How to Find the Best Vintage Sweatshirts - 2024 Guide

Vintage sweatshirts have made a come back in recent years, with more and more people opting for the comfort and style of these classic garments. 

Whether you're a fan of the classic crewneck or the trendy graphic piece, there's a sweatshirt out there for everyone, and with our help, you will know how to find the best vintage sweatshirts in 2023. 

guide to vintage sweatshirts

With so many different styles and designs to choose from, it's easy to find a vintage sweatshirt that speaks to your personal style and taste. 

From bold, graphic prints to subtle, understated patterns, there's a vintage sweatshirt out there to suit every fashion sensibility. In this article, we will dive into the different ways to style vintage sweatshirts and where you can find one for your own closet today.

Characteristics of the Ideal Vintage Sweatshirt

Vintage sweatshirts are typically defined as those that are at least 20 years old. They can be collectible and sought after for their vintage style and rarity.

One of the biggest draws of vintage sweatshirts is their unique, one-of-a-kind look. 

There are a few characteristics that can help you identify a vintage sweatshirt:

Tags - The tag on a vintage sweatshirt may be a good indicator of its age. The tag may include information about the material, care instructions, and country of origin.

vintage russell tagvintage 90s sweatshirt taggear for sports vintage sweatshirt tagvintage chiefs crewneck tag

Often, a tag on an old sweatshirt indicated as "Made in USA" is a sign that the sweatshirt is vintage (but not always).

Material - Vintage sweatshirts were often made of heavier, high-quality materials such as thick, plush cotton or wool.

Fit - Vintage sweatshirts tended to have a more relaxed, boxy fit compared to modern sweatshirts, which are often more fitted.

Graphics and printing - Vintage sweatshirts may feature graphics, prints, or slogans that are no longer in fashion or are specific to a certain era.

Stitching - Vintage sweatshirts may have more durable and well-constructed stitching compared to modern sweatshirts.

It's important to note that just because a sweatshirt is old, it doesn't necessarily make it a vintage sweatshirt. It's important to consider all of these characteristics when determining if a sweatshirt is truly vintage.

Top Brands of Vintage Thrifted Sweatshirts

Some popular manufacturers of vintage sweatshirts include:

Champion - Founded in 1919, Champion is known for producing high-quality athletic wear, including vintage sweatshirts.

Hanes - Hanes is a well-known manufacturer of clothing, including sweatshirts. The company was founded in 1901, so it's possible to find vintage Hanes sweatshirts.

Russell Athletic - Founded in 1902, Russell Athletic is another company that has a long history of producing sweatshirts.

Fruit of the Loom - Fruit of the Loom was founded in 1851 and is known for producing a variety of clothing, including sweatshirts.

Gildan -Gildan is a newer company, having been founded in 1984, but it has become a popular choice for sweatshirts.

It's important to note that these are just a few examples, and there are many other manufacturers that have produced vintage sweatshirts.

The Sweatshirt Vintage Trend Guide

One of the best things about vintage sweatshirts is that they can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. 

Pair a vintage crewneck sweatshirt with a pair of jeans and sneakers for a casual, laid-back look, or dress up a vintage track jacket with slacks and dress shoes for a more polished outfit. 

No matter how you choose to wear your vintage sweatshirt, it's sure to be a stylish and comfortable addition to your wardrobe.

The best thing about vintage sweatshirts is that they can be styled to suit any aesthetic. Whether you're going for preppy, hipster, or urban chic, there's a way to make it work. Here are some of our favorite ways to style vintage sweatshirts:

Vintage College Sweatshirts 

Vintage college sweatshirts are a popular and stylish item of clothing featuring the logos and insignias of various colleges and universities. 

They can be worn to show support for a particular school, or simply as a fashionable and nostalgic item of clothing. 

vintage colorado sweatshirtvintage oklahoma college sweatshirtvintage usc trojans sweatshirtvintage wisconsin rose bowl sweatshirt

Vintage college sweatshirts are often made from high-quality materials, such as heavy-weight cotton, and have a classic, retro appeal. They can be dressed up or down, making them a versatile addition to any wardrobe. 

Vintage college sweatshirts can be found at vintage clothing stores, online marketplaces, and at college campuses themselves, where they may be sold in college bookstores or at special events.

Oversized Sweatshirts Vintage Style

Oversized sweatshirts are having a moment in the fashion world, with both men and women embracing this comfortable and laid-back trend. 

Whether paired with jeans and sneakers for a casual daytime look or dressed up with tailored pieces and heels for a night out, the oversized sweatshirt is a versatile and stylish addition to any wardrobe. 

This trend is perfect for those who prioritize comfort and ease while still wanting to make a fashion statement. 

Celebrity style icons such as Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber have been spotted rocking oversized sweatshirts, showing that this trend is not limited to any particular gender.

Vintage Embroidered Sweatshirts

Vintage sweatshirts with embroidered logos tend to be of higher quality and more durable compared to those with printed logos. 

This is because embroidery involves stitching the design onto the fabric using thread, while printing typically involves applying ink or paint to the surface of the fabric. 

sweatshirt with embroideryvintage embroidered sweatshirt

Embroidery is a more labor-intensive and time-consuming process, but it results in a more durable and long-lasting finish. 

The embroidered design is also more resistant to fading and peeling compared to a printed design. 

Additionally, embroidered logos on vintage sweatshirts tend to have a more classic and upscale look, adding a touch of sophistication to the garment.

Overall, vintage sweatshirts with embroidered logos are likely to be of higher quality and have a more timeless and upscale appearance, making them a worthwhile investment for any vintage clothing enthusiast.

Vintage Graphic Sweatshirts 

Vintage graphic sweatshirts are a popular and stylish type of clothing featuring bold and eye-catching designs that showcase the personality and interests of the wearer. 

These sweatshirts can feature a wide range of graphics, such as band logos, movie and television show references, pop culture icons, and more. 


To style a vintage sweatshirt for a preppy look, pair the sweatshirt with classic, tailored pieces. 

For example, try tucking the sweatshirt into a pair of high-waisted, straight-leg jeans or chinos and finishing the look with a pair of loafers or oxford shoes. 

Alternatively, layer the vintage sweatshirt over a collared shirt and tuck it into a knee-length A-line skirt, finishing the look with knee-high socks and boots. 

Accessorize with preppy staples such as a pearl necklace or a headband. 

To complete the preppy look, add a touch of polish with a blazer or a cardigan sweater.


A hipster would pair vintage sweatshirts with edgy and unconventional pieces. 

Try tucking the sweatshirt into a pair of distressed, high-waisted jeans and finishing the look with a pair of combat boots or Converse sneakers. 

Sometimes imperfections in a sweatshirt are what makes a piece attractive. Here is a nicely thrashed, vintage sweatshirt that we found at Birdbath. 

thrashed vintage sweatshirt

Not for everyone, but some people love a thrashed look. 

Alternatively, layer the vintage sweatshirt over a band t-shirt and pair it with a pair of baggy, ripped jeans, finishing the look with a pair of combat boots or Doc Martens. 

Accessorize with chunky jewelry and a beret or fedora hat. 

To complete the hipster look, consider adding a touch of vintage flair with a pair of round sunglasses or a printed scarf.

Urban Chic

If you want to dress your vintage sweatshirt up for a night out, pair it with leather pants or skirts and heels. 

Add some statement jewelry, and you're ready to hit the town. This is a great outfit for bar hopping or dancing the night away. 

What we Love about Vintage Sweatshirts

Whether it's the soft, comfortable fabric, the unique and one-of-a-kind designs, or the sustainable aspect of vintage fashion, there is so much to love about vintage sweatshirts.

Here are the reasons why we are obsessed with vintage sweatshirts and why we think you should be too. 

The Vintage Sweatshirt Comfort Factor 

One of the biggest reasons why people love vintage sweatshirts is because of the comfort factor. 

These sweatshirts are made from lightweight fabrics, which makes them perfect for wearing on cool days or nights when you don't need a heavy jacket but still need something to keep you warm. 

Plus, they come in all sorts of colors and sizes, so you can always find one that fits your style and body type perfectly.  

The Durability Factor in Old Sweatshirts

Another great thing about vintage sweatshirts is their durability factor. Unlike other types of apparel, they are designed to last through multiple washes and wear and tear without fading or shrinking.

The durability means that you will be able to enjoy wearing your favorite vintage sweatshirt for many years to come without having to worry about replacing it anytime soon. 

The Uniqueness Factor in Vintage Graphic Sweatshirts

Vintage sweatshirts also offer something that no other clothing item can—uniqueness.

You will never find two identical vintage sweatshirts since each one is unique in its own way due to its age and condition. This makes them a great piece for expressing your individual style and personality.  

Where to Buy Vintage Sweatshirts

Vintage sweatshirts can be a fun and unique addition to anyone's wardrobe, but finding them can be a challenge.

While it's possible to find vintage sweatshirts at thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets, these options may not always yield the best results.

Fortunately, there are several online options for buying vintage sweatshirts that offer a wider selection and the convenience of shopping from home.

Birdbath Vintage

There are several reasons why readers should consider shopping at Birdbath for vintage sweatshirts. 

First, shopping at Birdbath supports the sustainable fashion movement by providing a platform for customers to purchase vintage clothing, which helps reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

Second, vintage sweatshirts from Birdbath are likely to be unique and one-of-a-kind, as they are not mass-produced like many modern clothes. This means that customers can add some individuality and personality to their wardrobe with a vintage sweatshirt from Birdbath. 

Finally, vintage sweatshirts from Birdbath are likely to be of high quality, as they have stood the test of time.


If you're looking for an affordable option, eBay is the perfect place to start. With thousands of listings from all over the world, eBay has something for everyone when it comes to vintage sweatshirts.

Plus, you can narrow down your search by size and color so you can find exactly what you're looking for. Don't forget to keep an eye out for deals. You never know what kind of bargain price you might find.

Brick and Mortar Thrift Stores 

Thrift stores are another great source of affordable vintage finds.

The selection might vary depending on the store, but if you dig around long enough, you might be able to uncover some hidden gems.

Just make sure that if you plan on shopping at thrift stores that you have a keen eye for quality clothes--you don't want to end up with something in poor condition.

Other Online Vintage Stores 

If money isn't an issue, then online vintage stores are definitely worth checking out.

These stores carry a variety of items from different eras, so there's bound to be something that catches your eye.

The prices can be a bit steep at times, but if you're willing to splurge, then these sites are definitely worth visiting. 

Vintage Sweatshirt Guide - Folded up and Concluded

No matter what your personal style is, there's a way to incorporate vintage sweatshirts into your wardrobe. 

With so many options available, there's sure to be a style that suits you perfectly. Vintage sweatshirts are quickly becoming a staple in everyone’s wardrobe thanks to their comfort factor, durability factor, and unique factor. 

Whether you’re looking for an everyday casual look or something different for special occasions, these classic pieces have got you covered.

With all these tips in mind, now you're ready to hit up your favorite thrift store (or online marketplace) in search of some great vintage finds.

From researching which brands will give you the best bang for your buck to understanding what makes an item truly "vintage," hopefully, this guide has given you all the information necessary for successful sweater shopping trips in both real life and online.

Overall, shopping at for vintage sweatshirts is a great way to make a positive impact on the environment, add some unique pieces to your wardrobe, and invest in high-quality clothing.

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