The sweatshirt has come a long way from its humble sportswear beginnings. Now an integral part of the contemporary wardrobe, beloved as much by luxury fashion as the high street, sweatshirts are cool, comfortable and effortlessly stylish.
Easy to wear, whether you want to dress them up as part of a high-low tailored look, or down with a matching pair of sweatpants, the sweatshirt is a modern-day staple. But which style is right for you?
While you can never go wrong with the classic grey sweat, several interesting variations have cropped up over the years, from zip-through fronts to oversized fits, heavyweight fabrics to heavily branded. There really is something for everyone in the world of sweats these days, regardless of whether you need a new winter layer, or you just want something comfortable to wear around the house.
Here are seven iterations all men should consider adding to their wardrobe.
The Classic Grey Sweatshirt
Let’s start with the basics. It’s hard to deny the appeal of the classic grey sweatshirt. Its design is nearly a century old, and it’s stood the test of time for good reason. It’s a simple garment that works as loungewear, weekend wear or even in casual offices.
Like a good pair of jeans or a perfectly fitting T-shirt, the grey loopback sweatshirt is a wardrobe essential and one you’ll never regret buying.
The Zip-Neck Sweat
Ideal for daily wear, the quarter- or half-zip sweat should be at the top of your wish list if you’re after something easy and comfortable.
With a zip up front beginning at the chest and ending with a funnel neck, the zip-neck sweat has a retro preppy appeal that means it’s perfect for combining with 1950s-style wide-leg pants and retro running shoes.
The Logo Sweat
Logo sweats have always been a thing. Similar to T-shirts, the casual nature of sweatshirts means they’re prime for slapping a brand or sports team’s logo onto the front.
This type of sweat has only increased in popularity in recent years with the rise of logomania, with everyone from luxury fashion houses to high-street brands capitalising on the trend.
Ideal if you want to add a bit of colour to a look, while showing your allegiance to a particular label, logo sweats can be as brash or as subtle as you like. But at the end of the day, if you’re buying a garment with visible branding like this, it’s designed to be a flex, so wear it with confidence and go all in.
The Heavyweight Hoodie
A casual classic, a hoodie is among the most comforting items of clothing you can own. But if you want something slightly more substantial, seek out one made from a heavyweight cotton.
Heavyweight hoodies are typically made from a 16oz+ fabric. While it won’t change the look of the garment, a material of this weight will offer more warmth, essentially turning the hoodie into a piece of outerwear in its own right.
The Oversized Sweat
While standard sweats are designed with regular fits, which are neither too slim nor baggy, oversized sweatshirts and hoodies are intended to be on the larger side.
Expect dropped shoulders, a more relaxed hem and a boxier middle, which ensures the sweat takes on an even more relaxed feel.
Just as easy to style, try wearing an oversized sweat with similarly baggy jeans for an effortless, comfortable take on streetwear.
The Premium Sweat
With the rise of casualwear in recent years, luxury brands have been getting in on the act by producing high-end takes on laid-back pieces. The humble sweat is one such garment that’s undergone a glow-up, with many labels producing both sweatshirts and hoodies in premium fabrics such as merino wool or cashmere.
These natural fibres instantly give the sweat a slightly sharper feel, and combined with a tailored cut, makes them better suited to wearing in smarter contexts.
The Track Top
An evolution of the classic sweatshirt, track tops are usually made from technical nylon or polyester fabrics, making them incredibly lightweight and moisture-wicking.
Designed to be worn while playing sports or exercising, they are what sweatshirts used to be: performance-focused tops made to keep you warm while playing sports outdoors.