This wardrobe staple will see every man through spring and beyond

Lee Kynaston
Steve McQueen in 1963 - 2011 Silver Screen Collection

Spring presents some unique – not to mention trying – style challenges, particularly given the increasingly unpredictable nature of the weather.

On any given day you can leave the house wishing you’d worn shorts only to return wishing you’d packed a Puffa.

The customary approach for tackling this season-straddling fashion dilemma is to layer up, of course; but for me the key piece in any man’s inter-seasonal armoury is the humble sweatshirt.

Its usefulness as a spring style staple is very much rooted in its origins as a garment invented as a more comfortable (and more practical) alternative to the wool-based training gear athletes wore back in the 1920s. 

Cooler than woollens, warmer than fine- gauge knitwear and more robust than either, it’s a genuinely seasonless item of clothing.

Striped, £99, Albam (albamclothing.com)

Striped sweatshirt, £99, Albam 

What’s more, sweatshirts look better with age and are versatile: lightweight ones look great under casual suits or utility jackets, while it’s almost impossible to make a sartorial slip up if you team one with jeans and a pair of kicks.

Green, £110, Sunspel (sunspel.com)

Green sweatshirt, £110, Sunspel

And as long as you avoid bold graphics and logos you can wear them whatever your age, without ever looking too I’m-down-with- the-kids-honest or try-hard.

Go for ‘loopback’ cotton ones (they’re more breathable) and for sage or kale green if you’re after something that gives a nod to one of this spring’s key colours.

Jersey cotton, £110, Folk (mrporter.com)

Pastel pink jersey cotton sweastshirt, £110, Folk

Albam’s super-summery orange striped sweat, meanwhile, is great if you’re in the mood to be a bit more playful, while a classic grey marl version is an item every man should own: Joe McCoy’s one is worth the outlay for the fit alone.

Classic, £180, Joe McCoy (realmccoyslondon.com)

Classic grey sweatshirt, £180, Joe McCoy

Speaking of which, leave oversized and hooded versions to kids and rappers and opt instead for classic regular cuts, which are boxy by design and thus tend to be universally flattering, even if you have moobs and love handles.

Soft touch, £60, Finisterre (finisterre.com)

Soft touch blue sweatshirt, £60, Finisterre

This last fact may, or may not, explain why I currently own 15 of them.