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A Guide To Men’s Sweatshirts – How To Style & Wear Sweatshirts For Guys

Men's Wardrobe Essentials
Monday, 2nd October, 2017

Men's Sweatshirt Guide

Feeling the cold?

It’s a good time to layer up, and a sweatshirt is one item of menswear which will get you there.

A sweatshirt is probably an item of clothing you’ll already own and not really give to much thought about, but they’re one of those staple items of menswear we all have.

When the colder weather turns up that means a couple of things, turn to warmer clothing, and layering.

A great choice for this season when putting together an outfit is a sweatshirt, and one of the best parts of this is that you can make it look as simple as you like.

The Best Basic Sweatshirts

The Basic Sweatshirt

I love sweatshirts. They’re back in fashion, and so it’s the perfect time to get yourself a brand new staple piece of clothing for this season.

They’ve never really gone out of fashion, but were out of favour, with a lot of people opting for a hoodie over the original crew neck sweatshirt.

Over the past 3 or 4 years the good old pull over has come back with a bang. It’s been embraced in streetwear, sports luxe and the most basic of fashion items, now is the time to grab a sweatshirt, either your favourite one or a brand new top.

Sweatshirt Colours

One of the best things about sweatshirts is the vast array of colours they come in. Since it’s such a basic piece of clothing, there’s so many brands which do so many colours, there really is something for everyone.

You can go for a staple colour such as navy, grey or black, add a pop of colour with yellow, bright blue or red, or get on trend with a light pastel colour such as pale pink, blue or green. There’s seasonal colours too, such as darker greens, reds and pink.

Sweatshirt or Sweater (Jumper)

What’s the difference between a sweatshirt and a sweater?

Well first of all a sweater is a jumper, and a jumper is a sweater, those are just two names which have been given to one particular garment.

You’ll know these because they are usually made of wool, a wool mix or something which is supposed to resemble wool, such as acrylic.

You can find out everything you need to know about jumpers here.

A sweatshirt on the other hand, is made usually made from a from cotton, or a cotton mix with something such as polyester.

They’re usually a thick, soft cotton material, even getting the nickname “Sweatshirt material”, with the inside material being the same, or a fleece.

You can read about the differences between sweatshirts and sweaters here.

Sweatshirt Colours

What’s That ‘V’ Pattern On Sweatshirts?

Are you wondering what is that V pattern on sweatshirts? One of the trademark’s of a sweatshirt is the triangle V stitching on the front, and sometimes back of a sweatshirt at the neckline in the centre.

It’s called a V-Stitch or V-Insert, and was originally to stop the sweatshirt being over-stretched when putting it over your head. Now quality is so much higher, the V, or triangle lives on as a design feature, the sweatshirt remembers it’s roots.

What Is The V Pattern In Sweatshirts?

What Is Loopback

If you’re looking for a sweatshirt one of the terms you may have heard or read is loopback.

But what is it?

It’s quite simply the description given to a type of knit that features loops on the underside of the fabric, which comes from the term loopwheel, the machine used for knitting. The term Loopback sweatshirt is commonly used, but not always, and is just to describe this style.

How To Wear A Sweatshirt

Wearing a sweatshirt is incredibly easy to do, and is undoubtedly why it’s a favourite piece for most guys during the colder months. A lot of men don’t like jumpers, and find them itchy, stuffy, uncomfortable or simply too formal for their tastes.

The sweatshirt on the other hand, is the opposite of those things, and is usually worn in a relaxed and casual manner.

The Fit

Relaxed, Oversized And Loose Fit

Probably the most popular way to wear a sweatshirt is a loose fit. Sweatshirts are synonymous with a laid back and casual style, they’re associated with an athletic environment if you’re sporty, and if your not, the go to choice for when you want to just chill out.

You can wear this with a pair of sweat bottoms, pair of jeans or chinos, and keep your overall look relaxed. It’s the perfect outfit for chilling out at home on a cold evening, or having a casual day out.

Smarter Fitted Sweatshirts

A sweatshirt does not have to be sloppy and baggy, in fact you can look pretty stylish in one, if you get a good fit. I always talk about fit is king, as does everyone in fashion, and for sweatshirts it’s no different.

The oversized option is cool for street style and for a casual look, but how about a more fitted style? A lot more fashion conscious brands now offer slim fitting and fitted sweatshirts for people who want the sweatshirt look for a smarter occasion. You get the same feel, but now have a more fitted outfit.

Styling The Pink Sweatshirt

How To Layer A Sweatshirts

With A Shirt

A really great idea if you’d like to go for a smart casual outfit choice is layering with a shirt, but keeping the shirt un-tucked. As long as the shirt is not too long, it will sit nicely under the sweatshirt, you’ll show off a bit of the un-tucked style which will maintain the laid back style with a bit of an edge.

Wearing a sweatshirt over a shirt is a cool laid back style. With only the collar showing, all you have to ensure is that the colour of the sweatshirt goes with the shirt colour.

Pairing up a white or light colour shirt with a dark sweatshirt works well, creating a contrasting colour style.

For a smarter look, wear a sweatshirt over a shirt. Your collar will be on show, which can add some contrast to your outfit, giving a smart plain sweatshirt some personality.

With A T-Shirt

Layering a sweatshirt with a T-shirt is possibly going to be your go to move. These days most people don’t wear their sweat without anything under it, so the most obvious choice is going to be a simple T-shirt.

The best choice would be to go for one which is the same colour, or if you want to create some contrast, go for a colour which compliments your sweatshirt.

Sweatshirt Styles

As I’ve touched on above, there’s different ways of wearing a sweatshirt, and there’s different styles too, which will pull off different looks. From large graphics, logos and slogans, to smaller logos and good old plain sweatshirts.

Each different style can be worn, depending on the situation and the overall style you’re hoping to achieve. From street to casual and smart, here’s some tips.

Logo Sweatshirts and Street Style

Logo Sweatshirts – Casual Style

If you are going for street style or casual style, a logo or graphic hoodie will work well. You can have a laid back or street style look with a logo sweatshirt, with brands such as Adidas offering some great options.

Team the sweatshirt with some sweat bottoms if you’re relaxing at home. If you’re out, wearing with some chinos or jeans, and a bomber jacket is something to consider.

Smart Style – Plain Sweatshirts

A plain sweatshirt is the most versatile, and can be worn casually or as a smarter item of clothing.

Although seen as casual only, providing the fit is good, and you wear one with the correct menswear, it can be turned into a smart-casual piece of fashion. This can make it suitable for work, going out on an evening or in some cases an alternative to a traditional knit.

Layering as described above will work, you can pair up a sweatshirt with some smart denim, brogues and an overcoat which will look anything but sloppy.

Alternative Styles – Zipped, Hooded & Other Sweatshirts

There’s alternative styles to sweatshirts, such as full zip options, hooded sweatshirts aka hoodies and even short sleeve sweatshirts.

These other options are usually reserved for a more casual laid back style, and a full zip up sweatshirt can be an alternative to a jacket, if the weather suits.

There is of course ways you can dress up a hoodie, usually by layering it with some smarter outerwear which gives it a smarter edge.


And so there you have it, all the different types of sweatshirts, and how to style them. The sweatshirt is a great item of clothing to have in your wardrobe, since we’ve got cold weather in the UK for a lot of the time, it’s going to be a piece of menswear which you’ll get plenty use out of.

They can be worn for a chill night as well as going out for a smart casual occasion, so they’re well worth the investment.

Now all you need to know is where to buy one. You can find the best sweatshirts to buy this season, which has plenty of options for all types of sweatshirts. Whether it’s plain, logo, graphic or retro, there’s a sweatshirt that will fit the bill.

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Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger and T-shirt designer from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

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