What can we say about the humble sweatshirt that hasn’t already been said? This simple jersey pullover is a well-established wardrobe staple. It sits in the pantheon of all-time menswear greats alongside the likes of the plain-white T-shirt, the Oxford shirt and the denim jean. To call it an essential would be an understatement.
It’s the sweatshirt’s unrivalled mix of comfort, versatility and practicality that makes it such an indispensable part of the modern man’s sartorial repertoire. If you don’t own one already you should; if you do, well, there’s always room for one more.
But not all sweatshirts were created equal. For every wardrobe-worthy crew neck there are 10 terrible ones. That’s why we made it our job to separate the wheat from the chaff and bring you a handy list of what we deem to be the best sweatshirt brands in the world right now.
Prior to diving in and picking a sweatshirt out, there are a few things to consider. Here’s what you need to look at before handing over your cash.
To a certain extent, a sweatshirt is a sweatshirt. The main thing to consider in terms of style is what level of detail or branding to opt for. A plain, classic crew-neck sweat will always be the most versatile option and won’t date easily. On the other hand, a printed, logo or patterned design can be useful for adding a focal point to outfits.
In our humble opinion, it’s always better to err on the side of classic when it comes to fit. Trends come and go, but a well-fitted sweatshirt that loosely hugs the torso and sits neatly on the shoulders is eternal.
Determining the quality of a sweatshirt comes down to two key details: material and manufacture. The best sweatshirts will be 100% cotton, perhaps even with a touch of cashmere, and feature a loopback construction.
Look for the tell-tale signs of quality like the seams and stitching for further clues. You’ll know a poorly made sweat when you see one.
The Best Men’s Sweatshirt Brands
Each of the labels below hit all the marks: quality construction, premium materials, stylish design and flattering cuts. Any would make a great addition to your capsule wardrobe.
CDLP transformed the men’s underwear industry back in 2016 with its high-end briefs and boxers made using the finest fabrics on the planet. No longer was underwear all about the (CK) logo on the label, it was about comfort and quality above all else.
Since then, the Scandinavian brand has expanded into premium home- and loungewear, of which its line of sweats is a highlight. Available in black or olive, CDLP’s sweatshirt is cut in heavyweight organic loopback terry cotton, with a semi-dropped shoulder and tonal embroidered logo. Its a minimalist approach that lets the quality of the garment shine through.
ISTO is focused on producing high-quality, timeless staples – the type of garments that never go out of style. There are no trend pieces or seasonal collections here. It’s the type of brand you could easily build an capsule wardrobe with, and feel good doing so: the independent label only uses sustainable materials and works with factories that adhere to strict social responsibility and work standards.
But that’s not all. ISTO is also completely open about its production methods and pricing – so you know that its Heavyweight Sweatshirt is cut using 100% organic certified cotton and made in the NGL Malhas factory in Barcelos, Portugal. It’s an approach to transparency that a lot of other brands would be wise to follow.
Axel Arigato is arguably the hottest name in sneakers right now, producing some of the most fashion-forward, sought-after designs on the market. And now the Scandinavian brand has taken that Midas touch and applied it to the full gamut of streetwear including, of course, sweatshirts.
Made using high-quality organic cotton, expect street-ready shapes and slightly oversized fits with a number of logo treatments applied to both the front and rear.
Independent label Wax London is quickly becoming one of our go-to names for contemporary twists on wardrobe staples. Its take on the sweatshirt is a case in point: crafted from responsibly-sourced, 100% organic cotton, it’s cut oversized with dropped shoulders for a slouchy, comfortable look.
The 450GSM fabric weight ensures a perfect drape, so take your usual size.
In menswear, heritage sells, and few brands have more of it than Champion. The American label has been producing traditional athletic garb for more than a century and classic jersey-cotton garments like sweatshirts and hoodies are their bread and butter.
Look out for the label’s reverse-weave sweatshirts, which use a special construction technique to fight shrinkage and help retain their shape.
L’Estrange was born in London, of a desire to streamline the male wardrobe and cut waste in fashion. The brand offers a curated selection of versatile staples designed to wear with anything – so naturally it does a sweatshirt.
Made from double-layer organic cotton, it’s soft against the skin with a pique weave on the outside to catch the eye. The label adds a half-zip detail to the classic design, taking it away from the sweatshirt’s athletic heritage. Still every bit as wearable, though.
But what really sets Asket apart from the competition is the brand’s direct-to-consumer model, which means it is able to offer premium quality at wallet-friendly price points. There’s even a handy tool on the website that shows a cost breakdown of each garment so you can see exactly where your money is going.
For classic sweatshirts with a contemporary twist, Percival is an excellent option. The London-based brand has made a name for itself with its eccentric takes on menswear classics, from T-shirts to overshirts and of course, sweats.
On the face of it, Percival’s sweatshirts are simple and easy to wear, coming in flattering slim fits and soft cotton jersey fabrics. But the brand’s signature – a vibrant embroidered logo at the chest – is what sets them apart. Look out for playful insignias ranging from bonsai trees to octopuses dressed up as ninjas.
Bridging the gap between sport and leisure, Pelota Sporting Clothiers are purported to be purveyors of stylish comfort. And with the brand’s P Logo Sweatshirt, we couldn’t agree more. Constructed from organic cotton, recycled materials and vegan friendly sources, the fit is athletic yet forgiving. Perfect after sport, or anytime you’re seeking a smart-casual, relaxed look.
A Day’s March
Swedish brand A Day’s March are all about perfecting the essentials. Hence they only produce a single sweatshirt, but boy is it a good one: available in six versatile colourways, it’s made in Portugal from a thick, comfy fleece-back fabric that is designed to break in and mould to your body over time, ensuring a personalised fit.
But that’s not all. Being a direct-to-consumer company, they also avoid any unnecessary mark-up, so you get all of this at a price that doesn’t break the bank. Time to stock up.
Jean Touitou’s A.P.C. is living proof that less is more. Over the past 30 years, the French brand has made a name for itself as the go-to label for high-quality, low-fuss wardrobe staples that just ooze laid-back European charm. Their sweatshirts tend to be understated, or if there is branding or embellishments, they’re tastefully executed and in keeping with A.P.C.’s otherwise stripped-back aesthetic.
Alexandre Mattiussi’s subtly stylish pieces have been supremely popular among style-savvy gents in Europe since his AMI label first sprang up in 2011. Fast forward to today and the brand is nothing short of a global phenomenon.
Sweatshirt-wise, expect a timeless trim fit, bold but tasteful tricolour branding and premium quality across the board.
Originally founded as a small advertising and design agency, Acne Studios has gone on to become the most prominent fashion house in all of Sweden. The label’s face logo has become a common sight across many of the brand’s basics, including – but not limited to – minimalist cotton sweatshirts and hoodies.
A brand that needs no introduction, Nike is always a safe bet when it comes to sourcing well-designed athletic apparel. The Oregonian sportswear giant’s simple Swoosh-logo crewneck is a stone-cold classic and even carries a bit of streetwear cache thanks to the brand’s status as the undisputed king of sneaker culture.
We usually advocate against choosing the cheap option, but if you’re looking to stock up on the basics on a budget, it’s hard to fault Uniqlo. The Japanese retailer’s sweatshirts offer good quality and a great fit for the money and the timeless, understated styling means they’ll never go out of fashion.
Reigning Champ has carved out a niche for itself bridging the gap between high-end athletic garb and streetwear. In fact, CEO Craig Atkinson was the main manufacturer for some of the most hyped labels on the planet, including Supreme, before starting the brand.
Expect rugged, well-made sweatshirts with plenty of street cred to boot.
British brand Sunspel’s high-quality approach to the simplest garments has made it a firm favourite of discerning dressers around the world. The label is renowned for producing some of the best basics on the market and classic loopback-cotton sweatshirts are certainly no exception.
Todd Snyder’s stylish take on the classics has made fashion more accessible to the everyday man. The brand’s upscale essentials, stylish casualwear and slick tailoring have made it one of the most reliable names in menswear and a solid choice for everything from suiting to sweatshirts and beyond.