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This post originally went live in the fall of 2018. It has been updated.
Searching for perfection is a fool's errand—or so I thought. Because I found what might be the perfect hoodie. Or, at least, a perfect hoodie. It's nothing new. In fact it traces its roots back more than a century, and enjoyed a pretty major renaissance over the last few years. Some of that fervor has died down, because, well, that's just how trends go. But here's the thing: This hoodie isn't a trend. Not really. It's just a fantastic piece of timeless clothing that happened to find itself in an extra-bright spotlight for a while, not unlike Alpha Industries' MA-1 bomber. You already know what we're talking about here: the Champion Reverse Weave hooded sweatshirt. It's still well worth the (relatively paltry) investment, and it still deserves a spot in your wardrobe. If you don't have one by now, what are you waiting for?
I know... I know. The word "iconic" has been overused to the point of meaninglessness. But sometimes, it still applies. Like, for instance, when a sweatshirt has a pedigree that goes back more than a century to 1919. Or when it enjoys the distinction of being made by the brand that made the sweatshirt a part of the American style landscape in the first place. Champion's popularity may have ebbed and flowed over the course of the last hundred-plus years, but it's always been here, whether in the form of collegiate pullovers, Olympic warm-up suits, or, now, on the backs (and over the heads) of anyone who knows a good hoodie when they see it.
Champion's classic Reverse Weave hoodie is heavy. As in, you'll notice the heft of the thing before you even put it on. It is, after all, a sort of workwear: The style, with its ribbed cuffs, collar, and side gussets, was initially made to go over heavy football pads. Considering all that, you might expect some stiffness or grit in the final garment. Not so. This is comfort clothing, all the way. The ribbed sections make for ease of movement (as does the generous cut; if you're particularly slim, maybe size down), and the brushed fleece interior means wearing this thing is like traveling with a comforter wrapped around you.
So, I've just told you that a hooded sweatshirt has some (very impressive) history, plus a (not-to-be-understated) comfort quotient. And you might be thinking, "Well, sure, but you're basically just describing a hoodie in general." Which is understandable, but—and I say this with love—completely wrong. We've all been disappointed by an errant hoodie purchase. Whether they're flimsy or over-embellished or just plain off, bad hoodies are everywhere. This one is good. Very good. Buy one. Wear it all the time. And enjoy.
Photography by Philip Friedman.
Prop styling by John Olson for Halley Resources.