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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
3 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for Best sweatshirts for women

If you’re looking for something cozy to wear when it gets chilly or you’re ready to curl up on the couch with a good book, reach for a sweatshirt. In recent years, athleisure has been embraced as a distinct apparel style. Sweatshirts lead the charge in this fairly new category, especially as clothing manufacturers have begun to experiment with different materials, textures, cuts, and designs.

Classic sweatshirts feature a crewneck collar with ribbed detail at the wrists and waist. They’re generously cut to the point of being somewhat boxy and bulky. For that reason, sweatshirts are ideal outer layers because they leave plenty of room to go over T-shirts, tanks, or thermal garments.

If you’re curious about the new styles that build upon the classic sweatshirt design, we invite you to read this buying guide. We cover everything you need to know about sweatshirts for women, plus we share a few shopping tips to make your choice a simple one.

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Cotton sweatshirts are popular for arts and crafts projects. You can iron on decals, decorate them with fabric paint, or bedazzle them with glitter and rhinestones.

Key considerations

Hoodies vs. sweatshirts

One of the biggest debates of the athleisure world is whether sweatshirts or hoodies are a better investment.

Hoodies: According to some consumers, hoodies are the superior choice. Not only do they offer a bit more warmth with pockets and a hood, they also offer more weather protection. However, a hoodie can be challenging to dress up and pair with fashionable athleisure since it’s inherently casual. Washing hoodies comes with unique challenges as well because the drawstrings can get caught in the agitator of the washing machine.

Sweatshirts: Even without a hood, sweatshirts are a cozy option. In fact, some consumers feel the hood gets in the way and adds unnecessary bulk, especially if the wearer has no intention of using the hood. Consumers also claim it’s far more comfortable to drive in a sweatshirt than a hoodie for this reason. Generally speaking, there’s a greater variety of fashionable sweatshirts than hoodies on the market as well.

Seasons

It’s common to buy different sweatshirts to suit different seasons. Heavyweight or fleece-lined sweatshirts are ideal for cold weather wear. Medium-weight sweatshirts are recommended for wear when temperatures fluctuate. Lightweight, breathable sweatshirts are often preferred for warm weather wear.

Styling sweatshirts

Sure, sweatshirts are functional, but many women wonder how to style them appropriately. Here are a few tips to point you in the right direction.

Size: For one, it’s often recommended that you size up in sweatshirts. Not only does this mean you can still wear them if they shrink, but you’re also able to layer clothes beneath them. Some consumers size up to find a more flattering length. Boxy, waist-length sweatshirts for example, aren’t universally flattering.

Sleeves: It’s common to wear sweatshirts with the sleeves rolled up. The trick to pulling off this look is to take your time rolling up the cuffs. Begin by folding up the ribbed cuff at the seam. This leaves a flat cuff, which can either be worn pushed up the forearm or folded over two or three times until it is at the optimal position on your arm.

Bottoms: Sweatshirts can be worn with most types of bottoms, such as jeans, sweatpants, leggings, yoga pants, and even skirts. Depending on the sweatshirt, it can be worn tucked or untucked, too. It goes without saying that sweatshirts can be worn with matching sweatpants, as well as any type of pajama bottoms.

Footwear: For a sporty look, wear a sweatshirt with a favorite pair of sneakers. In dressier outfits, such as sweatshirts worn with fancy jeans, strappy heels or fashionable boots are popular choices. Of course, if you’re wearing a lightweight sweatshirt in warmer weather, any type of sandals or flip-flops will match.

If you love the idea of wearing a college sweatshirt, be prepared to pay top dollar for one. Licensing deals can add 15% to the price.

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Features

Neckline

Classic sweatshirts have a crewneck, though V-neck and scoop-neck styles have risen in popularity. Consumers have warmed up to these newer necklines, especially if they prefer a bit more room in the neck area. These necklines also give sweatshirts a dressier appearance, making them somewhat easier to style.

Length

Regular sweatshirts are cut at the natural waist, but, unfortunately, it’s not a universally flattering cut. Here are some other popular lengths for sweatshirts.

Cropped sweatshirts are typically cut above the belly button. They’re popular for dance fitness, festival wear, and everyday sporty looks. A couple of the pitfalls of this cut are that they often emphasize the shoulders, and, of course, they’re somewhat revealing.

Hip-length sweatshirts fall closer to the bottom of the hips and offer moderate coverage around the rear. These styles are only a couple inches longer than regular sweatshirts, but they help elongate the torso rather than cutting it off.

Tunic sweatshirts have a hemline that reaches to the mid-thigh or lower. They offer the most coverage, making them one of the warmer options. However, some wearers may find tunic sweatshirts too bulky and long.

Materials

While cotton sweatshirts remain popular, cotton blend sweatshirts are far more common. Materials like polyester, spandex, and rayon make sweatshirts softer and more durable. These blends are fairly shrink-resistant and colorfast, so they’re more likely to retain a brand-new appearance.

One thing to keep in mind about cotton blends is that the higher the percentage of cotton, the more likely the sweatshirt will shrink. A sweatshirt that is 70% cotton and 30% polyester, for example, will likely shrink much more than a sweatshirt that is 50% cotton and 50% polyester.

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Did You Know?
No matter what color your jeans are, you can’t go wrong with a navy blue sweatshirt.
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Accessories

Sweatpants: Champion Women’s Jogger Sweatpants
If you like your sweatshirt, you’ll love these sweatpants. Made from a soft blend of cotton and polyester, they wash well and won’t shrink.

Workout tank: Reebok Workout Tank Top
If you’re looking for a great base layer to match your sweatshirt, snag this one by Reebok. It’s lightweight and breathable, plus it’s available in over three dozen colors.

Some trendy sweatshirts now have pockets. While you can keep lightweight items like hair ties or tissues inside them, heavier items like phones or keys will weigh down the fabric.

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Sweatshirts for women prices

Sweatshirts for women range in price from $7 to $100. To some extent, price depends on the quality of the construction and materials.

Inexpensive: Entry-level sweatshirts, many of which are mostly cotton, cost $25 and less. Quality isn’t the best in this bracket, but if you’re looking for a basic sweatshirt, you’ll be well served here.

Mid-range: These sweatshirts for women cost $30 to $60. Many of these styles are manufactured by popular sports apparel and athleisure brands. Quality and construction are superior, and they tend to outlast cheaper sweatshirts.

Expensive: Premium sweatshirts cost closer to $100. While they may have some unique design features, they’re mostly produced by high-end brands, in which case you end up paying more for the label than the actual quality.

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Sweatshirts are ideal for travel. They’re easy to put on and take off, they’re comfortable, and they don’t have any metal details to set off alarms at security checkpoints.

Tips

  • Buy multiples. If you love the way a sweatshirt fits, buy more than one. That way, you’ll always have a cozy, well-fitting sweatshirt available when one is in the wash.
  • Keep a sweatshirt in your car. It’s a good idea to keep a spare sweatshirt in your car. In the event the temperature drops, or you spill something on your shirt, you’ll have a backup option ready to wear.
  • Get dressed after brushing your teeth. Toothpaste is notorious for staining clothing, especially sweatshirts. That’s why it’s a better idea to brush your teeth before putting on your sweatshirt or any other top.

FAQ

Q. How do I prevent iron-on logos from deteriorating in the wash?

A. It’s best to wash logo sweatshirts inside out in the washing machine. This prevents other garments, especially those with metal details like zippers, from rubbing against logos and scratching them. Another way to keep logos intact is by washing sweatshirts in bleach-free detergent and drying them on low.

Q. Why does the waistband of my sweatshirt always end up with small holes?

A. The tiny holes are often a result of friction wear, in which the edge constantly rubs against jeans, belts, or waistbands of other garments. After a while, the friction weakens the fibers and wears them down, causing holes. Unfortunately, this isn’t a preventable problem; it’s part of a sweatshirt’s normal wear and tear.

Q. What is the best color for a neutral sweatshirt?

A. If you’re in the market for a sweatshirt that will go with every color, charcoal or heather gray is your best option. Not only does it match virtually every outfit, it’s less likely to show signs of fading like other colors.

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