Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Don’t look now, but sweatshirts are all over the place. Every retailer trying to cash in on the fall fashion season has a selection of sweatshirts and hoodies on offer. Give it another six weeks and they will start to disappear. If you are planning to buy now though plan on paying more than you would if you waited until winter starts winding down.

Just know that you don’t have to spend $100 or more to get a decent sweatshirt. Whether you are looking for a classic crewneck sweatshirt or a hoodie, there are some very affordable options that don’t come off as being cheap. If you want cheap, that’s fine too.

Good Quality Material

Though there are exceptions to the rule, a typical sweatshirt or hoodie is made with a cotton jersey material. It is generally a thick material with a tight weave and a very soft texture. That’s why sweatshirts and hoodies are so comfortable.

All of this is to say that a good sweatshirt is made with quality material. If you come across one that seems thin, flimsy, and cheaply made, it probably is. Sweatshirts are one of the few clothing items for which you can tell the quality just by feeling the material.

You can get a high-quality sweatshirt with no printing or graphics for between $30 and $50. It is not likely going to come from a top brand at that price, but brand and quality don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. You do not have to buy the latest designer brand to get a high-quality garment.

Printing and Graphics

Add printing and graphics to a sweatshirt and you’re going to drive the price up. That is reasonable. It takes extra work to dress up a sweatshirt. But still, you don’t have to spend a fortune. For instance, consider the UmaiClothing brand. The company’s big thing is anime. All the artwork on their T-shirts and sweatshirts is created internally, so there are no licensing issues in play. That allows them to create some pretty fantastic pieces at the $50 mark or under.

Not into anime? That’s fine. Just bear in mind that any printing or graphics pertaining to well-known pop-culture icons (including pro sports) come with hefty licensing fees. Producers pass that cost along to customers by way of higher retail prices.

The Brand Name Conundrum

It would be appropriate to close this post by talking about the brand name conundrum so prevalent in the world of fashion. A company’s brand is important in that it defines what sets that company apart. What many people do not realize is that clothing and apparel brands are less about garment quality and more about lifestyle factors.

Imagine two T-shirt and sweatshirt companies contracting with an overseas manufacturer to make their products. Yes, this happens all the time. The manufacturer might produce pieces that are identical in every way except the label and branding. You would still pay more for the luxury brand, but not because it is a better product. You are paying for the name.

There is a certain lifestyle associated with a $120 sweatshirt, a lifestyle that doesn’t apply to somebody who can only afford to spend $40. If that’s important to you, buy the more expensive brand. If it’s not, you can probably get a garment just as good for considerably less.

Sweatshirt and hoodie prices are higher this time of year because demand goes up. Just know that you don’t have to spend a ton of money if you don’t want to. There are lots of affordable products on the racks and online.

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