Dec 07, 2023

J.Crew Fleece Hoodie: Vintage

By Jake Woolf

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A good hoodie is pretty damn fundamental. We know this. You know this. Every fledgling streetwear brand hawking logo-emblazoned sweats knows this. But with that degree of ubiquity comes a dizzying amount of choices (zip-up or pullover, ultra-beefy or paper-thin, big and boxy or trim and cropped), all readily available at whatever price feels friendliest to your wallet. And yet! Despite the glut of options, finding the right hoodie—one that doesn't lean too hard on graphics, precious fabrics, or wonky silhouettes—can present more of a challenge than you might expect. So when something like J.Crew's 14 oz. fleece pullover comes across our radar, it's worth snatching up, holding onto, and, in our case, telling as many folks about it as possible.

J.Crew's revamped line of retro-y sweats first hit shelves in 2022 as part of a buzzy, Brendon Babenzien-led overhaul, but its source material goes way back to the brand's ‘90s archives. As with all good hoodies, its appeal starts with the fabric. Like denim, terry fleece is measured by weight, and 14 oz. lands squarely on the beefier end of the spectrum.

If you’ve ever tenderly caressed a similar option from Supreme or Noah (Babenzien was the creative director of the former for over a decade; he currently runs the latter with his wife) then J.Crew's version might feel a little familiar. Among a certain cohort of nu-streetwear brands, 14 oz. fleece sets the standard, prized for its next-level insulation and rough and tumble nature. (To up the cozy quotient, J.Crew also mixes in a touch of polyester, a flourish lifted from the sought-after vintage sweatshirts that inspired it.) But like your mom always said, it's what's on the inside that matters most: in this case, a buttery-soft brushed fleece that swaddles your torso, making it feel like you’ve owned it for years while you size yourself up in the fitting room.

We won't waste any time extolling the virtues of a hoodie with this pedigree during the height of winter; if you’re reading this, you already know the spiel. But if you’re looking for a dependably cozy layer to ride out the freezing weather in until the big spring thaw, consider this the clarion call you were waiting for. A good hoodie is fundamental, sure, but it can be shockingly hard to find. Don't let this one pass you by.