Men's Fleeces: How to Choose Your New Favourite Fleece
Fleece is your best ally when the temperatures drop, meaning it's a winter essential! Covering all bases, this warm, soft fabric is ideal for almost every situation – it's the perfect extra layer when you're indoors, keeping you cosy while you hang around the house; it'll help you stay insulated when you embrace the great but chilly outdoors for a walk in the woods or a trip to the seafront; and it'll be your go-to item when you set off further afield for winter adventures and future springtime getaways. Perfect for all seasons, this heat-trapping, comfortable and technical fabric forms the basis of our favourite product collection – our stylish and practical men’s fleeces. But did you know, there are multiple types of fleeces that serve different functions. So how do you choose which fleece best meets your needs, and which item is most appropriate for the season? Don't worry, we're here to give you the lowdown on the range of fleeces out there, and guide you towards the most on-trend and practical fleece for you!
Which fleece is best? The three different categories
Fleece tops can be categorised into three distinct types, depending on their thickness and – as a natural consequence – their density, which is measured in grams per square metre (g/m²). Knowing these details is key for selecting the fleece that will best fulfil your demands and, here at Atlas For Men, we systematically indicate this information in our product descriptions. If you receive our catalogues, you may have even noticed that we illustrate this information with a little icon that contains 1-4 snowflakes (4 indicating the highest level of insulation). This allows you to decipher at first glance whether an item is specially-designed to provide you with ultimate cold-weather protection, or if it is instead intended to be layered, or to kit you out for less extreme temperatures!
How to keep warm and insulated to the max: wear a 300 g/m² or above thick, winter fleece...
The fleece jackets and fleece jumpers that are most ideal for winterwear are those that are made of 300, 350 or even 380 g/m² material. Often referred to as "heavy-duty", these ultra-warm, thick fleece clothing items are designed with blustery winter temperatures in mind and will provide you with unbeatable protection. They're perfect for outdoor activities, such as a hike in sub-zero conditions or a night spent camping nearby an icy body of water, in places where the temperature really plummets – think up North, in Scotland, or even chillier places beyond the UK.
...and opt for a sherpa-lined jacket for top level protection
If you're seeking extra warmth, be on the lookout for quality fleece items that are lined with sherpa – you should find multiple among our collection! With an insulating exterior and a fluffy, snug interior, these practical garments make for some hardcore protection. As a result, it's not unusual that these models go beyond a total density of 400 g/m²!
Middle-ground protection: 200-290 g/m² fleece tops
At 200-290 g/m², "midweight" men's fleeces are the most adaptable kind! As long as you're not practising a really intensive physical activity, you can wear them either as a lightweight outer layer when the temperature sits somewhere around 10°C, or as a mid-layer if it's frostier. Insulating but not overly thick, they can be worn with ease beneath a coat or jacket to offer extra warmth without adding unnecessary bulk.
Lightweight, micro fleece jumpers or jackets, weighing under 200 g/m² - undeniably versatile, especially in classic tones of black, grey or navy blue!
Incredibly lightweight but still capable of offering substantive warmth, every man should have a couple of microfleece jumpers or jackets hung pride of place in his wardrobe. Although they're not strictly designed to tackle extreme cold, these models are ideal in spring and autumn and on milder winter days. Plus, they are absolutely perfect for layering, which adds to their versatility. Thanks to their thin fabric, they're a dream to wear beneath a windbreaker or water-repellent layer during the mid-season, or under puffer jackets or parkas that are a little more fitted in the depths of winter. On the other end of the scale, and worn alone or just with a t-shirt, they'll keep you at a comfortable temperature on milder days when the sun is shining too. These go-to models are more breathable than their heavier fleece counterparts, meaning they're also ideal for when you hit up a trail, head for a jog or embark on any other type of intense exercise. They'll keep your muscles warm without inviting heavy perspiration! If you're looking for an everyday fleece that can be thrown on at any moment, choose one of these! They really are a men's clothing essential. While it's great to add some colour to your wardrobe, we'd thoroughly recommend having at least one subtly coloured monochrome fleece in your closet for easy-pairing. Think classic shades of black, grey or navy blue!
Narrowing down your choice from thickness to style: half zip fleece jumper or full zip fleece jacket?
As you've probably already concluded by now, two principal styles of men's fleece tops branch from the three distinct fleece categories. These are half zip fleece jumpers and full zip fleece jackets. Once you've considered the practicality of what heaviness of fleece to go for, the rest really comes down to personal preference! Despite their different appearance, these two styles incorporate many of the same practical features: both generally have a funnel neck for extra warmth, can be unzipped (to varying degrees!) to carry off an attractive layering effect, and might have elasticated cuffs (or even adjustable hems) to up the insulation-anti that tad more. Added to that, many of our jackets and jumpers feature embroidered motifs to give extra character to a clothing classic. We might be inclined to suggest full zip jackets if you're simply after a new, stylish outer layer, but at the end of the day the choice is yours! At the very least, one of each design may be your best bet for a well-rounded wardrobe.
To recap, choosing your new favourite men's fleece requires a little bit of thought, both in terms of practicality and style. First consider what level of insulation you're in need of, and then – since you no doubt have an eye for style – ponder which cut you're more inclined towards. Whatever you go for, it's pretty much guaranteed that any item made of ultra-soft, super-warm and easy-care fleece won't leave you disappointed. After all, fleeces propose the perfect solution to any clothing predicament! And, if you're wondering how best to care for your fleece once you've made your purchase, just consult our maintenance guide!