Men's Wardrobe Staples: The Sweatshirt

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With men's fashion tending to be a little less trend-led, and more about everyday items that can work well together, as well as your body type, the word "essentials" could never be more relevant. Over the next few days we're going to profile a handful of those timeless essentials - breaking each down and sharing some of the best examples of each to be found on eBay. First up,  sweatshirts!
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A Sign of Quality

There are a few countries around the world where  jersey manufacturing and construction are considered highly regarded. Usually this is a sign of quality of labour, design and fabrics. In the sweatshirt game USA, Japan, Portugal and the UK are considered to hold the top spots. 
A good sign of a sweatshirt's quality in the type of weave construction the jersey cotton has gone through. You'll find most sweats are backed (on the inside) with brushed cotton or fleece; both of these tend to stretch and pile quite easily). Terry Towelling is a great alterative to these two, but the king of them all is the Loopback. Known for its strong resilience, hardwearing construction and comfort, the  loopback method of construction (visible by it's small loops of cotton, which doubles back on itself) is one of the oldest ways to product a timeless sweatshirt.
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Make it Grey

You can have any colour you like, as long as it's grey. There's something about that subtle fleck in the classic  grey marl sweatshirt that just makes it miles ahead of the rest. Fit and price come into play, no doubt, but when looking for a new top, 90% of the time reverts back to shopping for grey. 
Timeless, elegant, everyday, worn-in, casual, smart, versatile...all words that are commonly associated with the grey sweatshirt. Need any more reasons?
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The Timeless Details

There are a handful of details on the classic sweatshirt that are typically carried over to any modern interpretations. These small details have stood the test of time, and are generally considered as design details that give the sweatshirt its classic appearance. Created in the 20s by  Russell Athletic, and popularised by the everyday people and sports folk of the 50s, the humble sweatshirt hasn't changed much since its birth. Here's what to look out for: 
- The classic 50's fit, with shorter body and boxy shoulders 
- Ribbed cuffs and hem 
- Fitting neck with inserted "Modesty V" on the front - originally designed for ease of on-off and to absorb sweat 
- Extra Modesty V insert on the back of neck, but this details is but rarer, and can only be found of true reproductions.  LVC offer this, as do a few Japanese work wear brands. 
- Traditional Loopback construction (see small loops on the inside) shows a sign of quality. 
- Inserts running from under arm to hem, in variable fabric. Helps with movement and structure. 
- Raglan Sleeves
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Staple Shades

When deciding which colours best work with the rest of your wardrobe what shades do you instantly think of? For me, when talking about sweatshirts, a few colours instantly spring to mind; grey marl,  navy blue, dark green and dark red. Everyone has their favourites, but these four colours work perfectly in nearly every occasion. Grey and navy are the most versatile out of the bunch, with either looking great thrown over a white tee, with worn-in jeans, or equally as smart with layered over a  white oxford shirt, with slim-fit chinos or semi-smart trousers.
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The Fit

Getting the fit to be perfect for you can be the hardest part of buying any clothing. I find that once I discover a brand that works well for my body shape, I'll stick to it across the board. I'm a 6'1, 160 lbs guy with a moderately athletic frame. But I tend to find that sleeves are generally too long, and the body of garments is a little too short. I'm stuck in the middle. 
Once you find that perfect fit, be it a sweatshirt,  indigo jeans, t-shirt or sports coat, stock up and stick to it!
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Who Does It Best?

Most brands these days have their take on the classic sweatshirt. Nip into any high-street store and you'll see them, likewise for any mid-card players and high-end luxury. 
Some examples on the high street are good for the price; namely UNIQLO, Everlane, ASOS or sportswear brands such as Nike and adidas. The mid-range is where things start getting really nice, with more care taken when choosing fabrics and getting that fit right. The best overall fit, colour and fabric I've found is  Sunspel. They've been creating the same sweatshirt for decades, and at around $120 it may seem expensive, but it's the only one you'll need for a good few years. In the luxury market there's plenty of examples, but you tend to be paying more for the name or something over-designed.
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Written by: bucketsandspadesblog
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