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Thread: Icebreaker vs Ibex, advice?

  1. #1
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    Icebreaker vs Ibex, advice?

    Hi again guys
    I've been cruising the forum a bit lately and noticed the whole project 333 and icebreaker thread, I'm moving shortly and have some cash saved up-so what better time to cull my wardrobe and replace some pieces with the wonder that is wool garments! I already own a few icebreaker items (2 old long sleeve tops, a few T's and a couple dresses, all gotten on sale!) so I know how they fit (small, hence I size up) but I've noticed Ibex is mentioned a lot on this forum and after checking out their site I can see a few items that would be perfect (namely these: Women's S/S Ciara Shirt | Ibex Short Sleeve Wool Travel Shirt, Women's OD Trinity Shirt | Ibex Outdoor Clothing Top, Women's U-Sixty Long Sleeve T | Ibex Outdoor Clothing Merino Long Sleeve Shirt, OD Noe Shirt, plus some other T-shirts) all are mostly on sale, score!, but I'm in Australia so a) I can't try them on and b) shipping and returns are really pricey (read I like to get it right the first time!) so can anyone share how Ibex fits? Are they similar to icebreaker? They look more relaxed in fit and like they wouldn't cling as much as icebreaker either. I'm excited to get my wardrobe under control and (hopefully) all weather as well I've got a list of items I want to replace-this is big, I'm an awful list maker!
    Any tips on must have items are also welcome, I want to get it all in one hit!
    Vanessa

  2. #2
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    I wear the same size in both (small, for base layers; M for mid layers, like hoodies). I liked the Ciara enough to get it in a couple different colors. (Actually ordered it in M, first, but decided that the S looked better on me, even when layered over a tank.)

    Am on my mobile so I can't link just now. But, what activities do you want to use these for? That might help us recommend specific pieces.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info! So the Ciara is quite relaxed then? I love layering, I'm not much good at it though.....I always look like I got dressed in the dark or something LOL
    Use? Well I'll shortly be living between 2 climates (QLD and Southern NSW), one hot and one cool (well by think skinned aussie standards anyhow ) and I'll also be traveling a bit (I hope!) with my sister (strictly hot climates-she doesn't do cold) and my mother (mostly cold winter travel). In day to day life I'll mostly be going to school (I'm going back to uni next year) with some small weekend adventures and maybe even a semester abroad, so basically mostly casual wear, light activities and travel. I'm lazy, the least amount of stuff I have to wash, carry and keep track of the better! I vary in weight but I'm mostly a size US 8. I generally wear jeans on the bottom half and a button down or T on the top, I wear dresses once or twice a week too. In a nutshell, I want it all
    Vanessa

  4. #4
    Registered User snowbot's Avatar
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    I have a number of Ibex shirts. I've bought most of them on sale. During their late summer sale, I bought a Ciara shirt on sale. I really liked it when I tried it on. It was pretty badly wrinkled from shipping, so I put it in a lace garment bag and washed it on the gentle cycle with the rest of my Ibex shirts. Then I dried it on my drying rack. I tried it on the next day and the seams were all twisted so that the buttons went down the front of the shirt at an angle. I contacted Ibex customer service, described what had happened, and asked if I could return the shirt even though I'd washed it. I received a response within 24 hours and was told that the same thing had happened with a few other Ciaras and that of course I could return it.

    What have I learned from this?
    1. Ibex has excellent customer service.
    2. I will buy more shirts from Ibex in the future.
    3. I won't buy an Ibex shirt that buttons up the front in the next year.

    YMMV

  5. #5
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    Hmm, let's see... So, what I like about the Ciara is that it moves well, because of the merino (it's not as restricting as a similarly-styled cotton or linen shirt) - I'd have no trouble biking in it, for instance. But, because of the princess seams, it looks sleek and a little dressier than throwing on a straight polo shirt. I wear it over a tank and jeans, but also over a short dress for a slightly more put-together look. In the winter I could totally see adding leggings and a coat to the dress ensemble. As for size, I typically wear a US size 4-6 in tops, so if you're an 8, you might want to size up to a M.

    The Trinity looks a lot like the long-sleeved version of the Ciara. I really want to try it but will be a good girl and wait for a sale.

    I had the Noe, tried it on, and ultimately sent it back. Loved the Astro Blue color but the neckline didn't work on me.

    Do you have your heart set on some Ibex? I usually choose between them based on which colorway I like better... most of their items have equivalents in each other's lineups. (e.g., Shak Lite Hoody = Quantum, more or less) I wonder if Icebreaker will be cheaper in Australia, given that they source their wool from NZ. (I have no idea what shipping is like from NZ to Australia, though.)

    More comparisons... I have an Ibex short-sleeved tee, the Sol, which is similar to the Icebreaker Tech T Lite. The Sol seems slightly more see-thru to me, but it's also pink, vs. the teal blue and black of my IB tees. So I just have to be careful what I choose to wear underneath it (light-colored undergarments).

    Long story short - if you forced me to come up with a short list of essential merino pieces, I'd say:

    1-3 lightweight (<150gsm) tank tops (Icebreaker Sprite, Sprint, or Aero; Ibex Synergy X or Wrap tanks)

    1-2 lightweight short-sleeved tees (IB Tech T Lite; Ibex equivalent)

    1 midweight (200-260 gsm) long-sleeved half-zip hoody or shirt (no hood; e.g. IB Oasis; Ibex VT Hoody also fits in this category to my mind, though a full-zip) OR a button-down (Ibex Ciara)

    1 long-sleeved hoody (Quantum, Cascade, Shak Lite)

    1-2 dresses (IB Muse, or Villa; Ibex Circle, Synergy, Lineup)

    lightweight merino leggings (3/4 or full-length)

    (the above is roughly the same as my capsule wardrobe, which was essentially my packing list for a three-week trip we took this summer. We didn't go to any cold climes, but if we had I'd just add another long-sleeved shirt, a thicker hoody, and a down jacket.

    - and, a caveat that I don't know as much about Ibex. I've listed Ibex equivalents above, but I haven't necessarily seen them all in person. There is an Icebreaker store near me, so I have tried on more of their items.)

    I'd say the key thing, in order to minimize returns, is to know what silhouettes work on you. (besides knowing what activities you will need them for, which you've already identified.) I don't like crew necks, very deep V necklines, or anything flowy and billowy. Drop shoulders and cap sleeves are also a no-no for me, so I don't even bother trying them on. Other than that, just go with the colors/styles that speak to you!
    Last edited by haraya; 09-19-2014 at 06:27 PM.

  6. #6
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    Interesting! Am curious, what color did you buy? I saw at least one comment on the website that others had had the same problem. But I've been happy so far with the Ciaras I own. (they've been washed at least once) Wonder if it was an older edition, and they've since fixed the issue? Or just some of the shirts were affected? (we may never know, of course, I'm just curious. )

    Quote Originally Posted by snowbot View Post
    I have a number of Ibex shirts. I've bought most of them on sale. During their late summer sale, I bought a Ciara shirt on sale. I really liked it when I tried it on. It was pretty badly wrinkled from shipping, so I put it in a lace garment bag and washed it on the gentle cycle with the rest of my Ibex shirts. Then I dried it on my drying rack. I tried it on the next day and the seams were all twisted so that the buttons went down the front of the shirt at an angle. I contacted Ibex customer service, described what had happened, and asked if I could return the shirt even though I'd washed it. I received a response within 24 hours and was told that the same thing had happened with a few other Ciaras and that of course I could return it.

    What have I learned from this?
    1. Ibex has excellent customer service.
    2. I will buy more shirts from Ibex in the future.
    3. I won't buy an Ibex shirt that buttons up the front in the next year.

    YMMV

  7. #7
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    I have the OD Trinity shirt and I like it a lot. The fit is a bit looser than the base layers (from both Icebreaker and Ibex which I find fit similarly), works well as a layer. I enjoy using it as a light cardigan in warmer weather, rolling up the sleeves looks good too. The yoke in back is very flattering (I'm surprised it's not shown in any photos! Looks similar to the Noe shirt). My only complaint is it's a tad shorter than I'd like but I tend to enjoy my shirts more like tunics. No issues with twisted seams through many washings.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the info guys! The icebreaker and Ibex are very similar in price, but Ibex stocks some styles that icebreaker don't-like the button downs. Sounds like the OD trinity is a winner! I really like the idea of wearing the button downs over a dress
    Vanessa

  9. #9
    Registered User snowbot's Avatar
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    My Ciara was the color that looks like raspberry. I put in the order last month and returned the shirt about two weeks later. I figure I'll give them at least a year to figure out the seam twisting issues.
    haraya likes this.

  10. #10
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    Well I ordered a couple of shirts to gauge size.....then I'll know what size I need in the Trinity.
    Vanessa
    haraya likes this.

  11. #11
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    Ibex has just started a last week of summer sale with an extra 20% discount on their outlet items upon use of the code "SUMMERCLEAR" (without quotation marks) upon checkout. (Technically, summer ended on the Equinox, but the sale runs through September 30th.)

    HTH moriond

  12. #12
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    If you're in Seattle, all purple items are 20% off this Fri thru Sun at the Ibex Seattle store!
    Last edited by haraya; 09-26-2014 at 08:17 AM.

  13. #13
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    A belated "Thank You" to Moriond for posting the Ibex sale/coupon (sadly the coupon is expired now). I got my 1st Ibex product, the OD Heather short sleeve T shirt, and took it on its maiden voyage this weekend. Wore it 2 days - not stinky! Not itchy! Packed small! Thanks!
    moriond and haraya like this.
    What's better than o-rings? More o-rings.

  14. #14
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    Yes! I got two OD Heather t-shirts as well. I really like them and I find the cut more flattering than the v-necks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  15. #15
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    Ibex's Black Friday 3-day Sale is here. If you liked the Ibex merino Hooded Indie that @Boolie wore (in men's Sencha Green) in the Mr. Guide's Pack Goes to Washington thread pictures, it's on sale for $84.99 in both women and men's sizes.

    moriond

    ETA: I think the Hooded Indie that @Boolie wore in this post is Mountain Blue. (He said he went back and bought two more in blue and red for him, and one in blue for his wife).
    Last edited by moriond; 11-29-2014 at 06:36 PM.


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