Since we tried out the Ernest Linen Shirt, we've been firm fans of the MaddaFella brand of contemporary menswear. Their look is relaxed and comfortable, but with enough style for smarter occasions too.
We chose the crew neck India Ink option to try (a dark blue, not quite navy), which is available in a brighter Ocean Blue and Mineral Red too. There is also a funnel neck version of the sweater which has a quarter zip fastening at the neck.
The sweater fit nicely, sized as expected, the sleeves are a little long but the secure cuffs ensure this isn't a problem. It's fairly fitted without being restrictive – so it looks smart but is comfy and easy to move around in too.
The knit itself is actually a two-tone in this shade – a dark blue background with alternate paler stitches in relief which gives both an interesting texture and overall color effect. In the picture I thought it looked a little strange… but it is much, much nicer in person and looks really smart. The inside is flat and soft against the skin – the texture is just on the outside.
It does crease a little when packed, but these soon drop out once it's worn or hung up for a short while.
The sweater is surprisingly warm, as it doesn't feel heavyweight at all. Being 100% cotton though, we know it will be breathable and comfortable to wear in a range of temperatures – so perfect for chilly evenings as the sun goes down.
The Balao pairs perfectly with jeans, Chinos, shorts or beachwear. And it would look equally at home cosied up round a campfire or in a smart-casual dinner venue. As a travel piece this makes it ideal, as it's versatile enough to see you through almost all occasions; unless you're heading somewhere formal it could be the only sweater you need to pack.
To read more about the Balao Sweater or the rest of the MaddaFella range, visit their website maddafella.com.
MaddaFella offer a wide range of men's shirts, t-shirts, outerwear, shorts and swimwear. Shipping is free within the US and Canada. Customs or sales taxes may apply depending on your location.
Written by Emma
Disclaimer: The Balao Sweater was supplied to us by MaddaFella for the purposes of review. There were no conditions attached and the above is a true account of our experience.