The Uniqlo Zip-Up Hoodie Is Perfect
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If an ideal version of something exists, I will agonize over finding it. It’s a disposition that goes pretty far back, to when I was barely tall enough to see over a dinner table, though in those days my mom probably dismissed it as general pickiness (peas, gross). I never outgrew my finicky phase (peas are still gross)—instead, I made a career out of my chronic struggle. Whether it’s jeans, headphones, or coffee grinders, I’m always searching for the best that I can get. Research, hem, haw, repeat. My latest obsession? Zip-up hoodies.
At first, I thought my search would end one of two ways: the perfect zip-up would either be the most recherché and expensive of the lot, the kind you’d find in a specialty shop that only stocks goods from master craftspeople with zero online presence, or a thrashed piece hanging from the rafters of a well-curated vintage store. So I zipped through about a dozen options, from cheap-o household names to splashy designer brands. But it turns out my knotted-up brain was overcomplicating things, because the winner wound up coming from a laughably obvious source. Like toiling away at a mind-bending math problem before finally realizing your silly little mistake, trying on Uniqlo’s zip-up hoodie relieved me of my agony the moment I saw myself in the mirror. It was The One.
The fabric is a silken midweight all-cotton terry that’s ideal for wearing close to year-round. The construction is particularly impressive, trouncing options twice its price (I’m talking bound zipper tape, a taped neck, flat seams, lined hood—the primo stuff you typically pay through the nose for). Like so many of the hoodies its OG counterparts make, the ribbing at the hem and cuffs are tall and flattering. But aside from the excellent fabric and construction, what Uniqlo really nails is the silhouette. The trouble with most relaxed fits these days is that they’re often overly baggy or terribly long—sometimes both. Uniqlo’s hoodie, though, is comfortably roomy but not sloppy, and curtailed with precision to sit more naturally at the hips, which helps it sync up nicely with both high-rise and low-rise pants. (I’m a statistically average 5’9″ and the medium fits like a dream after a wash and dry.)
I haven’t gone a day without wearing it, which is a good sign. All the approving nods and mid-convo eye-darts are another. If I lost it, I’d buy a replacement in a heartbeat—a triple-stamped certification of a good product. A few years down the road, I’m hoping it will end up looking like the one of those out-of-reach vintage grails I’ve always longed for. But for now, at least, the Uniqlo zip-up hoodie is exactly the panacea I was searching for.
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