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Hoodie vs Sweatshirt: Understanding the Differences

Hoodie vs. Sweatshirt: Your Ultimate Style Guide

Choosing the best hoodie or sweatshirt is more than just a fall and winter decision—it can benefit you all year long if you play your cards right.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of noise out there that can make it difficult to choose the right option. With so many different styles, fabrics, and features to sift through, it can become overwhelming. It’s time to take your activewear to the next level.

Here at Tasc Performance, we know a thing or two about outer garment styles, so today, we’re taking you through our ultimate hoodie vs. sweatshirt style guide to set you up for year-round success with the right sportswear.

What’s the Difference Between a Hoodie and a Sweatshirt?

You might be wondering: Are hoodies and sweatshirts really that different? 

While they are not in stark contrast with one another, some differences in the details and core functionality affect what situations one is ideal for, where the other would be less so. While they both generally have long sleeves and are meant for a full coverage look, there’s a bit more to it than that. 

These differences may seem small, but understanding them helps us maximize the stylistic and practical applications of each knitted garment.

Let’s start by clarifying what we mean when we say hoodie and sweatshirt. A sweatshirt is a simple pullover layer, typically with no collar or hood, often designed for use during exercise. It’s not held back by zippers, hooks, or buttons—it’s an extremely simple silhouette. 

A hoodie, then, is essentially just a hooded sweatshirt. While this added hood can have additional uses, its primary use is almost always warmth and protection from the elements. This reveals what is often the difference between hoodies and sweatshirts: handling environmental conditions. 

They often, but not always, have kangaroo pockets that give you a convenient place for your hands, as well as drawstrings to adjust the size of the hood.

In general, hoodies are designed specifically for comfort, providing warmth and protection from elements, with soft fabric underneath. While sweatshirts are still warm and soft in most cases, they tend to be a bit more lightweight in that department, naturally limited by their lack of a hood.

That’s not to say all hoodies and sweatshirts follow these conventions. When you buy mindful designs that use the highest quality fabrics, such as bamboo, even the most lightweight hoodie or sweatshirt functions as a heavy-duty big-hitter.

Wondering how you can make sure your outerwear is of the highest quality? Let’s talk about what to look for.

How Do I Buy a High-Quality Hoodie or Sweatshirt?

Buying a high-quality hoodie or sweatshirt comes down to mindful design and, most importantly, the fabric.

Fabric is the foundation of every garment, so it’s always the first place to start when analyzing any style.

It may seem obvious why fabric is important for something close to your skin like underwear or an undershirt, but less so when it comes to outerwear that will be, typically, on top of multiple layers.

Don’t let the layers fool you—nearly all of the practical qualities for a hoodie or sweatshirt are tied to the fabric you choose. While a soft feel is still important with a pullover, it’s the breathability and temperature regulating capability that truly make or break any style. Stretch capability is key as well, especially if you’ll be taking your top through athletic activity.

You’ll often find sweatshirts made of knit or fleece, but that’s not necessarily the best choice for athletes. While traditional cotton has some benefits, there are some glaring downsides too. Cotton’s soft feel has kept it popular, but it’s becoming harder to ignore the poor practical capabilities and negative environmental impacts of the production of cotton.

Thankfully, organic cotton offers a brighter future as a much more sustainable material.

Synthetic fabrics are also popular, particularly in hoodies. Unfortunately, while these fabrics do offer some practical features, they do so through chemical treatments, which significantly harm the environment and can harm those who wear them, too.

The real MVP in the fabric world is bamboo. It’s packed with every practical feature you could think of, including powerful moisture-wicking and temperature regulating properties, odor resistance, hypoallergenic qualities, and UPF sun protection.

Plus, every quality of bamboo is all-natural. Nature wrapped all that within a breathable, wrinkle-resistant fabric that’s also one of the softest you’ll ever touch and one of the most sustainable in production.

Now that we know what fabrics are the best, let’s break down which qualities are most important for hoodies and sweatshirts below.


Choosing a hoodie or sweatshirt with soft material is an obvious but important consideration.

Don’t let yourself believe that you need to choose between comfort and functionality. With our bamboo and organic cotton blend, every practical feature you could need is at your fingertips, right alongside a super soft feel that rivals even the most luxurious fabrics.


For the active lifestyle, stretch capabilities are essential in any hoodie or sweatshirt. An outer layer that restricts your range of movement instantly nullifies any other benefits it provides, inhibiting your ability to achieve an effective workout. Plus, you want to be able to layer underneath (at least with a t-shirt) without restricting your upper body.

To ensure you’re buying a proper hoodie or sweatshirt, not a straight jacket, look for bamboo-organic cotton blends and two or 4-way stretch capabilities. Our Varsity French Terry Sweatshirt or our Varsity Crop Hoodie should do just the trick.

Temperature Regulating

Easily the most essential practical feature of a sweatshirt or hoodie is the ability to help your body regulate its temperature.

This process, called thermoregulation, is something your body naturally does on its own. It can easily be hindered, however, if your clothes are built to help protect this natural process.

Thermoregulation isn’t just a tool to stay cool under the sun. It’s important in all seasons, keeping your temperature balanced against overheating or freezing, so it’s particularly important anytime you’ll be wearing extra layers. 

Ensure you choose only the highest quality fabrics, such as bamboo, which provide sweat-wicking capabilities and breathable material to give your body every advantage in staying at its optimal temperature.


For a hoodie and sweatshirt, the primary way the fabric supplements thermoregulation is by staying breathable. Bamboo excels in this regard, having micro gaps between the fibers to allow superior air circulation through the fabric.

How Should I Style a Hoodie or a Sweatshirt?

Now that you’re an expert on choosing the best hoodies and sweatshirts, it’s time to style some full outfits. While sweatshirts aren’t exactly ideal for formal occasions, that doesn’t mean you can’t create a fantastic look. From jeans to leather jackets, there are tons of ways to style a hooded sweater or a crewneck. 


Hoodies and sweatshirts are staples of the athleisure style, so what better way to get started than with a pair of athleisure shorts?

For the most active look, go for a pair of our Recess shorts, in 8” style for the men, or 4” style for the ladies.

A more casual look may suit a more versatile range of situations, which is where styles like our Weekender Elastic Short and Riverwalk French Terry Short shine brightest.


Whether for cooler weather or just a cool look, a pair of sweatpants is the perfect option when shorts aren’t a go.

Best suited to the athleisure vibe of a hoodie or sweatshirt are sweatpants. For the best in comfort and performance, try our Carrollton Fitness Pant paired with a Carrollton Lightweight Hoodie.

For the ladies, our Nola Essential Pants are an ideal alternative to leggings with a looser fit. Layer a bomber jacket or a denim jacket over the sweatshirt, and you’ve got a great look that will keep the wearer warm and comfortable. 


The tennis skirt style has evolved far beyond the court, taking to the street styles and a sporty look. Pair our Rhythm Skirt with a sweatshirt like our Apex Brushed Quarter Zip for an outfit that will feel just as great as it looks.


The ultimate piece of clothing for the ladies is a great pair of leggings. Nothing can compare to the comfort of some ultra-soft leggings that fit just right and hold up for the whole day.

With breathable, moisture-wicking fabric and stretch capabilities, a bamboo-organic cotton blend pair like our Allways Pocket Legging will quickly become your go-to style—and you may never want to take them off.


The men’s counterpart to leggings, joggers are an athleisure essential that pair perfectly with any sweatshirt or hoodie.

For the most comfortable pants you’ve ever tried, try our Varsity Lightweight Brushed Joggers. They’re just as ready to lounge around the house as they are for a 5-mile run or a baseball game.


Whether you’re looking to spice up your coat rack or overhaul and upgrade your entire closet, we’re here to help guide you through choosing only the best options for your athleisure and activewear needs. Stay with Tasc Performance for all the latest and greatest in modern performance attire.


Organic Cotton - An Overview | Science Direct

Toxicity of Synthetic Fibres & Health | Austin Publishing Group

Thermoregulation | Healthline

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