Zipped vs Pullover Hoodies

by Jan 6, 2022Blog

Like any good clothing feature, the presence of a zip or the desire for no zip on a hoodie causes some controversy! If you are looking to waste a few hours, try reading everything on the internet about the pluses and minuses of having a zip on your hoodie. The arguments can get quite heated. Some are not so polite too.

Here we list the bulk of the arguments we have heard directly or read about. We have skipped some of the more ‘way-out-there’ reasons for people’s preferences. Frankly, some of them sound a little crazed and we don’t want to aggravate anyone unnecessarily.

The Leavers Hoodies Company did an in-house poll to find our team’s favourite – we’ll let on the result at the end of this article. But, it was close and, most of us see both sides of the arguments for and against. We will also share which style, zipped or pullover hoodies, has proved to be the favourite with our clients in the last 12 months.

Hoodie Wearer’s Choice is King or Queen

(or whatever monarch you want to choose)

Everyone should remember that almost no one is forced to buy a zipped hoodie if they don’t want one. Nor, conversely, a pullover hoodie if wedded to the concept, looks and functionality of a zip.

Most suppliers of bulk orders of decorated hoodies (like us at the Leavers Hoodies Company) allow for the flexibility to have a mixture of different hoodie styles within a single order. So, for example, you can order 50 hoodies in total: 35 pullovers and 15 zipped (or vice versa).

Generally, the only constraint affecting this order flexibility is the issue of front design. If you want a full front chest design on the hoodies (for your class, year, team, trip, club etc) then the zipped hoodie option is not usually possible.

Hoodie features, likes and dislikes:

Under discussion here are the following features, ideas, likes and dislikes :

  • Pocket design
  • Mechanics of zips
  • Garment care/washing issues
  • Losing shape
  • Breaking / damaged zips
  • Putting on / taking off the garments
  • Warmth/temperature control
  • Looks / style
  • Fit
  • Unexpectedly bare midriff
  • What you can wear underneath your hoodie

As you might imagine, every item in the list has arguments for and against and many of the arguments are the same. The differentiator is, simply, the personal preference of the individual. For each feature reviewed you can probably find claims of “I love it” and “I hate it” in similar numbers. So, we just try to list the logic or reasoning used to support the over-enthusiastic statements rather than the emotions they incite.

Hoodie Pocket Design

The kangaroo pouch pocket of the pullover hoodie provides

  • the best possible pocket for carrying things and the one most likely to result in the loss of whatever was put in there including, but not limited to: keys, phone, handkerchief and wallet/purse
  • a great design feature for storage and/or keeping the hands warm and an ‘ugly sack’ on the front of the hoodie good for kangaroos but for people, less so.

All zipped, and some pullover, hoodies provide other pocket configurations which are considered useful or useless and good design or a waste of space depending on who you listen to.

The zipped pockets available on some hoodies managed to get good reviews across the board it seems although, as they are not that common, not so many people seem to have tried them.

And, for the people who love the look of the kangaroo pouch pockets but want a zipped hoodie, there are pockets made to look like the pouches on zipped hoodies too.

The Zips themselves

The mechanics of the zips in hoodies are lauded and despised in equal measure it seems.

  • The impact on the shape and look of the hoodie—with some people seeing the shape of the zip when closed and the wearer seated as a personal affront and others seeing the design of the garment to be lifted by the presence of the zip down the middle.
  • The risks the zip poses to the washing machine and/or other garments in the load when washing the garment. Some of these people seem to forget the other zipped garments which are also floating around in the laundry.
  • The fragility or unbelievable robustness of the modern zip

[Worth saying here that we tend to support the view that modern zips are very, very robust. Very occasionally, there are problems reported. But much more often we have seen hoodies and jackets where pretty much the only thing left of the garment is the fully working zip after a good few years of heavy use.]

What Hoodie Zips offer

The ability to have a zip partially or completely open is one of the features you might expect to come in for almost universal praise. If you want it, get it and if you don’t want it don’t buy it. But you would be wrong.

The frustration and anguish the function of a simple zip seems to cause some people come as a continual surprise to us. Referring back to the issue of wearer choice, discussed above, it strikes us as strange that anyone could get so heated about a feature you can choose not to have.

Some value the flexibility the zip offers to the wearer to have an open ‘jacket’, fully zipped-up hoodie, or anything in between. Others seem to think it is changing the whole meaning of the ‘hoodie’ and that the garment should be called something else entirely.

[The temptation, at this point, to say ‘Get real folks – it is a garment with many options. Buy the hoodie you want to wear with the features you want to use!’ is almost overwhelming and we are not even close to halfway through this article.]

Putting on and taking off your hoodie

Zips offer a different way of donning and removing the hoodie, obviously. For the real fruit-cake you could put on and take off your zipped hoodie as if it were a pull-over – but why would you? If you prefer the idea of slipping your arms in or out rather than stretching up overhead to pull it on and off then knock yourself out, and get a zipped hoodie.

As an active (if not good) sportsperson who has suffered shoulder trouble of various kinds over the years there have been times when putting on and taking off a pullover have been challenging. Similarly, help has sometimes been necessary to get a zipped hoodie on, at times too.

Warmth / temperature control

By now you are probably getting to anticipate the story we are telling here.

There are ardent zipped hoodie lovers who claim that there is no difference in the warmth of the garment, when the zip is closed, compared to a pullover hoodie. Equally, some very strange people assert that the ability to control the temperature of the wearer by opening and closing the zip is irrelevant or even ‘make-believe’.

In an ideal world, there would be a definitive scientific study that would, [most likely – in our opinion] disprove both theories. However, since the science of human-induced climate change is still attracting argument and conflict amongst supposed scientists it is a safe bet that a definitive study isn’t going to happen any time soon regarding the humble hoodie.

[Our opinions on these issues, for what they are worth, are:

  • the zip area on a hoodie can ‘feel’ less warm and insulated when there is a wind blowing on it. Whether it is actually cooler or not we don’t know but it is really what your mind tells you that counts more than the half-a-degree difference that might or might not exist.
  • it is pretty difficult to argue against the increased ventilation the zip on a hoodie can offer
  • zipped and pullover hoodies offer benefits in different situations – why not get one of each next time you are buying!]

Looks and Fit

After all of the too’ing and fro’ing on performance and features it will surprise no one that the issue of look and fit of the zipped vs pullover hoodies causes a stir too. Personal preference is likely to put you in one camp or the other and you can find plenty of people willing to express their strong preferences across the internet.

The only issue in this bracket which could be considered hard and fast is that of fit. It is, almost without doubt or argument, easier to put on a tight-fitting zipped hoodie than a tight-fitting pullover hoodie. While taking off tight-fitting pullover hoodies brings up the likelihood of that minor social gaffe—the accidental, unexpected bare midriff. This isn’t so bad for very young or possessors of well-toned or six-pack bellies – but some people feel that the slightly less sightly paunches of many of us should probably remain hidden more often than not. That said, there is always the option of a seriously good laugh when you see someone struggling to break free from their over-tight-fitting pullover hoodie.

Finally, the issue of what you are wearing underneath your hoodie comes in for some discussion too. The idea seems to be that you will (or should) buy a zipped hoodie if you have a garment you want to wear underneath it worth showing to the public. So, if you have a t-shirt with some style—a fashion statement of some sort, then go for the zipped hoodie option because you get to show it off! Mmmm – not so sure about how far that logic stretches.

Other hoodie options

If you have got this far and are not firmly in one camp or the other you might want to consider other possible hoodie options.

  • Half Zips
  • 2-way Zips

We haven’t made any effort to include these in our review because the number of people buying them is relatively low and they haven’t yet made it to the dizzy heights of having hordes of followers willing to sing their praises anywhere.

Feel free to guess what the feedback for these garments might be. There is nothing so sure as—if you can imagine what someone might say, there is certainly someone out there willing to put their name to it.

Most popular hoodie choices

We promised to tell you which hoodie style, zipped or pullover, has proved most popular over the last 12 months. And also to share, the statistically insignificant, results of our internal poll for personal preferences.

  • The most popular (most units bought) over the last 12 months has been the pullover hoodie, by a factor of 2 to 1.
  • The favourite amongst the staff of the Leavers Hoodies Company is the zipped hoodie, by a single vote!

Header photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

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Zipped vs Pullover Hoodies
Article Name
Zipped vs Pullover Hoodies
Zips on hoodies doesn't sound like a contentious topic but some people make it so. Here we, calmly, review the perceived benefits of having a zip on your hoodie, or not.
Publisher Name
The Leavers Hoodies Company
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