By definition, a sweatshirt is that it is typically a pullover, collar-less garment made of heavy cotton or cotton blend material. A hoodie is a sweatshirt with a hood attached that may also have a kangaroo pocket or full zipper.
The sweatshirt came first and (along with sweatpants) was intended for athletes to wear because they were comfortable and didn’t hinder movement. They also, as implied by the name, absorbed sweat!
So, when trying to figure out whether a hoodie and sweatshirt are the same or not, you might first consider why you are wondering about it in the first place.
• Did you get an early wish list for Christmas from the grandkids and want to get started on your shopping?
• Is it specifically mentioned in your kids’ school dress code?
• Did you get a deal of the day email for a hoodies and you usually buy sweatshirts?
• When will it be worn?
• Are you wondering if it is age appropriate?
• Does your child have social anxiety?
• Are you looking for exercise clothing?
• Are you concerned about accessibility?
Since a hoodie is a close relation (a style child) of the sweatshirt, the reason you are wondering about the difference might be more helpful to you in your search for information than the actual specific definitions.
In general, a men’s or women’s sweatshirt is a practical, comfortable, easy to care for garment. The material is substantial and you should get a lot of wear and tear out of them. There are quite a few activities that a sweatshirt would be a great choice for:
• Working outside in the garden in cool weather
• Hiking the local trails
• Babysitting the grandkids
• Loungewear for a quiet day at home
• Attending a local sporting event or county fair
• Gym or PE class
• Physical Therapy
• Running errands
• Exercising or working out
• Performing home maintenance
• Sitting by a campfire
• Walking the dog
The list could go on and on. A sweatshirt is a very versatile and socially acceptable garment for many occasions. If you are looking for variety there are also a lot of choices. There are plain sweatshirts, sport team sweatshirts, humorous sweatshirts, bedazzled sweatshirts, tie-dye sweatshirts and even personalized sweatshirts. There is definitely something for everyone when it comes to women’s and men’s sweatshirts.
In your continued search for the right item, sometimes a few quick questions may give you the answer you are searching for without dedicating a lot of time to research, especially if you are buying for someone else.
First: pockets. Do they HAVE to have pockets in everything they wear? This is not an uncommon phenomenon as even some wedding dresses offer pockets now. Do they hate pockets? Maybe they don’t like what pockets do to their silhouette. If the answer is yes they have to have pockets, then they most likely need a hoodie. If they are a no pockets person, look at the sweatshirts.
Stating the obvious, a hoodie has an attached hood. Some people can take them or leave them. For others, perhaps those who experience a sense of security if they can pull something over their head for protection against different elements or situations, a hoodie is the better choice.
Many of the hoodies offered also have full zippers. If the intent is to ward off chilly indoor air conditioning the zipper makes putting it on and taking it off again, super easy-no pulling it over your head in the middle of the office. On the same note, if someone has limited mobility around the shoulders, in the arms or neck, the full zipper can alleviate some potential concerns.
Sweatshirts and hoodies will both typically have the same qualities of comfort, free movement, heavy material, easy care, and will generally be a long lasting item. Looking at the features of each can be a great time saver.
But always keep in mind the intent. It may be for a younger person who wants to fit in or be “on trend” at school. It is not uncommon for kids to adopt a daily favorite like hoodies for girls. (Note: this is where you may want to double check the school’s dress code.) It may be for someone that goes to PT three times a week and has limited mobility. Or, maybe it’s someone who likes how a sweater looks but wants the extra comfort, the wear ability and the easy care of a sweatshirt, no need for hoods or pockets.
Today’s hoodies and sweatshirts choices are endless. Men, Women, Kids, Adults, and even dog hoodies. The choice is yours!