If you're looking for a simple, timeless garment that can take you from the gym to the store to a casual night out, you can't go wrong with a crew neck sweatshirt. Sporty yet stylish, these classic sweaters pair with all kinds of outfits, from jeans to shorts to dresses.
You might already have an idea of the kind of sweatshirt you want, but it pays to narrow down your options. The Champion Men's Powerblend Fleece Crew is a classic choice that's available in many hues.
What differentiates sweatshirts from sweaters is that they're sewn while sweaters are knitted. Most are made from the classic sweatshirt fabric that you'd instantly recognize, which is smooth on the outside and lightly fleecy on the inside.
This material is usually a straight-up blend of cotton and polyester. However, the ratio of cotton to polyester varies. In some cases, it contains as much as 90% cotton and 10% polyester, while on the other end of the spectrum, it can be around 30% polyester and 70% cotton.
The more cotton in a blend, the more likely the sweatshirt is to shrink slightly in the wash. It's wise to size up if you choose a high-cotton blend.
Although there's nothing inherently gendered about sweatshirts, manufacturers still usually divide them into "men's" and "women's" categories, although some make unisex options. Naturally, people of any gender — or none — can wear any sweatshirt they prefer, as long as they pay attention to differences in sizing.
Sweatshirts for men tend to run slightly larger than sweatshirts for women. So, expect a men's XL to be bigger than a women's XL. Unisex sizing varies but is more likely to be closer to men's sizing than women's. You'll sometimes find women's sweatshirts are cut more generously in the chest, but this isn't always the case.
You'll also find plenty of kids' crews if you're buying for a child in your life. These are usually sold in age-related sizes, so it's easier to get the right fit. Of course, you need to adjust for kids who are smaller or larger than average for their age.
If you want a sweatshirt with a classic, retro silhouette, choose one with ribbed, elasticated cuffs and hems. However, you can also find sweatshirts with loose, open cuffs and hems, which some buyers prefer the look of or find more comfortable.
Many big sportswear brands make sweatshirts. While choosing a name brand isn't a guarantee of quality, you're more likely to get a well-made garment than you are from an unknown manufacturer.
Most sweatshirts are solid-colored, although you can occasionally find prints. You can find them in practically any hue, but you may need to shop around to find less popular shades.
Sweatshirts often get a lot of wear, especially in cooler months, so they must be easy to wash and dry. It's rare to find ones that aren't machine washable, but some need air drying, which can be inconvenient.
An average crew costs around $20-$50, but like most clothing, prices can range much higher. If you want a designer sweatshirt, you could pay anywhere from $100-$1,000.
A. It's a collarless sweatshirt with a rounded neckline. The neckline sits relatively high, as opposed to a scoop neck or a deeper round neck. Not all crew neck garments are sweatshirts. You can also find crew neck sweaters and crew neck T-shirts. The term dates back to 1939 and was named after the type of sweaters worn by people who rowed crew.
A. It should fit snugly around the hips to keep warmth in, but it can be looser on the body and around the chest. The elasticated hem found on many sweatshirts makes it easier to achieve this fit. Of course, it's down to the individual how they want their clothing to fit, so it's fine to have a tighter or baggier fit if you prefer.
Champion Men's Powerblend Fleece Crew
What you need to know: This classic sweatshirt is great for working out or casual wear.
What you’ll love: You can choose from a huge range of colors, including team gold, maroon, hiker green and Oxford gray. The wider ribs in the cuffs and hem help them lay flat. It has a subtle Champion C logo on the chest and one on the sleeve.
What you should consider: The fabric is on the thin side, so it isn't a great cold weather sweater.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Gildan DryBlend Adult Set-in Crew Neck Sweatshirt
What you need to know: Affordable with a classic sweatshirt silhouette, this unisex crew is a versatile choice.
What you’ll love: It's made from a light, pill-resistant cotton-polyester blend. You have a choice of 14 colors, including cardinal red, forest green and safety orange. Sizes range from S to XXL.
What you should consider: Some buyers say these shirts run small and others say they run large, so it's a good idea to check the sizing chart before buying.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Adidas Women's Essentials Three-Stripes Fleece Sweatshirt
What you need to know: With the iconic Adidas three-stripes down the sleeves, it's both stylish and practical.
What you’ll love: It's made from a blend of cotton, polyester and viscose, which gives the material some stretch and a soft, fleecy interior. You can choose from seven colors, including halo blush, victory crimson and black, all with contrasting stripes and a logo.
What you should consider: Some colors look darker in real life than they do on the screen.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.