The Six Sweatshirts You Need to Survive Winter In Portland

Thank God for sweatshirts.

Portland winters are defined by interminable dampness. Not a downpour, not a snowstorm, but an endless mist that cuts right through thin shirts while also leaving you sweating in a heavy jacket, like a Labrador in a sauna.

Thank God for sweatshirts.

The trusty cotton sweatshirt has never been more fashionable, and it's also the perfect foil to the gray misery of the next three months. Warm enough when popping over to the store for milk, cool enough to wear around a typical office all day long.

Here are the six sweatshirts you need to make it through winter here. Pair them with an umbrella (hush up, Mossback) and you're all set.

Champion Life Reverse Weave 

Champion, the brand you may remember from such decades as the '90s, is back. In the streetwear world, Champion is definitely Comeback Player of the Year, and a dark horse MVP candidate. The basic Champion crewneck is now shorthand for everyman's athleisure, and the mid-'90s revival. Kanye wears them, and Champion is collaborating with Bape, Supreme and Todd Snyder. The shirt to buy is the basic reverse weave with the classic logo on the sleeve and chest, which is designed to wear with character and which you can snag for $40 to $50 from Urban Outfitters or direct from Champion.

Adidas XbyO OTH

Did you know the Japanese are pretty much the only people who can make cool knits now? Well, it's true. This very basic over-the-head (OTH, get it?) sweatshirt with a kangaroo pocket was designed by Satomi Nakamura and made of Yamayo terry, a dense but relatively thin fabric made in Japan. It has very little stretch, and it's not especially soft, but it is tough while regulating your temperature very well. It costs about $85, and the minimal branding means you can wear it early and often. Adidas rolls these collaborations out every month or two.

Bridge & Burn Columbiaknit

Plain is in. High quality is in. Local is in. The West End's outdoorsy streetwear boutique Bridge & Burn keeps up with the trends, but it carries a few evergreen garments that'll last a long time and stay in style. The house crewneck sweater is made in Portland by almost century-old Columbiaknit and comes in simple, block colors set off by a red stitch in the shoulder. It's thick, warm and comfy in just about all non-Snowpocalypse weather.

Hanes Crewneck

If it's been a while since you've owned a classic cotton Hanes crewneck, you might be surprised to learn they cost exactly as much as they used to (like $9 at Target) and they no longer shrink in one place while getting weirdly baggy in another. They're so soft, so warm and priced to spill paint and greasy food on. You need a couple of these around.

Patagonia Synchilla

OK, yes, technically not a sweatshirt. But it exists in what the kids call a "sweatshirt-adjacent space" and clearly fulfills the same purpose. A vintage Patagonia is not only delightfully thick, warm and soft, but basically the only cool fleece there is right now. Luckily for those scandalized by the price of genuine Patagucci, the Pearl has a corner with hand-me-downs for sale at only $40. Get the brightest, gaudiest pattern on the rack and you're instantly in style.

American Giant Classic Full-Zip Hoodie

In 2012, Slate's Farhad Manjoo declared this "the best sweatshirt known to man." That meant people who read Slate and the friends they drink pricey sour beer with (it me) all ended up on a waiting list to plop down $90 for a heavy-duty American-made sweatshirt with extra-long sleeves, a hood that's actually shaped like a head, and double-reinforced elbows. It's since been tabbed by bloggers as part of "Everything You Need to Have the Most Comfortable Existence Possible," and "the Tom Bihn of Clothing." For a while there, every beer festival in Portland was half AG heavyweight hoodies. I've owned three and worn them basically every day for months at a time, but lately they've felt a little outdated. The other products the San Francisco company has rolled out since haven't had the same magic—especially the ill-fated lightweight version. Still, props for turning me on to direct-sale American-made products and making Facebook a nice tool to have in the box.

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