Bhutan. Where is Bhutan

Latitude15 is heading to Bhutan again on a trek of several weeks with two Vermonters and two Londoners whom we know.  Bhutan is a Constitutional monarchy and is located in the Himalayas between India and China.  Their economy is great being host to a new large hydroelectric facility.  The capital of Bhutan is Thimphu.  The mountains range up to 7000 meters.  Trekking in the Himalayas requires very adaptive clothing and Latitude 15 just fits the bill providing light weight warmth both night and day.  Spring is relatively warm during the day but nights are quite cold still.  So having a Latitude 15 “Beanie” along is good medicine to wear in your sleeping bag at night.  Our friends wear Latitude15 shirts pretty much through the entire trip as the shirt develops no odor over several weeks of wear,so if they run into the King in Thimphu  they will be well received.  Latitude15 is also a great shirt to wear on the plane getting to Bhutan as it keeps you comfortable whether the plane is over warm or too cold.  In addition, the silver fiber by it’s anti-static and anti-microbial features keeps the “germs” off you.  You do not want to start a long trek over several weeks feeling lousy from the plane ride.  Make sure you have safe and comfortable journeys by wearing Latitude15.  It will enhance your experience!

Bob Hardy,  4/3/08

Warum? Because it means why!

People often ask ME why we have a vanity license tag that says “warum”?  Don’t you mean “warm” as in “global warming”?  So then I say, “you really want to know?  It will take a little while to explain”.  Words have meanings, but words mean different things to different folks no matter what the dictionary says.  As in art in which “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” it is also the same with the words we chose.  Comprehension is in the ear and mind of the listener.  We all know that there is hearing and there is “selective hearing”.  Having oneself or one’s ideas understood by your intended recipient (or audience) is an art and a skill! This goes for business and even more so in the home where one can add in “timing” as a critical element.  Well, I digress.  “Back to Warum”.

For those who took a little Berlitz or married into a Swiss or German family, “warum” means “why”.  During my courting period of my lovely Swiss wife Karin, I sent her a valentine card which I signed, I presumed, cleverly, “Warum” thinking incorrectly from my limited knowledge of the Berlitz German language that “warum” meant “because”.  WRONG!  Upon receipt of the card, the lovely Karin inquired of me “Bob, why did you send me that lovely valentine card which bespoke ‘I love you” and then signed it “Warum (why)”?  Warum indeed?  From the ashes of that experience have evolved three wonderful children who all married real
Vermonters and 6 beautiful granchilcren.  As Dave Rahr used to say, “grand children are the desert of life”.  Indeed they are.  So Happy Birthday to me on my 75th this year!     WARUM!

My first entry, and yes I am nervous.


Well here’s a first look at our new hats that are now in production. And this is where I am supposed to start typing and blogging, and spreading the gospel and having the freedom to ping the internet with my ideas about why the world needs to be wearing latitude 15 gear!

Beanies!  Seems the kids of all ages love them!  My granddaughters wear them to bed!  I might try that myself but it is finally warming up a bit.  There is hope in the north country.   It is amazing to me how many challenges we can adapt to.  It becomes a matter of habit.  “Well, there are a few rocks in our path, we just have to overcome them!”   We love to sail in the summer in our antique – almost – Catboat built in 1974.  It is only 18 ft. 6 inches and to sail it on Lake Champlain with the wind hitting you sometimes from both sides of the mountains is quite a challenge.  Karin is a much better sailor than I having learned how to master the art in Holland.  No motors please!   She has gotten me out of many a jam when my instinct to shove the tiller in the opposite way could have resulted in a jibe which you do not want to do in a small catboat on Lake Champlain in 15 plus knot gusts.  Everyone needs a Pilot or Captain to help guide you through life’s shallows, deeps, and rocky harbors.  I am fortunate to have one in Karin.  But there are others available and some of them are at your fingertips or on your reading table.  To each his own, but to “sail” through life, especially at my age, the only thing you can count on is that the unexpected will happen.  Well that is it for today.  Enjoy your “sail” through today.  It has been said, that if your agenda for today includes eating a green frog then eat that first, then the rest of the day will be easy.

Cheers for now.

Bob Hardy



The repeat in 2009 of the Shackelton Expedition to the South Pole will be done by wearing Latitude15 shirts to keep the team warm.


Give credit where it is due!

Give Credit where it is due!  The Cruising World article, “The Silver Lining Makes This Shirt”  which appears ahead of this posting tells it all. But if you would like to know “the story behind the story” then read on.  It was last fall in Newport at which we attended our first big boat show event.  We came prepared, we thought, but we got a lot of coaching from “friends and neighbors” in booths contiguous to ours.  The weather was just too nice to be selling fall and winter sports shirts, but on Saturday a northeaster blew in, windy, rainy, and very cold comparatively.  It was Latitude 15 weather.   Sales picked up well. After a while I noticed in the Cruising World Publications booth diagonally away from us a slender, attractive young lady shivering and jumping around to stay warm.  Not knowing who in the world she was, I sauntered over, leaving Karin to man the booth, and I asked how she was?  And she replied “freezing”.  And she had about three layers of heavy stuff on.  I said come over to our booth, we can fix you right up.  At this point, I believe she was up to trying anything.  So she tried on a Latitude15 shirt and never took it off and paid for it on the spot.  She gave me her card which read “Elaine Lembo, Managing Editor – Cruising World.” The end result was the very nice article which you see posted here which has precipitated many sales from loyal readers of Cruising World Magazine.

The silver makes the shirt, Cruising World Magazine


Women’s shirt

In Vermont we have a lot of active women who are on the go all the time.  They are in motion all the time, perpetua mobile I think is the term.  The result is, pardon the expression, natural eye candy as nothing is nicer to look at than a vibrant and in shape lady.  Pardon me if that is sexist but for someone who is a septuagenarian, I appreciate what I see more each day. Vermont, per capita, has more of these ladies than any other state, to my belief.  Yes, life is a challenge up here, both mentally and physically and you have to stay in shape just to stay even.  Eg. The winter in Vermont may be over but please do not alert the snow devils!   I am keeping the snow shovels out just in case.   However!  We have designed a special version of the Latitude15 shirt which is more comely and shaped to the female torso.  This style will be out in the fall of ’08.  So keep your eye on the website to see a photo of the Women’s Expedition shirt. By the way, it has a full zip front for those ladies who do not like to pullover a shirt over their hairdo or deal with long earrings.  Have a nice day and smile as you slither through the mud patches of life.  Two seasons not well publicized by the Department of Tourism in Vermont are “The Mud Season”  and  “The stick season” in the fall when all the leaves fall off!

The meaning behind Latitude15

I forgot to tell you that the reason why we call our alpaca garments Latitude 15 is because that latitude runs through the region of the Andes in which alpacas have roamed for a thousand years. So when you wear Latitude 15 you are wearing a shirt of royalty with historic roots.



Latitude 15 is pleased to announce that its new PETITE LINE of performance sports base layers will be available in September.   Designed for the active sports ladies, the new PETITES conform more closely to the body line.  Because of this a full zip has been added to ease on/off wearing – to avoid possible “mussing” of hair and makeup.   Initially the PETITES will be offered in sizes XS, S, and M and they come in Fine Deep Claret Red,  and Formal Midnight Blue.   Pricing is to be offered at $165.00 each shirt.   Matching LATITUDE 15 socks and hats will also be available.  There also is a right side zip pocket for those essentials such as car key, credit card, or other items.

Latitude15 fabric arrives in famous Textile Textbook

Mary Humphries, a perspicacious and peripitetic Author from Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, Canada is reknowned for her “Fabric Reference” now in its Fourth Edition.  (Lunenberg is home of the Bluenose Schooner and one of the first homesites of Samuel Champlain during his time of discovery of The Maritimes and Vermont in North America where Latitude15 is produced.)

On page 87 and 88 of Section Two, Textile Fibers, is a description of the novelty design of using a combination of unique textile fibers to create a yarn with a “basket” of desireable characteristics found in our Latitude15 textile.  The “blend” of yarns includes Optimer’s Dri-release microblend of cotton with Freshguard for moisture management, comfort, and odor free.  Added to this are the benefits of X-static silver fiber for thermodyanamic heat transfer, anti-microbial, anti-odor, and anti-static benefits among others, and a modacrylic fiber which provides safety against high flash heat with “no burn, no melt” test results on submitted samples.  This conglomerate of technical fibers is benefitted by an outer tightly knit mesh insulating layer of baby alpaca and silk for hand, strength, appearance, and elegance.

Latitude 15 is the only known combination of the finest in commercially available natural luxury fibers of baby alpaca and silk along with the technical characteristics as described above.  Although Latitude15 was the first out of the “cannon” with this combination of technical fibers, the concept of Latitude15 is gaining adherents.  But somebody has to be first, and Latitude15 was the first.  A copy of the article from Mary Humphries “Fabric Reference”  above.

Blog4of3A Blog4of3B

A patented, intimate blend of synthetic and natural fibers that accelerates the water release rate of wet fabric. It is set apart from other moisture management products because of its faster drying time, the aesthetics imparted by its natural fiber component and its permanently built-in odor eliminator, FreshGuard®.

We've chosen Dri-release for the inside of the shirt because of its multiple comfort and protection features - features that appeal to the extreme sports aficionados targeted by Latitude 15 including skiers, trekkers, climbers, sky jumpers, big game hunters and the like that often find themselves among the elements for hours or days at a time.

"I was so glad to have my Latitude15 shirt with me. It turned out to be the favorite piece of clothing I had with me and so I ended up wearing it for the most of the trip. The level of comfort it provides in an extreme outdoor environment is amazing and its ability to keep your body "climate controlled" is absolutely unmatched by other materials like fleece or cotton. I can only say: Don't leave home without it!"

Gebhard Jochum,
The Lorunser Sport Hotel, Zurs am Arlberg, Austria