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During the past year I’ve become more interested in having nice base layers beneath my jerseys, and when I saw the De Marchi Contour Light Sleeveless Baselayer for a mere $20, I had to grab it. I have some De Marchi bib shorts and really like them, so I figured I’d like this baselayer, too.

On the website, it appeared to be a thin, white base layer. I was hesitant to purchase it though, because the picture at Nashbar didn’t give me the best idea of the construction. Also, the shirt appeared to be kind of like a “see through” mesh, which didn’t really appeal to me. But somewhere I saw the retail price for this listed at $75, and it’s made in Italy, so it must be good…

Well, I pulled it out of the bag and didn’t care for it at all. The mesh was way more open than I expected – it’s more “open hole” than it is shirt. And the material was not soft at all, it was very stiff and rough and certainly not something I’d want against my skin.

But I put it on, hoping to be impressed. I wasn’t.

I got a size Small, which matched my chest measurement at the time. Sure enough, the shirt fit nicely across my chest. But the arm holes are tiny, and the seams cut into my armpits! Here’s the funny part – it’s baggy in the stomach area. It bunches up down there, but everywhere else, it’s tight.

Am I supposed to have toothpick arms and a beer belly or what?

This shirt is just plain screwed up. You can tell it’s sewn for an ergonomic fit, but it’s totally wrong! Plus, the fabric doesn’t stretch. So it will either hang loose or cut into your skin, depending on your body’s proportions.

So even on sale for $20, plus one of Nashbar’s 20% off coupons, this was a ripoff.

Another funny thing is on the tag, it says:

“We take our famous Contour line and reduce to the essentials. Carefully chosen lightweight fabrics, minimal stitching and accessories make the designed in Italy Contour Light line from De Marchi offer the maximum in performance comfort with the minimum in weight.”

It’s funny because I think they left the stitching but got rid of the actual shirt material!

Anyway, as much as I hated it, I decided to ride in it a few times to see if it was worthwhile…

I will admit that if the shirt actually fit my body, and didn’t feel like sandpaper, it would be pretty nice. The ventilation was great, that’s for sure. (Even though the minimalist design raises the question, “why not skip the undershirt completely?”)

My final verdict is…

This is the most disappointing purchase of mine in the last couple years. It’s not even close to being comfortable, and I don’t see how it would be beneficial to wear it, because there isn’t much to it. If it was going to wick sweat, it would actually need fabric against my skin.

It’s basically an expensive fishnet. Or at least it feels like one. I cannot think of one reason to buy this, so it’s impossible for me to recommend it for anyone.

Official website: www.DeMarchi.com

Product Review Details
Company: De Marchi
Product: De Marchi Contour Light Sleeveless Baselayer
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 1.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2012-05-27
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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