You know when you have that one item of clothing (or accessory) for which you have an ideal in your mind, and you can never seem to find an item that meets that ideal? For me, it was the hoodie.
For years I searched for the perfect hoodie.
I wanted something comfortable, that moved with me, but substantial enough to actually keep me warm. I wanted to be able to layer over and under my hoodie without it bunching, being too tight, or otherwise feeling weird and restricting. I wanted a longer cut that hit me at the hips, not at the waist (or worse, that weird spot between the two that causes faux muffin-top). It had to be something that worked with lots of items in my closet. Oh, and I wanted a hoodie that retained its shape, because I was tired of ones that got stretched out during one wear.
I found one a couple years ago that met most of that criteria.
It was black though, which meant it was a dog fur magnet, though it did go with quite a bit in my closet. But it didn’t retain its shape, so every time I wore it, even if I layered it over a bunch of stuff, I had to wash it to snap it back to how it was supposed to fit. It was close to perfect, but far enough away that I knew my search wasn’t over. I had all but given up and decided I would just settle for that one until I was over the hoodie entirely.
Enter the American Apparel Unisex Salt and Pepper Zip Hoodie.
I had heard good things about American Apparel hoodies in the past, but never could justify the price. I mean, come on, $50 for a sweatshirt?! To me, it just wasn’t worth it. For one, I wasn’t really a hoodie kind of girl. And two, if I’m dropping 50 bones on something, it better be something I can wear regularly, which means (for me) something I can wear to work. A hoodie wasn’t really one of those things.
But, when I created the list of items I wanted to review in to American Apparel, I found myself adding this hoodie to it. For one, it was longer, because it was unisex. I had long been looking in men’s departments for hoodies because women’s were always cut short. The hoodie hit the model about where I wanted mine to hit, so I figured it would be a good length for me. The sleeves looked narrower and not bulky, which meant I could probably layer it nicely, and I liked the color selection.
I ended up going with grey anyway.
Why grey, when there are rich jewel tones available? Mostly, I wanted to make sure that my hoodie matched the majority of my closet, instead of just a few items I had. I went with Peppered Grey, which was the darkest neutral offered, for that very reason. I also thought the white zipper and pull strings blended better into the neutrals than the jewel tones, and knew that it would be something that bothered me.
Size is everything.
I initially ordered a medium. Being aware that American Apparel stuff runs a little big, and seeing how the hoodie fit the model, I figured a medium would give me enough room to layer under without being too bulky to layer over. When it came, the body of it fit me nicely, but the sleeves were about 6″ too long. Rolling them up wasn’t always going to be an option, so I had to order a small instead and hope that the body of it wouldn’t be too tight. When the small came, it was clear that I was worrying about nothing.
The fit of the small was perfect! The sleeves were long enough to pull over my hands (something I love to do, especially with a cozy item like a hoodie) and the body fit me perfect. The length was longer than on the model, but being that I’m very likely 5″ (or more) shorter than her, I was ok with that. It was clear that, in terms of fit, the American Apparel Unisex Salt and Pepper Zip Hoodie was perfect.
On to practical testing.
While I had worn my hoodie around the house a couple times after it came, I decided to really put it to the test on a daytrip up to South Haven, MI. I planned on wearing it most of the day, but also wanted to layer up in case it ended up being a nicer day than I thought when we left early in the morning. I started out with my broken in Seven skinnies, worn through at the knees, and my Chucks; the perfect “sit in a car all day” bottom half. ON top, I wore my RevengeIs “All Love is Equal” tee and a lightweight flannel from Old Navy. I topped that with my American Apparel hoodie, added a few small necklaces, threw my hair into a braid (yea, I know, it’s that long… crazy!) and off we went, but not before Trixie gave me the cutest photobomb ever.
The hoodie served me well on our trip up to South Haven, which was broken up with a stop at my parents’ summer home to take care of some stuff for them. I was warm enough wearing it in the car that we could have the air on or the windows down and I wasn’t freezing cold, which hubs and Trixie both enjoyed I’m sure. It was also great for in my parents’ house, which was rather cool. When we got to our destination, layering proved to be smart, and I was able to take the hoodie off, roll up the sleeves on my flannel, and enjoy the warmer weather.
As evening approached, the Unisex Salt and Pepper Zip Hoodie really shined. Hubs, Trixie and I walked around downtown St. Joseph before and after stopping to have a bite to eat, and with the activity and the setting sun, I alternated between needing my hoodie, and not. When I didn’t need it, I tied it around my waist, so I was able to throw it right back on over my flannel when I needed it
10 minutes later, and it wasn’t stretched out of shape at all. The sleeves, despite being rolled up at one point, still fit like they had the first time I put it on.
$50 for a hoodie? In this case, totally worth it!
I’ve worn this hoodie a ton since our little weekend trip. It’s become my go-to “quick throw something warm on” piece and it still fits like the first time I tried it on (and yes, I’ve washed it). No doubt it will become a summer bag essential, getting thrown in for weekend trips and layered over everything from swimsuits (yes, I’m that chick who wears a hoodie on the beach) shorts and tees, to maxi dresses. And as fall rolls around, I’ll layer it over buttondowns like the flannel, or over dresses and tights. This American Apparel hoodie really is perfection, and for sure worth the price!
I received a sample as compensation for my post/review, but the opinions above are my own and were not influenced by compensation received. For my full disclosure policy, go here.