The humble crewneck sweatshirt has come a long way from its reputation as a shvitz-soaked garment for working out. Today, crewneck sweatshirts are as much a wardrobe staple for work (both at home and in offices), as they are for working out or even dining out. Their rounded necks make them especially practical for layering, whether in winter (for obvious reasons) or in warmer months, when it’s not quite cold enough to put on your heaviest turtleneck, but you still want something to throw on over a T-shirt or Oxford shirt. To find the best crewneck sweatshirts, we talked to 17 guys about their favorites. Given that all look more or less the same (save for variations in color or pattern or fabric), we’ve sorted their recommendations by price, given that some folks may prefer to stick to budget friendly basics, while others may want to invest in a sweatshirt made with finer materials. Each category below is also organized to lead with the styles that got the most recommendations.
Best under-$50 men’s crewneck sweatshirts
As we did when reporting on cool men’s favorite underwear, socks, and T-shirts, in putting this story together, we learned that Uniqlo makes a solid crewneck sweatshirt, too. (And we should note we are not just asking the same people over and over again, either.) Andrew Favorito, who works in public relations for skin-care brand Tatcha, says the brand’s basic long-sleeve sweatshirt combines “Japanese simplicity and design, high-quality fabrics, a towel-soft terry cloth interior, and a dye that can withstand 19571209043 washes without fading, all for $30.” It’s for this reason he simply calls it “the “G.O.A.T of sweatshirts.” If this salmon-y pink isn’t for you, it comes in eight other colors (of which Favorito owns three).
Those looking for a similarly priced crewneck sweatshirt that is made more sustainably should consider this one from Alternative Apparel, according to Dejon Mullings, a product-communications manager at Pinterest. “It’s made with organic and recycled materials, but it’s still extremely affordable,” he says, adding that he likes to style it “with jeans or chinos, and because it’s a little bit on the slimmer side, I’ll wear it as a layering piece under jackets all the time.” Shown in blue, the sweatshirt comes in four more colors, including black and a cheery red.
If, like our former deputy editor Jason Chen, you have shopped for crewneck sweatshirts only to find “they were always just a bit baggy or low in the armholes, or most often, too long,” then this Gap style may be the you’ve always been searching for, too. “I read (of all things) Derek Blasberg talking about his search for a good crewneck sweatshirt, which ended up coming from the Gap,” writes Chen, who says this Vintage Soft Sweatshirt fits just right — not too baggy, nor too long — and that he’s gotten a few since finding it. “Gap’s changed the material from a lightweight cotton to something a bit heavier, but the fit is always spot-on,” he says.
No crewneck sweatshirt on this list is more affordable than this straightforward style from Hanes, which is a favorite of fitness instructor Patrick McGrath, who first told us about it when we asked him about the best men’s loungewear. According to him, it has “a good fit that accentuates your body” and, because it is so inexpensive, he suggests pairing it with some Hanes sweatpants “for a same-set vibe that reminds me of Aimé Leon Dore.” (We think the simple style would go just as well with jeans or chinos, too.)
For an under-$50 crewneck with a little more personality, Christopher Echevarria, the founder of loafer brand Blackstock and Weber, pointed us to this one sold by The Met. Not only does it satisfy his (or anyone’s) love for merch, but the sweatshirt itself is made by Champion and features the brand’s revered reverse-weave construction, which “helps maintain its shape and reduces shrinkage from washing,” Echevarria explains.
Best under-$100 men’s crewneck sweatshirts
Speaking of Champion, Todd Snyder’s longstanding collaboration with the brand has come before up in our discussions with stylish men, so we weren’t too surprised when two guys told us they live in this crewneck sweatshirt from that line. “The fabric also only gets better and better with age,” says Joseph Suchodolski, the head of global communications at Allen Edmonds, who points out other details to like include the sweatshirt’s “cool vintage feel, chest pocket, and the V-stitch under the collar.” (While he admits it isn’t exactly cheap, he promises that all of these things make the sweatshirt “well worth the investment.”) Nicholas Morgenstern, the owner and founder of Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream, is another fan. “It just fits well; it’s not big and bulky,” he says, adding, “It’s nicer when sweatshirts a little bit tighter.” Morgenstern describes the material as “medium weight” and thinner than that of a classic Champion crewneck sweatshirt. Shown in a greenish brown, it comes in five other colors including classic neutrals and a light-green pistachio.
Chris Black and model Miles Garber both love Entireworld’s sweatshirts (as do cool women and Strategist writers). Summarizing the style’s popularity, Garber explains that Entireworld “made something deemed sloppy into something really cool,” with enough structure that you “don’t look like you’re just schlepping around.” Because of their popularity, we’ve seen stock rise and fall. But if you don’t see your size and preferred color available at the moment, know that the brand always seems to replenish its stock eventually.
“This sweatshirt is pretty hard to not wear constantly,” orthodontist Justin Maccaro says of this J.Crew style made with French terry. The material, he adds, “is so soft and fluffy, it might as well be made of kitten fur and cotton balls.” Aside from being incredibly cozy, Maccaro says the sweatshirt has a “slightly slimmer, tailored cut” that makes it easier to dress up.
Best men’s under-$150 crewneck sweatshirts
One of the writers of this piece (Louis Cheslaw), has spent the last year finding better versions of his wardrobe basics — but has yet to find a crewneck sweatshirt that is superior to this one from Jungmaven that he bought three years ago. Made from Jungmaven’s breathable cotton-hemp fabric (a proprietary material beloved by many of our editors and other tasteful guys), Cheslaw says it’s “cozy without ever being too warm, and manages to be structured without being tight.” It’s available in 16 total colors, including the Clay Green shown.
David Shaftel, the editor and co-founder of Racquet magazine, told us that this Fred Perry Laurel Print Sweatshirt with the subtlest logo is the crewneck he (normally) throws on to go from tennis court to office. “Fred Perry is the embodiment of a brand that jumped from tennis to the popular culture, so it looks good whatever the situation. Especially the black,” he says, adding that it “fits great.” (It comes in eight colors besides black, but we won’t argue with a tennis player when it comes to Fred Perry.)
Another sweater with a tiny logo, this one from French brand Maison Kitsuné comes recommended by Alexander Olch, a neckwear and accessories designer who is also the founder of the Lower East Side’s Metrograph cinema. In a testament to its wearability, Olch says “it has become almost a uniform for me,” in part because it has “just the right cut” for showing the collared-shirts and neckties he likes to wear underneath.
Best splurge-worthy men’s crewneck sweatshirts
It’s not often a specific item of clothing gets recommended by four different guys in the same week, but that’s just what happened with this sweatshirt from Levi’s Vintage Clothing — an insider-favorite offshoot of the classic brand that charges a premium because its products are made the exact same way Levi’s made its clothing in the 1930s. Favorito calls it “the coziest, chicest sweatshirt I’ve ever owned,” explaining that “because it’s modeled after a 1930s original, the fit is somewhat different: Slightly shorter in the torso, a little baggier, and a looser neck, which together with the vintage detailing and stitching makes it perfect.” We heard similar praise from Joshua Katz and Ben Starmer, the co-founders of CBD brand Dad Grass, who frequently collaborate with fashion designers for their brand’s merch. Katz says he owns a whopping seven versions of this sweatshirt (at least at the time of publication), and Starmer told us he owns two — both of which he’s washed “probably 100 times” without affecting the look or feel of them. Drew Westphal, who works in digital marketing, is our fourth fan. Like the others, he appreciates owning an item designed at a time that “clothes were for utilitarian purposes and didn’t need frills or thrills.” Summing it all up, Westphal says, “It’s my easily my go-to crewneck.”
“There are only two factories out there producing circular-knitted loopwheel-machine garments,” says Echevarria of an old production method that purists say is the best (much in the way denim snobs feel about selvedge denim). This sweatshirt is one still made that way, which is why he calls it nothing less than “a work of art.” He owns three that he wears in rotation. “And yes, they’re all gray,” he says.
“No one does sweatshirts (or ‘basics’ in general) better than Handvaerk,” says Christopher Blomquist, a writer and professor at Parsons New School. “Their Flex Sweatshirt is a classic crewneck in pima cotton (and in sensible solid shades like black, white, gray, or blue) without the damned Dorito triangle” — or triangular patch — “underneath the neck.” As for how it feels, Blomquist has two (rather poetic) words: “Gorgeously comfortable.”
While this looks like a basic black crewneck sweatshirt from the front, it has a bit of bookish personality in the form of leather patches on each elbow — a detail that won over Brian Boye, the vice-president of Nike Communications. “I love the elbow patches on this sweatshirt,” Boye says. Other things he likes? That it is lightweight and “has ribbing at the waist but doesn’t bunch up, so it lies flat and is universally flattering, too.”
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