Help me find the best sweatshirt known to mankind.
January 3, 2014 3:49 PM   Subscribe

What's the softest and most comfortable sweatshirt that I can buy?

My boyfriend and I are exchanging Christmas/Festivus/Quonsar gifts ridiculously late this year, because we've both been away traveling (to separate locations) for the past few weeks. Being the complete doofus that I am, I still haven't gotten him anything...

I want to get him a soft and comfortable sweatshirt that he can wear around the house. He usually throws an old sweatshirt on when he gets out of the shower, does house chores, or curls up by the fireplace. I'd like to upgrade his old sweatshirt to something more comfortable.

My criteria are as follows, roughly in order of importance:
  • Above all else, it has to be soft and comfortable.
  • Comfortable without another shirt on underneath. (So, probably no zipper)
  • Medium weight -- mainly to be worn indoors during the winter.
  • Slim fit, and somewhat flattering appearance (as much as a sweatshirt can look flattering).
  • Price cap around $100. I'm willing to spend a bit of money, but I don't this to be something that he never wears for fear of spilling coffee on it.
  • No hood. He's probably not going to wear this outdoors.
Suggestions? Bonus points will be rewarded if you recommend something that I can buy locally or ship quickly.
posted by schmod to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (23 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
I own a sweatshirt from Alternative Apparel similar to this women's sweatshirt, and it is sublime. I'm just not sure if it's exactly the same, since they've changed their website. But, It's super soft and comfortable, wears well (although there is a little pilling under the arms now, one year out), and it's held up well.

It does have a hood, but they have non-hooded options.
posted by absquatulate at 3:57 PM on January 3, 2014

I have a Uniqlo sweatshirt and it's pretty comfy for the money.

I will link you to the malefashionadvice subreddit's in-depth post on the subject. Be warned, there are tempting and pricey options there.
posted by Magnakai at 4:07 PM on January 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

Club Monaco has some steeply discounted sweaters now that are pretty well regarded. You can actually grab one of their cashmeres for around $110, although at that price point it's probably an inferior kind (thin, not as strong, more likely to pill).

J.Crew also has some sales going on now, although their cashmeres are a bit pricier. And it may be hard to find the size you want.
posted by rq at 4:18 PM on January 3, 2014

Might be too heavy but American Giant makes really great sweatshirts, about $70.
From their site: "Voted Best American Made Sweatshirt by Esquire. Our Crew Neck sweatshirt combines comfort, quality, and durability into one iconic garment. This is the sweatshirt we used to steal from our dads' closet."
posted by belau at 4:19 PM on January 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

Nthing Uniqlo, great sweat shirt for the money. If your boyfriend is large, it might be an issue with sizing.
posted by smoke at 5:10 PM on January 3, 2014

I've owned a lot of sweaters and sweatshirts from mid-higher end places. The most comfortable ones i've had were either vintage, or from jcrew.

Before spending probably right around your $100 max target, i'd honestly go check out vintage shops in the area for a cute one that's worn in and soft, but not worn out and still looks nice.

The jcrew one i have is nice, but the ralph lauren one that's around 50 years old beats the pants off it for comfort.
posted by emptythought at 5:13 PM on January 3, 2014

Champion Reverse Weave. On sale right now for a bargain $25, and they are great from the first wash and totally improve with age. I love mine. They are also 100% guaranteed, like old school LL Bean guaranteed, so if it's not perfect even after washing, it can be returned.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:14 PM on January 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Whatever you get, here's a tip: wash cold and drip dry. This stops the sweatshirt interior from getting all rough inside. Never, ever put a hoodie in the dryer.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:22 PM on January 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

Another Alternative Apparel vote... their hoodie, anyway, is amazing. I've caught my coworkers admiring its softness and construction.
posted by ph00dz at 5:29 PM on January 3, 2014

Response by poster: Magnakai: "I will link you to the malefashionadvice subreddit's in-depth post on the subject. Be warned, there are tempting and pricey options there."

Welp, that went down the rabbit-hole quickly.... A few clicks later, and I'm researching the feasibility of importing a sweatshirt from Japan....
posted by schmod at 5:54 PM on January 3, 2014 [6 favorites]

Alternative apparels hoodies are indeed Quite Nice; but I buy American apparels 'dovs' hoodie; it is a tri blend of some sort, and some magical wash is applied to make it even softer.
posted by furnace.heart at 6:15 PM on January 3, 2014

First of all, look at the fabric content label on his current one/s. Is it 100% cotton? or a cotton/poly mix.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:15 PM on January 3, 2014

My husband has one of those American Giant hoodies and it is indeed extremely well-made (in the USA). It is a very heavy cotton fabric though, so if he wants something soft that might not be the right one.
posted by matildaben at 6:16 PM on January 3, 2014

It may be that nothing new will be as comfortable as his old sweatshirt. I've had one for 20 years and it seems softer and more comfortable than ever.
posted by Area Man at 6:20 PM on January 3, 2014

I haven't tried this myself, but I was coveting it the other day: Cashmere Blend Sweatshirt from Hammacher Schlemmer.
posted by Deodand at 6:46 PM on January 3, 2014

Check out Marine Layer. Their whole shtick is their softness.
posted by roger ackroyd at 6:59 PM on January 3, 2014

^ missed the edit window, but I was going to add they'll even send you a swatch.
posted by roger ackroyd at 7:05 PM on January 3, 2014

I love hoodies. My all time favorite, hands down - Carhartt. I don't care for most of Carhartt's stuff, but their hoodies are awesome. Long sleeves, and as warm and durable as hell itself. A long sleeve Tshirt and my Carhartt hoodie is good to well below freezing and stupid comfortable.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:47 PM on January 3, 2014

This violates a lot of your specs, but Nordstrom sells a really light cashmere hoodie that would totally work for you on that level of comfort/lightness you're truly looking for.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:53 PM on January 3, 2014

My boyfriend got a Threads 4 Thought hoodie for Christmas and it is deliciously soft inside and out and looks great. Here are two sweatshirts without hoods:


Nordstrom carries the first one (free shipping!)
posted by fozzie_bear at 3:58 PM on January 4, 2014

If there's ever a fire at my house, my American Giant is the only item of clothing I'd save.
posted by Twicketface at 4:19 PM on January 4, 2014

I'm sure the other brands mentioned here are great, some of them I even own, but you want an Arborwear shirt. It is the one true sweatshirt. They claim it's "the best thought-out sweatshirt ever." I cannot argue.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 10:00 PM on January 4, 2014

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