A few years ago, REI’s product design team started to go all in on their apparel line, making budget-friendly pieces that perform as well as those twice the price. We've loved most of what we've tested this far—I recently ranked their Tilt tights as one of the best leggings of 2018. The Birch Spring top falls into a similar category of budget-friendly, function-forward pieces. This top has been in my closet for a few months and it is in regular rotation in my wardrobe. It pairs well with jeans, skirts, or even leggings, while maintaining a clean, tailored cut that looks good enough to wear to the office.
The fabric is made up of 52 percent merino wool and 48 percent polyester, so it feels great against the skin and has the wicking and antimicrobial properties of wool. The back hem drops lower than the front, which I love for work settings or when I’m layering over leggings, and a pleated back helps it drape nicely across the body. The bottom hem is split in the front, which allows the shirt to wrap around my body comfortably when sitting at my desk all day. After upwards of 15 washes, the shirt hasn’t shown any signs of pilling or wear and has only gotten softer the more I’ve worn it.