Do Sweat the Small Stuff

Whilst a classic sweatshirt may now be a wardrobe staple that’s as ubiquitous as a pair of jeans, it’s roots are firmly based in the world of twentieth-century sportswear. Originating in the same era that Admiral began, the sweatshirt was first engineered in the 1920s as a more comfortable alternative to scratchy woollen training top jerseys. Oversized, to fit easily over existing kit with raglan, cut, and sewn sleeves for strength and ease of movement. This iconic piece earned it’s ‘sweat’ moniker thanks to the small ‘V’ shaped notch around the collar. The reason for this inspired design feature of inserting a thicker, triangular piece of cotton into the collar being to collect excess sweat as well as to protect and add some stretch to the collar for as many sporting seasons as possible.

This warm and absorbent piece of training apparel soon caught on around the world and over the following decades became synonymous with training in a myriad of different sporting activities, from boxing to track and field.

During the 1960s American universities saw the sweatshirt as a great way to advertise their institutions and thus a sea of sweats emblazoned with college names worn by Ivy Leaguers became part of the iconic preppy look. Whilst the sloganeering fad of the 1970s saw things taken a step further with the sweatshirt that became a canvas in which to make humorous or political statements.

Though it’s perhaps the 1980s in which the sweatshirt became a genuine fashion icon. Thanks to the popularity of jogging, designer sportswear, and a new style of music hailing from New York City, known as Hip-Hop. This wave of approval and reappropriation saw the sweatshirt become an icon that represented different things depending on the wearer and the brand. A thrift store sweat worn on the streets represented authenticity, whilst an expensive designer sweat worn down the local wine bar signified that you’d made it.

Named after the Admiral factory in Leicester where it all started, our Wigston sweatshirt is a heavyweight, premium version of this icon of sportswear. Constructed from 100% loopback cotton it features authentic detailing such as the classic V-notch, folded rib cuffs, and cover stitch seams throughout. It’s a sweatshirt that represents over 100 years of experience in making quality sportswear will stand the test of time on or off the field.


Words by Mark Smith

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