The Complete Guide to Buying Fleece Tops

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The Complete Guide to Buying Fleece Tops

Fleece tops have a spotted reputation throughout their history. Originally designed for military use, the fleece jacket was used for years to keep troops of various countries warm during cold climate training and combat. It was not until the 1970s that the fleece top became popular with civilians as a way to keep both warm and dry during outdoor sports. For years after its mainstream introduction, the fleece top was a public fashion pariah unless used as workout gear. Through gradual use and changes in fashion design, the fleece top slowly gained popularity. Now fleece jackets are often seen even in the most fashionable environments.

Whether a man is wearing it for protection from cold during a workout or to keep warm while travelling to work, there is a fashionable fleece top for just about any occasion. This versatile top is available for purchase at most department stores, in catalogues, and online through shopping outlets, like eBay. The fleece now comes in several different styles, colours, and thicknesses. Before purchasing fleece tops, men should learn about the different styles of fleece tops and how to size them appropriately.

Styles of Fleece Tops

There are a few main styles of men’s fleece tops. Each of the different fleece tops has a few common traits that make the top useful under a variety of conditions. Pockets in fleece tops are a must, particularly if the top is used for hiking or other cold weather sports. The pockets are useful for carrying gloves, lip balm, sunglasses, and other cold weather necessities.

Another common trait that fleece tops have is a high collar, which can either be a zip-up collar or a static one. The purpose of a high collar is to tuck under a snow cap, or cinch tight, to keep the cold off of an unprotected neck. For a more fashionable look, a man can fold down the collar when it is not being used for protection. When worn with a scarf, the high neck can keep the scarf anchored during vigorous activities.

Although it is not strictly a necessity, it is helpful for a fleece top to have a zip. The zip can either be a half or it can be a full zip. Both of these can help to control body temperature without needing to completely remove the fleece. Zips also allow a man to wear lighter clothing underneath a fleece jacket so the jacket can be removed completely once he is indoors, or warm.

Some fleece tops have banded sleeves to prevent snow, wind, or water from entering through the arms of the top. These bands are useful while hiking, skiing, or performing other outdoor activities that require extensive movement.

The majority of fleece tops have these features, but some do not, so it is important to examine the purpose of the fleece, as well as its features, before making a purchase. A fleece worn purely for fashion can be less functional than a fleece used for a sport, such as hiking or skiing, where warmth and functionality are key factors.

The Fleece Gilet

One of the most common fleece tops is the fleece gilet, which is sleeveless and normally worn as an insulating layer between a long-sleeved shirt and a heavier top coat. Some men wear these without an outer top when the weather permits. These gilets can either be worn as a fashion accessory or as a functional layer.

The Fleece Winter Top

The fleece winter top is typically worn as outerwear. It is comfortable to wear over a long-sleeved shirt and is snow- and semi-water-resistant. The typical fleece top has the same zipper options as the fleece gilet, and may have a collar. The choice of collar depends upon the climate in which the top is being worn. This top is more for casual wear than sportswear, and may be seen worn at the office or out around town. Recently, fleece tops have made an appearance at schools in the form of uniform jackets, which sport school colours and school pride.

The Fleece Hiking Top

This fleece top for hiking is thicker than the normal winter jacket. It almost always has a full zipper instead of a half zipper, as well. Since hiking conditions can change rapidly, it is important that the top be durable and flexible. The fleece hiking top also sports chest pockets, as well as interior pockets for keeping valuable hiking supplies safe. Fleece hiking tops dry rapidly whether they are being worn, or simply hanging on a door or on the back of a chair.

The Fleece Skiing Top

Typically made to be worn under a ski parka, a fleece skiing top is lighter than most other fleece tops. It sometimes contains removable sleeves with the ability to transform into a gilet for casual wear, and a full jacket for the slopes. These tops are worn as an insulating layer to shield out the cold and the wind. Many fleece skiing tops feature a moisture wicking property to keep the wearer warm and dry on even the most rigorous ski slope.

Sizing a Fleece Top

Many fleece tops are meant to be worn under other jackets or clothing. This makes sizing them an important factor. Like a normal jacket, a fleece top should fit comfortably across the shoulders. A good method of testing this is for a man to put the top on and fold his arms across his chest. The top should not tighten around the chest or shoulders while zipped. A man should be able to fit two fingers into the collar while it is up to make sure that there is both room to move and room for a polo neck or jumper. Another test of a well-fitted fleece top is for a man to stretch his arms while wearing it. The sleeves should only slide up the wrists a few centimetres.

A standard fleece top sizing chart can be used to find a good fit, but if a parka or overcoat has already been purchased to wear with a fleece top, bring it along to check the fit of the fleece top while wearing the coat. Some fleece tops are thicker than others, which can make wearing a coat over them uncomfortably tight. When it comes to fleece tops, it is important to have an excellent fit because their versatility allows them to be worn for a variety of reasons and occasions.

Size

XS

S

M

L

XL

XXL

XXXL

Chest (cm)

84 - 89

91 - 97

99 - 104

106 - 112

114 - 120

122 - 127

129 - 135

Arms (cm)

82.5

84

86.5

89

91.5

93

94

This size chart is just a guideline and should not prevent a man from trying the jacket on himself. Many manufacturers have slightly different size guidelines. Fleece gilets may be shorter and thinner than a fleece jacket, which can make the fit slightly different.

Buying Fleece Tops on eBay

A man can purchase a fleece top on eBay by simply typing "fleece top" or "fleece jacket" into the search bar and clicking search. This displays a listing of fleece tops available for bidding or purchase. It is important that you read the listing carefully. It should include clearly stated information regarding the type of fleece, its use, features, and size. Some listings also include the fleece top’s thickness when referring to heavy weather skiing or hiking gear.

eBay provides a man with the opportunity to browse and find out which types of fleece clothing are available, as well as purchase the fleece that both suits his purpose and personal style. The listing should also include both the seller’s shipping and return policies clearly stated in case the fleece top does not fit or contains a flaw. Sellers on eBay also have feedback scores and ratings that provide information to the buyer about the trustworthiness of the seller. There is also a rating for top sellers on eBay. The top-rated seller designation indicates a seller who has consistently good feedback and complies with all of eBay’s policies.

Conclusion

Purchasing a fleece top does not have to be a trying experience. Fleece tops can both make a fashion statement and be a valuable tool for keeping warm during rigorous hiking and skiing trips. They may be worn as an insulator when engaging in rigorous sports, or as a light jacket for less strenuous activities. It is important to make sure that the fleece that is chosen suits the activity. Having a thin fleece top that is worn as outerwear can be trouble for a hiker in the cold, while a fleece that is too heavy may make a man uncomfortable in a normal weather setting.

Fleece tops are used for a wide variety of purposes, and have recently become more popular as casual outerwear. There are now many different styles, colours, and types of fleece tops from which to choose. They can be found in catalogues, online, as well as in many department stores. A wise buyer considers the purpose of the fleece top, the type of fleece they desire, and the size that is most comfortable.

 
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