The Grey Crewneck | Essentially Essential

On the set of Sometimes a Great Notion

Here at ACL, we prefer recommendations to requisites. The term essentials, as we’ve waxed on before, is criminally overused these days, and so we try to adhere to the rule that nothing we cover is so vital that everyone positively must own it.

Except in this case.

Everyone, regardless of gender, regardless of age, regardless of style, could use a grey crewneck sweatshirt. Over, under, up, down, across, through, no matter how you may wear it a grey crewneck is, dare we say it, yes, an essential.





Orlebar Brown


Maison Martin Margiela


Thom Browne


Save Khaki


National Athletic Goods


Todd Snyder x Champion




Reigning Champ








Merz B. Schwanen












John Elliott


Noble Denim

Comments on “The Grey Crewneck | Essentially Essential

    Connor on September 23, 2014 11:14 AM:

    I much prefer a sweatshirt with a saddle shoulder. I know they have an imprecise fit, but that’s sort of how sweatshirts SHOULD fit. Uniqlo’s crewneck used to have a saddle shoulder but they seem to have replaced it with whatever the opposite of a saddle shoulder is called.

    Skenflin McGinty on September 23, 2014 12:27 PM:

    Champion never should have fucked with their reverse weave.

    John on September 23, 2014 2:18 PM:

    grey crew neck post with a pic of McQueen.
    it’s like 2007 all over again.

    Myles on September 23, 2014 2:23 PM:

    I agree with Skenflin. Champion reverse weave was incredible.

    Mark on September 23, 2014 3:22 PM:


    This pic is Paul Newman. Grey sweatshirts seem to be having ANOTHER moment so the post seems timely and approiate. After all, it has been five years since 2007. Sometimes fashion cycles occur even faster than seven years.

    Joel Kramer on September 23, 2014 3:25 PM:

    If Champion moved back to the USA and replicated their reverse weave I’d be buying them like I was back in college.

    Deep V on September 23, 2014 4:50 PM:

    So, out off all those, which is the best one for ~$30 that I can re-buy on Amazon for the next $20 years? Required for an “essential” in my opinion.

    Serious question, I want to buy one.

    bobsmithâ„¢ on September 23, 2014 5:16 PM:

    Paul Newman, Sometimes A Great Notion. You’re on to my secret…

    kiya on September 23, 2014 5:27 PM:

    You missed Strike Gold, one of the heaviest and softest ones in the world, not to mention they’re loopwheeled and have one of the only real set-in sweat catchers.

    Thom on September 23, 2014 6:32 PM:

    Getting one from Loopwheeler was my only must-buy when I went to Tokyo. Love it – maybe the best thing I’ve ever bought.

    Joe on September 24, 2014 7:24 AM:

    No McCoys or Warehouse iterations? The two best sweats makers dare I say, in the world.

    Todd Truman on September 24, 2014 8:49 AM:

    What’s a saddle shoulder?

    Connor on September 24, 2014 10:38 AM:

    A saddle shoulder means that the same piece of fabric from the sleeve connects to the collar (vs. ending at the armhole). You’ll see about half the pictures above have this feature.

    Guy on September 24, 2014 11:23 AM:

    I dunno, this post make me kinda sad. The gray/grey crewneck sweatshirt became iconic via it’s rough and tumble nature – just look how Mr Newman is sporting it in the photo, ripping around on a dirt bike. Most of the examples…well they seem a little precious. Many are $200-$300+. When these utilitartian garments that are cool because of the their utility become fetishized and fashionolaed, it can’t help but make the wearer look a little bit like a poseur, don’t you think?

    Todd Truman on September 24, 2014 1:30 PM:

    It’s refreshing to hear that, Guy.

    Greg on September 25, 2014 4:24 AM:

    I’ll echo Joe’s comments in saying i’m surprised not to see The Real McCoy’s sweater featured. Arguably one of the best in the world?

    Jack on September 25, 2014 7:19 PM:

    Well put, Guy. My thoughts exactly.

    Kevin McQuaid on September 26, 2014 5:08 AM:

    I couldn’t agree with Guy more. The best sweatshirts are those made for purpose, as opposed to knocking out a fashion item to be “on trend”, and this is reflected in a) the price of the sweat and b) the construction. Some of above are poor reworkings of the classic sweat and should be avoided like the plague. Some things you just don’t mss about with

    Aaron on September 26, 2014 10:43 AM:

    Love the Orlebar Brown. Couldn’t agree with you more Guy, everyone needs one! It’s a classic and if nothing else a real, simple staple of a man’s wardrobe- not just style but for a purpose as Kevin says.

    Skenflin McGinty on September 26, 2014 10:55 AM:

    Guy, Kevin McQuaid, Jack et al. Have you guy’s been reading this and similar blogs for the past 5 or 6 years or so? There is a whole segment of men’s fashion that is firmly based on the idea that you can take something that is wholly utilitarian, then artisanalize it and jack up the price 200%.

    Also, Todd Snyder, if you’re reading this why don’t you take that Champion license that you have and bring back the old style reverse weave sweatshirt at a regular price?

    John on September 26, 2014 4:16 PM:

    I don’t think Newman would have been caught dead wearing a $300 Sweatshirt!

    Chris on September 28, 2014 3:52 PM:

    That Todd Snyder x Champion is badass, versatile and comfortable. I usually just wait for them to go to at least 40% off and hope my size is still available. ps- National Athletic Goods and Merz B. Schwanen seem on point as well.

    AG on September 30, 2014 8:56 PM:

    For my money, a classic gray sweat with a raglan sleeve and the little front triangle “sweat panel” can’t be beat. A locker loop on the back is a nice finishing detail.

    I bought an imported loopwheeler from Mordechai at the Jack Spade store in Manhattan about seven years ago. Sadly, it’s rather snug now… aging metabolism.

    My brother swears by a U.S. company named American Giant. I think they’re located in California.

    As far as Champion goes, it’s actually their old, original paneled sweatpants that I miss.

    Mick on October 9, 2014 11:46 AM:

    @Joe and @Greg are right. The Real McCoys and Buzz Rickson – what’s coming out of Japan – are the best in the world, with Merz Schwanen of Germany right behind them.
    In America I find these brands at Bench & Loom. Happy to see Merz on the list but very surprised the Japanese were not included.

Comments are closed.