It was a sad day when I looked in my closet and realized that I did not have a single hoodie. My 20 year old self would have been appalled.
I used to have the omnipresent American Apparel hoodie in a few different colors, which I probably wore every day for about 5 years. That and my skinny jeans were my Portland uniform. I never had to worry about sticking out in a crowd or seeming out of place. Even if I often felt incredibly out of place at concerts, in bars, etc. I pretty much looked like everyone else.
And then one day I realized that my beloved hoodie was looking a little outdated. It was stretched and shrunk down in all the wrong places and, what's more, when I wore it I looked like a younger, less polished (ha) version of who I am now. It was with deep regret that I finally donated my hoodie to Goodwill in order to make space for clothing that better reflects who I am today.
But something was still missing.
I am generally a pretty casual dresser. Jeans, t-shirts, and sweaters are my jam. And hoodies. Except that I didn't have a single one in my possession any more. To rectify the situation, I looked online to try and find a replacement, preferably one that would meet my standards for ethical manufacturing. That's when I ran across American Giant, a company that advertises itself as producing the greatest hoodies ever made. Pretty eye catching marketing. But what really intrigued me was the fact that their sweatshirts are 100% American-made, which means no sweatshops and no transcontinental shipping. It seemed like I had finally found a sweatshirt I could feel good about wearing.
My anticipation continued to rise as I awaited it's arrival in the mail (they don't sell in retail stores but do have free shipping on orders over $75). I went ahead and ordered the Classic Full Zip in navy. I actually wanted black, but my boyfriend is constantly wearing his favorite black hoodie and I just couldn't deal with the idea of us being twinsies in public. Or in private.
The hoodie cost $89, which seems like a lot to drop on one item of clothing. I just kept repeating the mantra "no sweatshops, no sweatshops" as I payed online. When it arrived, I put it on immediately and wore it pretty much constantly for the next few days. I got a size XS and this is one of the first times in my life that an XS was almost too small. I was a little worried about it shrinking in the wash but, according to American Giant's website, all of their sweatshirts are preshrunk and really shouldn't shrink any more when you wash them. I have yet to wash mine so I can't say yet whether this is true or not.
The fabric is pretty thick, making this hoodie a lot warmer than previous ones I've owned. This is perfect for someone like me who is perpetually cold, but the downside is that the fabric is a little stiffer and less comfy-cozy than what I'm used to. It definitely might soften up with a few washes, though.
Overall, I'm really happy with this addition to my wardrobe and I'm definitely considering buying a few more items from American Giant when I'm in need of some closet basics. In particular, I've been eyeing the Essential Full Zip, which is a bit more lightweight than the Classic, and the Slub Muscle T, which looks like a perfect cool-girl summer shirt.