Breaking the design paradigm, Stio’s Eddy Gingham shirt for women is a winner for water repellency, sun protection, fit, and style.
A cut-and-paste replication of men’s clothing designs to a women’s line does not work. Fortunately, brands are making great strides on the ladies’ front. Case in point: Stio, a Jackson Hole-based outdoor lifestyle apparel company that manufactures baselayers, insulators, packs, accessories, footwear, and casual wear.
On a whitewater SUP trip in May, I pulled on the Women’s Eddy Gingham Shirt for the first time. Over seven days, it became my go-to shirt for protection and comfort on the water.
Review: Stio Women’s Eddy Gingham Shirt ($119)
This shirt valiantly wards off UV exposure and water. With a water-repellent finish, beads literally rolled off of my sleeves after a Class III toss-over. Following the dunk, the soft nylon/poly blend fabric also wicked the moisture off of my skin from the inside of the shirt, rather than staying clammy and trapped.
It dried completely in 5-10 minutes. And, despite consecutive 12-hour days beneath the sun, my skin never got pink thanks to its UPF 50+ rating.
I never needed to wear sunscreen.
At 7 ounces, the shirt drapes and thus feels lightweight and summery. It may be best suited for warm-weather conditions and not as a replacement for protective cold-water layers, a wetsuit, or a drysuit.
That said, the design blocks light wind and could work for year-round athletic endeavors like day hikes, playing Frisbee at the park, and cruising bikes around town.
It’s stylish enough to wear casually—as long as you’re OK with plaid. That’s one caveat: There are no solid-color options.
For comparison, Columbia offers the Women’s Silver Ridge Long Sleeve. The cut appears to be femininely tailored (I have not tested it), it wicks away moisture, and has UPF 40 sun blockage. It does not feature water repellency, which differentiates the Eddy Gingham.
Down the front, the pearl snaps are fashion forward but also hold utility. On the SUP, I easily pulled open the shirt when I desired a breeze, and I didn’t worry about buttons being torn off during rough portages or when I pulled myself back onto the board from the water.
Furthermore, the snaps go all the way up to the base of the neck, so—along with an easy-to-pop collar—I could keep my chest and neck shaded during the sun’s harshest hours. There are also snaps to keep your sleeves rolled up and out of the way.
Durable, Stretchy Women’s Outdoors Shirt
After taking a severe beating, this shirt did not rip or show wear and tear. It proved to be durable and stretchable. By trip’s end, to my surprise, it also didn’t hold a stench.
It looks so good, that for the first time in my experience, every male crew member said that they wished that they could wear the women’s version, too.
Stio products are only available via its website, print catalogs, its Jackson Hole flagship store, and its most recent store location in Chicago. Learn more at www.stio.com.