A sweatshirt is a long-sleeved athletic shirt that has heavy or somewhat heavy material. Some sweatshirts have hoods, while others do not. Sweatshirts have existed since the early 1920s. Men who were warming up or cooling down, before or after playing sports originally wore them. The pre-cursor company to what is now known as Champion, began creating sweatshirts en masse in the middle of the 1930s. During this time, they patented a process by which sweaters could be mass-produced with embroidery. The first of these sweatshirts were directly marketed to (American) football players. These sweatshirts had hoods and a zipper on the front.
Sweatshirts became increasingly popular from the 1930s through the 1960s and beyond. However, it was in the 1960s that sweatshirt popularity took off as a result of universities and colleges being able to have their names and emblems affixed to them. When this happened, the trend of wearing university sweatshirts that easily identified individuals’ schools and alma maters became popular, and continues to be popular to this day. Following this, in the 1970s, the combination of wearing university or college-themed sweatpants and sweatshirts became popular. Almost a decade later, sweatshirts and sweatsuits became more fashionable for non-athletic reasons. People began wearing sweatshirts made out of new fabrics. Velour started to be used in making sweatshirts.
As of the past decade or so, men’s sweatshirts have become more fashionable in mainstream fashion. For instance, Eddie Bauer’s men’s line includes refined, non-athletic looking sweatshirts that can be dressed up with jeans and dress shoes for a carefree smart casual look. Gap, another brand that produces menswear, also has a line of men’s sweatshirts that when looked at and worn, are clearly not meant for getting dirty and sweaty as had been the intention years ago. The sweatshirts of today can be worn as they were originally intended nearly one hundred years ago, or they can be worn in a chic, daytime manner, or even at night when a guy wants to hang out at a local bar. There are numerous ways in which sweatshirts can be worn today that were not available one hundred years ago. It’s called progress!