There are hot weather jerseys, cold weather jerseys and those that handle the 'in between' bits the UK is so very good at. The Svelte Heritage Jersey sits squarely in the latter camp, combing an exceptional quality merino mix fabric with some really lovely design elements. It's smart and durable.
The first thing I noticed about this jersey was the sheer loveliness of the fabric, as well as the gorgeous British Racing Green colour. Striking just the right balance between merino and synthetic, the 'Danish' blend fabric is soft to the touch without any of the slight plasticky quality of some 'sportwool' types.
After that I noticed the details, such as the smart metal button on the button-down pocket, the discreet zipped pocket, and the beautifully finished seams and zip. This jersey just oozes old fashioned quality like a classic British sportscar.
The cut is described as 'athletic' but I'd say hourglass would be a more accurate term. Women with less in the hip and bust department may want to consider going down a size to achieve a racing fit, while ladies blessed in both departments will love the nipped in waist. Being more pear shaped, I found the top half a bit on the baggy side, while it fitted well around the hips.
The only criticism I had about the fit was the neckline; while an oversnug neck is undesirable from a comfort point of view, the neckline on the Heritage overcompensated slightly and ended up baggy and a bit ill-fitting. Such a shame on an otherwise elegant jersey – not a word I ever thought I'd use for a cycling jersey...
The rear pockets are roomy enough for a lightweight windproof or arm warmers, and this is where the jersey really comes into its own – as the weather has chilled very slightly, requiring more than a summer-weight jersey but not yet a full-sleeved winter number. The slightly heavier than average merino wool fabric makes this jersey absolutely spot on for autumn (and spring), and when coupled with arm warmers when necessary it's a godsend for comfort. The fabric maintains a steady body temperature and has kept me dry and happy.
Yes, £90 is a fair whack for a jersey, but it is merino, it is made in the UK, and it does remind the wearer of an old-school MG in terms of quality and style.
Gorgeous looking and exceptionally well crafted jersey that's perfect for mild autumn days
road.cc test report
Make and model: Svelte Green Heritage Jersey
Size tested: Large
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
A medium weight short-sleeved merino mix jersey, ideal for autumn and spring, particularly with arm warmers. Aimed at quality-loving female road cyclists.
Svelte says: "The Svelte Heritage Jersey is the marriage of minimalist design and functional fabrics. Produced in London from Merino perform fabric, it features the breathability and body temperature regulation of merino wool, while benefiting from the strength and resilience of a synthetic fabric."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made in England from materials sourced within Europe
Danish merino wool blend fabric (36% merino/61% CDPL 3% EA)
Button fastening pocket
Zipped security pocket
Three rear pouch pockets
YKK full length zip
Superbly made from beautiful quality fabrics and components.
Comfortable and kept my temperature stable in all but the warmest conditions.
Provided it's cared for properly, this isn't going anywhere any time soon.
Hourglass-shaped women will love the fit, but for the more pear-shaped the fit is a touch loose on top if the bottom fits. Not particularly long in the body but not short either. The collar was over-loose, though.
Sizing is pretty accurate, with a size L being roughly equivalent to a UK14. Sizing goes up to XL.
This definitely isn't a lightweight jersey, but it's not designed to be.
Fabric and cut are both extremely comfortable and the merino mix fabric does a great job of keeping you a stable temperature too.
It's a lot of money but for a top notch merino mix jersey, made in the UK from European materials, it's pretty good value for money.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Very easy, it has washed well and retained its shape and fit, and looks as new.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Fabric, design, made in UK, quality, colour...
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Very much.
Would you consider buying the product? Possibly not for myself but definitely as a gift.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, a curvy hourglass shaped one!
Use this box to explain your score
High quality and extremely well made – and in the UK. Exceptional.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.