My initial reaction when I got my hands on the Frankly Basic Crew Tee was somewhat of disappointment. The material seem too feel a little coarse – as though it may irritate the skin – and the fit around my chest seemed overly snug.
Initially I was skeptical about even wearing it about and to give it a good try.
Fortunately, a friend visiting my apartment saw the tee hanging up on a hanger and commented that it looked rather fetching. From this moment on, I saw this crew t-shirt in a whole new light.
Given the relaxed dress code that I enjoy at work during the summer period, I opted to give this top its first outing in the office the next Monday.
Now, commuting from La Linea into Gibraltar in the height of summer can be somewhat hot given the Mediterranean climate, but this is were the Frankly top really came into its element.
Despite the worry of wearing a black top in full view of the sun, this crew tee offered me one of the coolest (well, least sweaty backs) during my ride from Spain over the frontier into Gib – another fine example of Merino working its airy magic. Early signs were looking good.
My other worry about the top being too tight was also quickly allayed, with the top loosening around my chest within a few minutes but without feeling like it was going to become baggy.
Now this top is labelled as a ‘base layer’ but that shouldn’t put you off wearing it as a t-shirt in the warmer months. It’s a smart casual top – not a ‘smart casual’ top, but a top that is casual and looks smart (phew). The styling is simple, essentially a plain black t-shirt with the Frankly label on the round collar A small rather elegant electric blue circle (the Frankly logo) also sits on the end of the sleeve helping to provide just a slight touch of flair to the top.
As I’ve already mentioned, this crew tee uses merino wool (cools when you’re hot and warms when you’re cold – huzzah!) with the Frankly website informing me the material is actually ‘Neobi’ (ooh la la): “a cotton merino fabric mix that wicks perspiration away from the skin to the outside of the fabric” – nice.
The top is also relatively heavy (coming in at a solid middleweight of 200g) – possibly a little heavy for the summer – but I found it still manages to do the cooling trick admirably. In other aspects of functionality for cycling (i.e. not exposing your rear), the top also offers a slightly longer back to protect your dignity.
Frankly products, their website reliably informs me, are also 100% natural and chemical free – so combined with a nice style and fine functionality, this base layer/tee is certainly a solid acquisition, although maybe a little bit salty at £49.99.
Value for Money: 5/10