Welcome to the first edition of “My Stuff”, where I spill the beans about the stuff I own that make travel and everyday living that much more enjoyable!
What better way to kick off the section than with one of my most prized, weather beating, comfortable, fluffy, and colorful possessions: the Sherpa lined hoodie.
What it is: It’s a cotton/polyester fitted hoodie with soft, gently knitted, warm faux sheep’s fur (also known as “Sherpa”) lining. The body and hood are usually lined in Sherpa with the arms and pockets lined in an extra layer of cotton. It’s thicker than your average zip-up hoodie and has with two side slant pockets, a drawstring hood, and cuffed fabric at the sleeves and hem. Typically worn indoors with printed pajama bottoms on Christmas morning, I’ve expanded their range to outdoor adventures.
Why I love it: It’s one of he most versatile pieces in my closet that functions well at home and on the road. As a person who is generally cold I find a lot of warmth and comfort in the Sherpa lining itself, which extends into the hood to keep my head warm (since heat tends to leave the ends of my body and is one of the body parts to get cold). I’ve used these hoodies as a mini blanket during a cold plane ride and folded up as a soft seat cushion at sporting events. I rock a number of different colors so there’s no need to worry about it clashing with my other casual T-shirt and hand ensembles. The hardware is strong – it can take the tougher elements like rain and a heavily spiked dryer cycle with without breaking into pieces. The length hits right at my hips; perfect because I have long legs but a short torso, so it helps me to look proportional even when I’m not. Did I mention it is pretty light-weight for a fitted jacket? It’s not heavy so it doesn’t restrict movement. I don’t like it when a jackets sleeves are too big because it lets in tiny pocket of cold air but my Sherpa hoodie provides nice insulation around the neck, wrists, and hips. Sherpa, as it’s known, tends to be lighter weight, less bulky, and dries quickly – three more reasons why I love it!
What’s not so great: My beloved hoodies can get hot if you’re doing a lot of walking in warmer weather, and nothing is worse than the lingering smell of sweat in a puffy jacket. Because of the thick lining, the pockets tend to be small and can barely fit my cell phone, so I know I need to pack light or bring a bag to hold the rest of my goodies. It also tends to tighten up in the dryer and requires stretching out again after wash, especially in the arms and chest.
Where to buy: I purchased a number of hoodies years ago at a brick and mortar J. Crew store, but they can also be found online and particularly around the fall/winter season at LL Bean, Land’s End, and even North Face.
Purchase tips: Order a size up to account for the extra space the lining takes up in your torso. If you want even more space, consider the men’s version of the jacket. Whatever gender you choose to wear, definitely wash it on a gently cycle and air dry if possible. If you’re broke, patient, and ninja quick you might be able to grab one on sale at the end of the Christmas holiday rush, just look in the pajama section.