On Hoodies

I have yet to find the perfect hoodie.  Unlike the perfect knife, I am surprised at this, because it doesn't seem like it should be that hard.

This may come as a surprise, but I've only recently come to appreciate Hoodies.  I can only think of one that I'd had during my youth that I didn't particularly care for, and didn't have any during my time in the Corps.

Perhaps they've only now come into my life because my office is in an unheated basement, or perhaps it's that my last few jobs have allowed for more casual attire.  In any case, as is natural for me, now that I've experienced a thing, I have opinions on the matter.

The most obvious is the question of Zippered or Pull-Over.  This one is actually pretty easy for me.  While I appreciate the decorability and unified front pocket of a pull-over, the flexibility of partial-openness (as well as lower static generation) make me a Zippered man.

The one Pull-Over hoodie that I have has one flaw that is unique to it's shape that causes me annoyance, and that is that the neck hole is too small.  I may have a large head and neck, but I'm surprised that the hole is as small as it is.  It's small enough that it's hard to pull my head through the hole, and the neck sits uncomfortably close on my neck.  I may need to go so far as to cut the neck to extend it, but then I'll have to do some sewing to keep it from ripping further.

So as far as Zippered Hoodies go, there is a feature that is unique to them that deserves attention when looking for the ideal hoodie.  The zipper border - the piping of the garment material outside of the zipper itself - should be large enough that it covers the zipper teeth when closed.  One of my hoodies, which I like despite it's two significant flaws, has an almost completely exposed zipper.  It doesn't bother me in the normal wearing of the thing, but I am incredibly aware of it when resting something on my chest or stomach, such as a tablet, laptop, or handheld game.  At times like this, I can feel the device scraping against the zipper, and it's all the more annoying because it seems like a completely unnecessary oversight.

Next are the features that are of crucial importance to me, but aren't specific to either style of hoodie.

The pockets should be large enough to fit my hands in to the wrist, and even better, fit a largeish handheld game system (Nintendo DS XL or 3DS XL) completely, parallel to the ground.  If the pockets aren't big enough to do that, they're too small.  Additionally, and have raised sides so that it's rare that anything (such as a DS XL) could fall out accidentally.  Surprisingly, I don't have any that fail at this.

The sleeves are something that I wouldn't have expected to be an item of consideration, but alas, here I am writing...  The material of the sleeve should have ample room for at least the average man.  My arms are not by any definition "large", but one of my hoodies has sleeves that only barely fit.  This is only compounded by the next feature of the sleeves: the cuffs.

The cuffs should be - I would have thought this would go without saying, but then again, here we are - *elastic*.  And not just a little elastic; I should be able to push them up to my elbow, and have them stay there.  I don't know when or why I started doing this, but when I'm doing work, if I'm wearing long sleeves, they're probably at least half-way up my forearm.  When I'm passively consuming information or media, they may be down to the wrists, but when I'm producing, my sleeves are probably up.  This is my own bias and habit, but it is still a thing for me:  Why someone would make comfort-wear without comfortable sleeves is completely beyond me.

Finally, the hood.  It should go without saying that the main job of a hoodie is to be a sweatshirt, but with-a-hood.  So, you could reasonably be expected that a sweatshirt pattern and material with a decently-sized hood would be pretty easy to come up with.  Alas, here I am...  A hood should be much larger than the head wearing it.  In my opinion, I should be able to pull my hood up, with my head all the way to the back of it, and it should come down to just over my eyes, and be loose around the sides of my head.  What we're talking about is the Sith-look.  Unfortunately, most of my hoodies' hoods barely come up to frame my face.  That makes me sad.  They had one job to do that made them different from a sweatshirt, and they failed.

Most of my hoodies actually fail at the hood.  In fact, the features that I've complained about in each of the last several sections all refer to the same hoodie.  Amazingly, it isn't my worst hoodie.  Due to an absolutely awesome hood, I love that one, but it's a strange love; it's a love of the best of mediocrity.  If I could find a hoodie that was good at all of these, I'd buy 10 of them and probably give most of the rest away.

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