Sweatshirt Styles: Which Is Right for You?

June 30, 2022
Nicole Rollender
Blonde woman in a purple hooded sweatshirt relaxing in a hammock, staring directly into the camera.

Your sweater? Your sweatshirt? Sweatshirts definitely aren’t sweaters! If you’re curious about the difference between crew neck sweatshirts vs. sweaters, hoodies, and jackets, you’re in the right place. The super-popular sweatshirt style is worn and loved by all types of people. Learn why the sweatshirt is one of the most versatile wardrobe staples you can own, and see our best product recommendations.

Sweatshirts vs. Sweaters Style Guide

We’ve seen people use these terms interchangeably, but there are distinct differences between sweaters and sweatshirts. The biggest difference between a sweater and a sweatshirt is the way they’re made. A sweater is constructed by knitting or crocheting, so it’s soft and stretchy. Sweaters are made from cotton, polyester, wool, or other fabrics. A sweatshirt is usually made from heavy cotton, polyester, or fleece.

What’s a Sweatshirt?

It's likely you’ve got a lot of sweatshirts in your wardrobe. Have you thought about what a sweatshirt actually is? It's a collarless, loose upper garment that is made from cotton, polyester, or fleece. Your favorite sweatshirt might have a closed or open front with a zipper. It may also have a single front pouch pocket or two side pockets. Your sweatshirt might have a hood (also called a hoodie) or no hood.

The most common materials used to make sweatshirts are absorbent fabrics like fleece, thick cotton, polyester or other synthetic materials. A sweatshirt’s inside material is typically made of brushed fleece to make it feel softer and very comfortable to most people. This inner nap traps air and retains the wearer’s body heat, which is where we get the name sweatshirt. Due to the breathable material construction, a sweatshirt can even be worn in summer.

People of all ages love sweatshirts because they’re a great casual style basic and athleisure wear. Sweatshirts also are a staple of streetwear-inspired fashion, so it adds an urban flair to outfits. Schools and teams love sweatshirts for team members and fans, to boost team unity and support. Sweatshirts are versatile and come in so many different fits, fabrics, colors, and patterns that you’ll be able to find one to match what you need.

You’ll find that today’s sweatshirt styles have elevated details, like shorter or boxier hemlines or shorter sleeves. Sweatshirts are usually intended to fit oversized, so they’re relaxed. These fun, fashion-forward styles lend a glammed-up feel to these styles, so you can wear them to parties or other evening events.

Is a Crewneck a Sweatshirt?

Some sweatshirts are crewnecks, meaning they have a crew neckline. But not all crewnecks are sweatshirts, and not all sweatshirts are crewnecks! A crewneck shirt, designed for both men and women, doesn’t have a collar and is cut straight across the neck. You’ll see this neckline in lots of apparel styles, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, and other sweaters. Crewneck sweatshirts make awesome layering pieces. 

Psst...You can learn more about crewnecks and other types of necklines by checking out our 9 Types of Necklines blog post!

Sweatshirts vs. Sweaters

  Sweatshirts Sweaters
Basic Definition A loose, typically long-sleeved, collarless or hooded pullover or zip up. Made from soft, absorbent fabric, with close-fitting or elastic cuffs and sometimes a drawstring at the waist. Commonly worn during athletic activity or for warmth. A knitted jacket or jersey, in pullover or cardigan style, with or without sleeves.
Material/Construction Constructed in the way that sportswear is manufactured, and made from heavy cotton, polyester, or fleece. Has an inside lining made of a soft nap. Usually made with relaxed or loose fits. Most sweatshirts share nearly the same silhouette, with variations including a hood, kangaroo pocket, a drawstring, or a zipped front. Constructed by knitting or crocheting, and made of wool, heavy cotton or polyester. Has a soft drape and is more elastic. There are 100+ sweater designs, including short, long, short-sleeve, long-sleeve, open front, closed front, V-neck turtleneck and so on.
Related Terms Jumper, Hoodie, Hooded Sweatshirt, Pullover, Fleece Cardigan, Jumper, Pullover, Shrug, Slipover
When to Wear Casual, sporty, or street-style layering pieces. Worn for everyday wear, athleisure, or loungewear. Edgier styles go great for parties or other evening events. Versatile knitted garment that can be worn as part of a casual or dressy outfit.


A sweatshirt is often more versatile than a sweater and it’s an article of clothing that’s become extremely fashionable over recent years, rather than a weekend or workout staple. You might have noticed supermodels and other celebs grab fashion-forward sweatshirts (including crop or tie-dye styles!) as part of their on-the-go leisure looks.

Top Sweatshirt Styles

Threadsy offers an amazing selection of wholesale sweatshirts for men, women, and kids from great brands, at affordable prices. With so many styles to choose from, we’re breaking down some of the most popular styles from our top brands, from traditional loose-fitting to hoodies to crop styles. Many of these styles are unisex, making it easy to outfit a group of people!

Crewneck Pullovers

We all know and love the traditional pullover sweatshirt, which you pull over your head since there’s no front closure. These heavier-weight basics are a great layering item in cooler weather or for working out. The crewneck adds to the classic look of this sweatshirt style.

  1. Unisex Ecosmart® 50/50 Crewneck Sweatshirt
    Unisex Ecosmart® 50/50 Crewneck Sweatshirt
  2. Adult Softstyle® Fleece Crew Sweatshirt
    Adult Softstyle® Fleece Crew Sweatshirt
  3. Unisex Santa Cruz Pocket Sweatshirt
    Next Level Apparel
    Unisex Santa Cruz Pocket Sweatshirt
  4. Unisex Sponge Fleece Crewneck Sweatshirt
    Bella + Canvas
    Unisex Sponge Fleece Crewneck Sweatshirt

Pullover Hoodies

The classic hoodie. Almost everyone has at least one hooded sweatshirt in their closet. Sharing the same DNA as the crewneck sweatshirt, these styles are loose-fitting, warm, comfortable, and casual. The hood protects against the elements, and the kangaroo pocket is great for easy storage (or keeping your hands cozy).

  1. Unisex Santa Cruz Pullover Hooded Sweatshirt
    Next Level Apparel
    Unisex Santa Cruz Pullover Hooded Sweatshirt
  2. Adult Powerblend® Pullover Hooded Sweatshirt
    Adult Powerblend® Pullover Hooded Sweatshirt
  3. Adult Softstyle® Fleece Pullover Hooded Sweatshirt
    Adult Softstyle® Fleece Pullover Hooded Sweatshirt
  4. Adult SofSpun® Hooded Sweatshirt
    Fruit of the Loom
    Adult SofSpun® Hooded Sweatshirt

Zip Up Hoodies

A zip up hoodie is a great choice if you crave the comfort of a classic hoodie, but want and add a little more versatility to your outfit. This style can be worn open or zipped, depending on the look you're going for (or the outside temperature). 

  1. Unisex Zip Hoody
    Next Level Apparel
    Unisex Zip Hoody
  2. Unisex Triblend Full-Zip Light Hoodie
    Threadfast Apparel
    Unisex Triblend Full-Zip Light Hoodie
  3. Unisex Sponge Fleece Full-Zip Hooded Sweatshirt
    Bella + Canvas
    Unisex Sponge Fleece Full-Zip Hooded Sweatshirt
  4. Ladies' Adrian Eco-Fleece Hoodie
    Alternative Apparel
    Ladies' Adrian Eco-Fleece Hoodie
    Save 20% at checkout with code LASTCHANCE20

Cropped Sweatshirts

Cropped sweatshirts come with adventuresome hemlines in varying lengths, so you can choose a style that bares your belly or one that lands at your waist. Perfect for women of all ages and body types, you can layer these hoodies over tanks and t-shirts for a fashion-forward effect. You can get cropped crewneck or hooded sweatshirts.

  1. Ladies' Cropped Oversize Hooded Sweatshirt
    Ladies' Cropped Oversize Hooded Sweatshirt
  2. Ladies' Cropped Fleece Hoodie
    Bella + Canvas
    Ladies' Cropped Fleece Hoodie
  3. Ladies' Cropped Fleece Crew
    Bella + Canvas
    Ladies' Cropped Fleece Crew
  4. Ladies' Velour Long Sleeve Crop T-Shirt
    US Blanks
    Ladies' Velour Long Sleeve Crop T-Shirt

Kids' Sweatshirts

Threadsy offers these popular sweatshirt styles for kids and toddlers. Casual, comfortable, and machine-washable, sweatshirts are a great style option for kids of all ages. 

  1. Youth Sponge Fleece Full-Zip Hooded Sweatshirt
    Bella + Canvas
    Youth Sponge Fleece Full-Zip Hooded Sweatshirt
  2. Youth NuBlend® Fleece Crew
    Youth NuBlend® Fleece Crew
  3. Toddler Fleece Sweatshirt
    Rabbit Skins
    Toddler Fleece Sweatshirt
  4. Toddler Pullover Fleece Hoodie
    Rabbit Skins
    Toddler Pullover Fleece Hoodie

Sweatshirts vs. Hoodies

They’re members of the same comfy family. A hoodie is a variation of a sweatshirt that has a hood. You’ll see both pullover and zip-up hoodie styles that are casual and comfortable. Pullover hoodies often have a center kangaroo pocket, and zip-up styles typically have two side pockets. You can grab a relaxed or oversized fit for total comfort. These casual, athletic styles are popular with all ages and make great layering pieces for cooler days.

Sweatshirts vs. Jackets

Jackets are definitely different from sweatshirts, as they’re outerwear that you put over clothing to protect yourself from the elements. Jackets typically have full sleeves, and are made from different materials than sweatshirts: suede, denim, leather, nylon, or tweed...just to name a few. Jackets also often have extra layers of insulation and may even have performance features like being windproof or waterproof, unlike sweatshirts. 

Shop Threadsy for High-Quality Wholesale Sweatshirts

Threadsy is a great online destination for buying high-quality sweatshirts at wholesale prices, whether you have a wholesale license or not. If you’ve been shopping for blank t-shirts from a big box retailer, it’s time to stop. Threadsy offers generous discounts for customers who purchase t-shirts in larger quantities. Our bulk discount program starts at $110, and savings up to 15% off automatically appear in your cart when you bundle your items. You’ll also enjoy free shipping on orders $50 or higher, with always-fast delivery. 

Plus, unlike other retailers that tack on fees for everything from orders that don’t meet a certain purchase threshold, to packing your order to processing returns, Threadsy doesn’t do that. There’s no minimum order, returns are free for 30 days, and we’ll never charge you extra money to pack your order fast. So what are you waiting for? Start shopping for sweatshirts and saving today, whether you’re a crafter, a business owner, or just enjoy high-quality basics at great prices. 

Copyright © 2013-present Magento, Inc. All rights reserved.