Regardless of whether the first week of winter in the rear-view mirror or it’s stampeding straight towards you, the growing importance of layering is becoming obvious to most of us. We’ve already covered most of the key pieces – overcoats, lightweight jackets, and sports coats. The next big one is the right sweatshirt.
It’s hard to argue against the versatility of a sweatshirt. They’re perfect for loafing about on the couch when it’s pissing down outside, or combining them with tailoring to get you through that one day of the year when the office heating shits itself.
Today we’ve combined a list of top notch sweatshirts because it’s getting much colder outside than we’d like, and you deserve to look somewhat dashing while you contemplate the long-term consequences of hypothermia.
How Not To Look Like A Bum
As ridiculously comfy as sweatshirts are, it’s easy to look like a bit of a slob if you aren’t careful. The first nugget of wisdom to keep you out of vagrant territory is to pair oversized pieces with more tailored items. Slim jeans with a sloppy joe sweater, for example, will illustrate to people that you haven’t been booted to living on the streets (yet). Tailored layers are another handy option.
A collared Oxford shirt underneath a sweater, for example, can always do justice because a) layering in winter is a fundamental survival tool and b) it’ll smarten up your overall look. Finally, the last tool for avoiding the ‘bum chic’ is to look after your gear.
Sweaters can peel, warp, and decay if you don’t respect them. Fold sweaters in storage, rather than hanging them – this will stop the fabric warping and keep things looking crisp over time. Moths love chewing their way through sweaters, so try to ventilate your wardrobe, and brush your clothes regularly (moths can deposit eggs on clothes, sneaky f*ckers).
Walking around in a sweater that has more holes in it than Donald Trump’s internal logic never looks good.
Rhone's sweatshirts don't take on the traditional shape, instead offering a 1/4 zip design, but this makes it an even more professional-looking layering piece under a blazer. Alternatively, they can easily be dressed down with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt at the weekend for out-of-office cool.
Everlane's sweatshirts employ French Terry fabric that has been specially developed by the brand to make it ultra-durable. With a vast range of colours to choose from as well, you can stock up until your wardrobe is bursting.
Being in the business of menswear essentials means Olivers' sweatshirts rock classic silhouettes with barely any branding (and definitely no prints or patterns) in sight. What you get instead is incredibly well-made sweaters in a curated selection of seasonal colours, made from 100 per cent Japanese Supima cotton.
If anything, it makes the quality of Outerknown's clothing incredibly high. Sweatshirts are made from organic cotton and definitely rock a much more beachy vibe than some others on this list (given it's founder, it's hardly surprising).
For classically styled sweatshirts that offer a simple look and solid comfort, Gymshark has you covered. Throw one on for your morning walk or after a gym session to cover up your sweat-drenched tee, it's completely versatile.
Those same fabrics are used for Lululemon's range of sweatshirts to effectively wick sweat away from your body, while rocking a conventional silhouette that would look great in or out of the office.
Sweatshirts tend to feature prominent branding, but with a brand name like Boss, you're going to want to shout about it to those around you. Expect supersoft sweaters in a range of colours and fits, along with high-quality craftsmanship that more than justifies the price tag.
Take its sweatshirt range. Classic crew styles presented with various logos, colours and patterns, and a collaboration or two thrown in for good measure. You might not get super technical fabrics like you do with some other brands, but you get pieces that can be paired with a variety of outfits.
AllSaints tends to play it safe with the sweatshirt range (its the hoodies where it likes to experiment) with simple colours and silhouettes that just work. Colours are always on point, being the exact right shades that blend well with chinos, jeans and shorts of varying colours. Quality has come on leaps and bounds too, so now you're getting something that you know will last.
Faherty's sweatshirt range is a little different to the majority of other brands in this list, as you'll be hard pushed to find a crew-neck style in sight. Instead, the brand offers quarter-zip pullover pieces which are more akin to the sort of sweatshirt you'd put on around a campfire once the sun goes down.
Todd has maintained a longstanding partnership with Champion for some time, keeping a regular stock of sweatshirts and hoodies made in collaboration with the American sportswear brand. Designs are available in a wide range of colours, with some receiving various patterns or prints. Heavyweight French Terry fabric is used across the range for comfort and durability and they're all made in the USA.
Sweatshirts, for example, are made from French Terry, ideal comfort, warmth and durability, and are available in a multitude of colours that make them the perfect casual piece.
Sweatshirts range from midwight to heavyweight cotton, which, if you wish to, can easily be worn on the jobsite. Comfortable and warm with a hint of spandex stretch to allow for greater movement, Carhartt's sweatshirts are also available in a good range of colours to pair with most casual outfits.
Sweatshirts may appear to be similar to others on the market, rocking classically simple, clean silhouettes, but those others don't rock the same high-level quality offered by Sunspel.
Sweatshirts employ a variety of fabrics, making them suitable for a number of uses. For warmth and softness there's Supima cotton while for more active uses you can opt for stretch jersey raglan. Regardless of material, quality is up there with the very best, fits are on point and colours are on trend.
The majority of Ellesse's sweatshirt collection comprises a couple of more simple pieces. Expect classic fits, block colouring and fleece linings for sweet sweet comfort.
Uniqlo's sweatshirts come in both minimal and more adventurous styles. Minimal pieces are made from supersoft cotton and make great additions to capsule collections, but for a little bit of fun you can check out the brand's collaboration pieces that bring with them funky designs and colours.
Nike's sweatshirt range is vast, ticking off sports-specific pieces, collaborations and basics that can be worn by anyone and everyone. A full rainbow of colours is up for grabs too, making Nike one of the most dependable brands out there.
That's especially true of sweatshirts. Crew neck, quarter-zip, oversized, short sleeve, fleece, printed, muscle-fit, the list is almost endless. Better still, prices are incredibly affordable and quality doesn't take a hit.
Sweatshirts are just as eclectic as you'd expect, covering minimal pieces with subtle logo and branding, to more 'in your face' collections with images, prints and detailing that will give your outfits an alternative edge.
John Elliott's sweatshirt collection is one of our favourites here at DMARGE. Colour choice is spot on, fits are perfect (even oversized looks suitably tailored) and materials are some of the finest available. If you only get yourself one sweatshirt from this list, we seriously recommend it be a John Elliot.