n our continuing quest to provide you with casual style tips, we thought we would focus on an item of clothing that has lately experienced a Renaissance. In an age when too many men see athletic shorts and no-sweat t-shirts as acceptable garments for public display, the classic sweatshirt has received some love, and it is not undeserved. While not suitable for entertaining or a dinner appointment, the sweatshirt makes an excellent addition to your casual wardrobe.
Sweatshirts must be distinguished from sweaters, with which they share certain obvious similarities. Both exist to keep their wearers warm in cool weather. However, sweaters are typically made of wool or cashmere, and when they are made of cotton, the cotton is combed and woven for a neat look. The sweatshirt, by contrast, is made from jersey cotton, or cotton fleece, spun together to make it less organized but considerably softer to the touch. Fleece and jersey cotton are typically thicker than combed cotton, accounting for the enhanced bulk of sweatshirts relative to sweaters. As regards their construction, sweatshirts are much sturdier than sweaters- unlike sweaters, a sweatshirt can withstand machine washing; in fact, it is meant to. This grew from the sweatshirt's origins: as its name obviously suggests, it began as athletic apparel, designed to absorb sweat from the body of an athlete training in cold weather while still keeping him warm.
The sweatshirt has been maligned over the years by an endless volume of bulky, crudely made pieces festooned with logos and writing. In its classic form, the sweatshirt is simple and sturdy. It was often stitched on its exterior to add to its strength, and in its origins, during the 1940's and 50's, it was cut slimmer and thinner. Clothing labels have returned to this aesthetic with the rise of the workwear trend, and modern sweatshirts can be found in a cut as efficient as their forefathers'.
The sweatshirt, as mentioned before, should not be worn to any sort of occasion. It is a supremely casual garment, and it always will be. With that in mind, it certainly has a place in a FashionMR's wardrobe, particularly in the casual style adopted on weekends or days off. If a gray sweatshirt seems too plain, many companies make sweatshirts in colors now. J. Crew in particular sells sweatshirts in 'sun-washed' colors that look to have seen many spins in the washing machine, along with plenty of jogs on a sunny Winter day. Pair one with some blue jeans or light stone chinos for a great comfortable ensemble.