What is the difference between a hoodie and a sweatshirt?

Both hoodies and sweatshirts are popular garments. They are worn by all ages and genders and both originate from sporting backgrounds. The obvious difference is that a hoodie has a hood while a sweatshirt does not, however there is more differences than just that.

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What is their history?

The sweatshirt was born in 1926 when American footballer Benjamin Russell found wool jumpers too itchy. He used his father’s underwear factory to design a new shirt in the same material – cotton. This was more breathable and lighter than the jumper and his teammates loved it. It also absorbed sweat leading to it being named the sweatshirt.

According to the New York Times In 1930 in New York Champion decided to add a hood to the sweatshirt in order to keep workers warm. The hoodie grew in popularity, especially among hip-hop culture. By the 70s it was becoming known as gangster attire, used by graffiti artists to help cover their identity.

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Both hoodies and sweatshirts grew in popularity across society with universities and clothing stores putting all kinds of labels on them. Today they are popular across the entire world as an essential fashion item. If you visit EJ Menswear you will see the wide range of sweatshirts and hoodies that are available to you.


Sweatshirts are made from tight knit cotton. They can be worn on their own or with another shirt underneath. Today they are a popular fashion accessory with mens Barbour sweatshirts being one of the most popular brands.


Hoodies are also made from cotton and have their distinctive hood. They should not be worn alone and should always have another garment underneath. Compared to sweatshirts they are more complex and can have buttons and zips as well as pockets to keep your hands warm.

Which should you wear?

Sweatshirts are more formal than hoodies and as such can be worn in a wider range of circumstances. For more formal settings a plain sweatshirt is advisable.

During more casual occasions either can be worn. In wintery or cold weather the hoodie really comes into its own league. It is warm and snug and the hood keeps any chilling wind out.

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