The hoodie is a pillar of the casual wardrobe. It has transcended its roots as a sportswear staple and is an essential garment regardless of social class or aesthetic taste. Though the design hasn’t changed much over the years, brands are offering versions of the hoodie in a range of quality fabrics unfound in previous decades.
Still comfortable and durable, these sweatshirts show the depth of materials available in French terry, fleece-back and double-face constructions. Whether you’re a fan of pullover or zip-up styles, quality fabric is what makes the garment. So explore the range of options below and invest in a hoodie worth wearing for years.
French Terry: Sometimes referred to as loopback cotton, this fabric is warp knitted with a flat face and loops on the underside, which serve the same purpose as the loops on a towel: to absorb moisture and sweat. Most commonly offered in 100 percent cotton, French terry can also include added elastane for stretch.
Fleece-Back: To create fleece-back fabrics, the underside of a knitted fabric is brushed with sandpaper or wire brushes until the yarn becomes soft and fleecy. This technique can be applied to a large range of knitted cotton fabrics and is utilized for its velvety hand feel.
Double-Face: This material is made up of two interlocking knitted fabrics. A double-knitted jersey, for example, is made up of two single jerseys knitted together so that both the underside and outside of the fabric are flat. Domestically, the Northwestern Knitting Co. has a proprietary knitted fabric made of two distinct layers, while internationally, brands like Norse Projects utilize this material.
Jersey: Contrary to cotton, jersey is not a fabric but rather a type of knit. This knit offers stretch and shape retention without the employment of additional material or synthetic fibers.
Reverse Weave: This is a technique invented in 1938 that calls for heavy-duty cotton cut on the cross-grain to prevent shrinkage. Rather than stitching the sweatshirt vertically, Champion, the originators, did so horizontally and with side panels to nearly eliminate the possibility altogether.
Kangaroo Pocket: This is the front pocket found on most hoodies. They typically have two points of entry on either side.
This hoodie utilizes hefty 23-ounce fleece from South Carolina. The soft cotton-poly blend looks and feels like your favorite vintage sweatshirt, and it features a double-lined hood and a reinforced kangaroo pocket. What's more, it's got a 10-year guarantee so if it rips or wears out in a decade, the brand will repair it.
Reigning Champ’s Canadian-made zip-up hoodie combines the comfort of a raglan sleeve with the tailored look of an in-set sleeve, all packed into an inimitable loopback cotton-jersey fabric. Bartack stitching reinforces the pockets while flatlock stitching ensures the fabric lays comfortably flush against the skin.
Uniqlo is one of the best-kept non-secrets in fashion. The better basics brand is a go-to for anyone on the style spectrum and its Long-Sleeve Hooded Sweatshirt is a simple, pared-back hoodie with a fabric stands up to the competition in higher price brackets.
Les Tien's luxe Heavyweight Hoodie is cut from vintage textured, made-in-the-US fleece. It's fine and soft to the touch yet plenty durable. Plus, gold-plated grommets give it a vintage feel.
Stylish running brand Tracksmith makes essentials for jaunts around town, and get-togethers, too. This Trackhouse Sweatshirt doesn't lean too hard into sportswear, making it something you could pair with casual outfits. Plus, it's cut from reverse-weave cotton that won't shrink or pill.
Russell Athletic is best-known for literally inventing the sweatshirt — Champion coined the hood — so if you’re one to gravitate to the real deal, look no further. Its Dri-Power Pullover Fleece Hoodie comes with baby soft fleece fabric and vintage details like the v-insert, drawstring and a comfortable relaxed fit.
Stalwart workwear brand Carhartt’s hoodie is, like the rest of its range, built to last. The 50/50 cotton-poly fabric is a hardy blend that doesn’t sacrifice on comfort and it won’t break the bank, either.
Champion invented the hoodie, so it makes sense that the century-old company makes a pretty good one. It has the signature reverse weave fabric for which the brand is known, which is tough and won’t shrink in the length.
Made from French terry hat’s tightly spun for added durability, this hoodie features triple-needle coverstitching along the seams and metal-capped drawcords. It has a 365-day guarantee, so if anything goes wrong, Everlane will replace it free of charge.
Made from super heavyweight fleece-back fabric, this sweatshirt has an oversize fit and is garment-dyed for a lived-in appearance. The hood doesn't have drawstrings and the hoodie is pre-washed so it won't shrink.
Crafted from an all-cotton terry loop fabric, the smooth outer looks clean while the brushed interior is super soft against the skin. The kangaroo pocket is generous and the contrast hood cinch adds a subtle touch of style.
Made in Los Angeles from recycled cotton, this hoodie features 14-ounce fleece-back fabric. It's garment-dyed, preshrunk and 99.5 percent biodegradable.
Legends of the beach, Birdwell's best-known for its tough surf trunks. But, one of its recent additions to its line of seaside goods is this vintage-inspired hoodie. For the vintage nerd looking for a 1930s-style hoodie without the collector price, look no further.
Cut from hefty, 13-oz fleece, Filson's Prospector Hoodie is simple yet incredibly sturdy. The 75-percent cotton, 25-percent polyester blend helps prevent shrinkage, and the sweatshirt's finished with a "generously-sized" hood, which Filson says can fit over hats.
Save Khaki United’s American-made hoodie starts with premium Supima cotton, one of the world’s softest cottons. From there, comfort is added thanks to the naturally-fitting raglan sleeves and flatlock stitching throughout. Plus, we love the refreshingly clean look that forgoes the near-requisite kangaroo pockets.
Made from an all-natural blend of hemp and organic cotton, this hoodie features ribbed hems and cuffs, a snap at the neck and a kangaroo pocket. It's garment-dyed so it looks and feels like a much-loved vintage sweatshirt from the first wear.
It doesn't get much better than this. Lady White Co.'s 13-ounce sweatshirt features a rectangular patch pocket, ribbed side seam gussets and a dual layered hood. Made in Los Angeles, it has a classic boxy shape.
From the makers of some of the finest jeans on the market comes one of the finest hoodies on the market, made with a seriously hefty fleece that’s been dyed with indigo and just begging for you to fade it yourself. It’s crafted in Canada with a unique 3-piece hood construction and discreet, on-seam hand pockets.
Though it’s labeled as a relaxed fit, it really is the perfect-fitting hoodie. The premium loopback French terry, ribbed trim and substantial kangaroo pocket are three cherries on top.
It doesn't get closer to the real thing than The Real McCoy's. Making one of these hoodies is tedious, thanks to the mythicized loopwheel knitting machine from which the fabric is made. Using only the natural tension of gravity, these machines slowly knit a seamless tube of jersey that's both dense and unbelievably soft.