What is the difference between a sweatshirt and hoodie?

What is the difference between a sweatshirt and hoodie?

Both are warm, comfortable and a staple item in most winter wardrobes. But what are the key differences – both practical and cultural – between a sweatshirt and a hoodie?

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The first sweatshirt was reportedly invented by a footballer in 1926. He wanted a warm, unrestrictive outer garment for sports practice that didn’t have the itchiness of wool. Cotton was a comfortable, soft fabric that allowed free movement, regulated body temperature and absorbed sweat – the perfect fabric for athletic activity and exercise. Not long after the invention of the sweatshirt, sweat pants followed and thus the ‘jog suit’ was born. Over the years sweatshirts have changed, evolved and been embraced by certain social groups and sub cultures but even now, the link between athleticism and the sweatshirt is relevant.

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Hoodies offer many of the same benefits of a sweatshirt, particularly in terms of warmth and comfort. The official name for a hoodie is a ‘hooded sweatshirt’ which essentially highlights the one key difference – the fact that this garment has a hood. Another key difference is that the sweatshirt is by nature, a pullover. While some hoodies are also pulled on over the head, many also offer zip or button functions along with toggles or laces to make them more customisable to the wearer. Hoodies, like sweatshirts, have been branded by designer and high street fashion houses over the years to showcase logos, motifs or designs that make them desirable to certain groups. EJ Menswear offer a range of hoodies and sweatshirts from lots of popular brands.

Cultural differences

Unfortunately the hoodie has somewhat of a bad reputation in comparison to the preppy sweatshirt. While the sweatshirt is associated with sports and colleges, the hoodie was often favoured by graffiti artists during the 1970’s hip hop movement in New York to hide their identity. As such it has since been linked with undesirable, even criminal activity – so much so that a BBC News report highlights how certain areas of the UK looked at banning the hoodie to reduce anti social behaviour.

Sweatshirts vs. hoodies

There is a place for both though. Our Lyle & Scott sweatshirts are versatile enough to pass for both casual and formal wear.

Hoodies are better placed for layering up under leather or bomber jackets to create a cool, urban look.

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