From its humble beginnings on the football field nearly one hundred years ago, the sweatshirt has become an enduring part of our wardrobes that aren’t likely to disappear anytime soon. But what is it about this iconic piece of clothing that keeps drawing us in? With radical changes in fashion styles and textile technology throughout the last ten decades, the sweatshirt remains a wardrobe essential for several good reasons.
Although it may have started life on the sports field, a sweatshirt can be dressed up or down, making it a versatile item to have on hand. Put a hooded sweat top under a blazer, and you have a preppy look that’ll have you taken seriously. If you throw it on over a t-shirt and shorts on a cooling summer evening, you’re clearly in relaxation mode. Even going from a loose fit to a tight fit, your look changes while the comfort factor doesn’t.
Being so versatile makes a sweatshirt the ideal medium for showing the world your personality. The cotton fabric comes in a vast array of colors that can be mixed and matched readily. It also takes to being printed on easily, meaning decorations can subtly or boldly declare your interests. No one is left out from a gaming theme to a marine sweatshirt or a child’s cartoon character.
Coming in a range of weights makes the sweatshirt an ideal item for layering clothes. For those in areas where the temperature fluctuates throughout the day, having layers of clothing is essential. A thin sweatshirt can take the early evening chill off, while a heavyweight one can take you from a heated building to a much cooler outside comfortably. And all but the heaviest sweater will conveniently fold down to fit in a bag or draw.
Like other classic icons of the fashion world, such as denim jeans, the sweatshirt appeals to everyone regardless of gender. Add a belt to a long slouchy sweater, and you have a sweater dress that looks amazing paired with long boots. Yet for a guy, the same top will look great with a pair of jeans and trainers. The variety of cuts available helps with the appeal across the genders, with feminine styles giving a flattering look that can be lost in the boxy, masculine shape of clothes. A couple in his and her sweat tops can both look and feel amazing in this garment.
Children find the soft cotton fabric comfortable and provide freedom of movement for running around and playing. Many clothing items look adorable on young children but aren’t practical or comfortable, causing children to either ruin them while playing or stop playing. Many elementary schools have a sweatshirt as their school uniform for a good reason; they’re easy to clean, comfortable, affordable, and let kids be kids.
The sweatshirt is a genuinely unifying clothing item while still allowing for that all-important individuality. Coming in a dazzling array of colors, styles, and prices, everyone, young and old, loves them.