors open, so the breeze can flow through, but it can be quite chilly at times.

In the sweater, I could move freely around, and I was comfortably warm. After work, I began the long car ride to Idyllwild.

My partner and I usually car camp when we go on trips. It’s an easier setup than finding a tent spot and putting it together in the dark. We pull off to the side of the road and blow up our mattress pads.

Overnight temperatures in Idyllwild would be dropping significantly from what I’m used to on the coast, and I was a little bit worried that I would be cold in my sleeping bag.

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Day 2

We woke up to crisp, fresh air. I slept so peacefully amongst the silence and soft rustle of the brush, something I’ve missed a lot since moving to a city.

Though we kept the windows cracked to allow moisture to escape, the windows were sweating when we woke.

It dropped into the 30s overnight and was around the same in the morning. I slept in my Oliver Charles sweater with some leggings and was perfectly warm and dry through the night!

It seems to be proving itself worthy of a life on the road.

Today, we hiked up to Suicide Rocks. This was the real test of my sweater. Not only of how it performs in the snow, but how it would do when I was hiking.

When you hike in the wintertime, you want to make sure you’re not sweating too much because when you stop, that’ll make you even colder.

The Oliver Charles sweater surpassed my expectations with how breathable it was. It kept me toasty, without suffocating me like other  wool sweaters, and allowed me to be free in my movement.

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Day 3

I loved how seamlessly the Oliver Charles sweater fit into my outdoor wardrobe over the weekend, matching with virtually everything I brought along.

After I got home and finally showered after a few days, I re-styled my sweater with something a little more suitable for warmer weather.

SoCal greeted us with a high 60s/low 70s day and a beaming sun! It was time to head over to a late-night coffee shop to get some studying done.

I headed to Stereoscope in Buena Park for a large latte and some motivation to be productive on a Sunday evening.

I wore shorts, but honestly, it was much colder than I anticipated going into the night (my mistake).

I loved how the Oliver Charles sweater flowed with a total change in style.

It can be both for mountain folk and the typical SoCal surfer - stylish and warm.

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Day 4

Part of my morning ritual is coffee. The aroma, the act of making it, and those very first sips of tender bitterness are all reasons I get up in the morning.

I spend quite a bit of time running around the kitchen in the morning and probably disturbing my roommate.

I liked how the Oliver Charles sweater didn't hold onto the smell of food after cooking.

And most importantly, it kept me feeling ready to take on the day while I sipped my homemade iced coffee and got some work done!

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Day 5

Initially, it was hard for me to believe SoCal rained at all, but today we received the mother of all rains!

It poured throughout the night. I could hear the droplets crashing on the earth outside and imagined them exploding on the pavement, causing little tsunamis.

I refused to use an umbrella to get from place to place and got exactly what I deserved. I was soaking wet, almost as bad as that day in New York City when there was a random rainstorm. I had puddles in my boots - literally.

My Oliver Charles sweater dried relatively quickly and didn’t hold onto the water as cotton would’ve. I didn’t even have to change out of it! It dried on the way to my destination.

I love styling the Oliver Charles sweater because it’s so simple and looks nice under anything you put together.

Even if you weren’t trying to look put together, you look 10x neater with it on. I ever so modestly pretended I had my shit together. So classic.

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Day 6

Another day of work at the herb shop for me. There’s often a lot of dust in the place I work, and my clothes collect that. I come home and they’re almost sticky. The Oliver Charles sweater did no such thing!

In the evening, I wore my sweater with me to the climbing gym. The bouldering wall I like to hang out on has a gate near it, and there’s always a breeze coming through there.

On a cold, rainy day, it’s the worst because I sit there in my shorts and tank freezing!

I am truly blown away by how light and movable the Oliver Charles sweater is, yet keeps me so snug in any setting.

I also loved that the chalk dusted right off the sweater…and I could continue wearing it.

For dinner, my partner and I had planned to make pasta. His apartment is always like an icebox.

The night progressed quickly, and we lacked the necessary ingredients to make what we sought out to eat, so we settled for throwing together a very simple pasta dish. It was delish!

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Day 7

My last day of wearing the Oliver Charles sweater was a self-care day. I needed it after many days of nonstop social interaction.

The weather had been steadily hanging around 45 degrees for the past few days. I’d finally given in to the cold weather and put on my down jacket.

Underneath, my Oliver Charles sweater kept me especially warm and made sure no frosty air found its way in. I’ve also been super appreciative about how the sweater hasn’t been itchy - not even once!

I sought out to get a haircut and sip hard cider in the salon, then go Christmas shopping.

I think it’s safe to say that the Oliver Charles sweater is boundless in how it performs and how it’s styled. It’s no exaggeration that this sweater is made for anything life has in store.

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

My Final Reflection

Throughout the Challenge, I wanted to test the quality of the sweater and the performance of khullu.

I also wanted to know how easy it would be to repeatedly wear it as a go-to in my closet.

After a week, I had answers to all my questions and a sweater that I'll keep with me for life.

I used to make fun of my dad for wearing the same sweater over and over for days straight.

He just didn’t seem to take it off! I couldn’t understand why anyone would do such a thing unless they were camping or backpacking because re-wearing happens naturally.

I have since realized that our “need” for endless amounts of clothing, that’s often cheap in price and quality, is frighteningly unnecessary. Why do we hold on so tightly to material items?

My life of road tripping has furthered this sentiment. Having all the clothes I need fit in my carry-on suitcase is freeing.

I’ve also been exploring how personal style is important to me. The physical is not definitive of who you are, but it absolutely affects how you feel!

When you feel good about the clothes you wear, enjoy how they look, and fit on your body, it can improve your day.

I get excited to find new gems to add to my closet, clothes I can feel really solid about myself in.

I grew up with my mom telling me to always shop for clothing made from cotton, linen, and wool - real, high-quality materials because it not only lasts longer but is better for the health of your body. Real fabrics feel and perform better with your skin.

The Oliver Charles sweater has been the ultimate sweater addition to my wardrobe.

Lia Klinchik is a freelance blogger, content creator, and editor, who studies wellness and nutrition. She's passionate about sustainability, travel, and making the world a better place. Through her writing, she hopes to convey meaningful messages that change people's minds.

If you believe that every good wardrobe starts with owning less and owning better, consider buying yourself an OLIVER CHARLES sweater.
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