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  • Sarah Mason

American Giant & The Quest for Hoodlandia

American Giant Classic Zip Hoodie

The Harold & Maudecast Network recently launched its Lifestyle & Travel division. As part of our Lifestyle podcast series we will be featuring product reviews. We begin where all comic convention fans feel comfortable -- in the Hood(ie). Unfortunately finding the perfect Hoodie is often a Battle and since we engage in many (virtual and fictional) battles, we thought we'd start with a quest.

I've recently heard tale of a mythical land, a place one dreams of where everyone no matter how old, young, short, tall, thin, fat or somewhere in the middle, finds tranquility and comfort in their Hoodies. This place is called, Hoodlandia. When I heard of this fantastical land I immediately set out to find it. My journey began on the digital highway where I discovered a Giant, an American Giant, who guided me on my Quest for Hoodlandia.

Okay, that's as far as I go with that nerds.

Recently I caught a headline that grabbed me, "World's Greatest Hoodie". Did you say, greatest? I long for the greatest Hoodie. For I live in Hoodies. In fact, you might say the Hoodie is my uniform of choice for every occasion, my security blanket, my happy place. That doesn't mean Hoodie and I have always been close. it's been a tumultuous relationship at best. I love Hoodie, but Hoodie doesn't always love me. Still, the prospect of "The Greatest" was so intriguing I had to click thru. What I discovered was, American Giant, a San Francisco-based manufacturing company that sells direct to consumer, e-commerce clothing entirely sourced and produced in the U.S. , who claimed to produce this mythical creature, The World's Greatest Hoodie.

American Giant has had amazing success the last few years without any advertising. It's all word of mouth that has created the buzz on how awesome this Hoodie is, so much so that they were unable to keep stock on the shelves at one point. Luckily reports of their empty shelves had been greatly exaggerated by the time I discovered them and I was able to place my order for their Classic Zip Hoodie, that's me pictured left.

With much anticipation, I waited for the miracle to arrive. Yes, the perfect Hoodie is somewhat of a miracle. For those as concerned about the perfect fitting Hoodie as I am, you'll understand both my skepticism and excitement over the prospect of the "perfect fit" -- like jeans, it's the unicorn of the clothing industry. I must have over 50 Hoodies in rotation (oh no, no joke), and honestly, none of them fit perfectly. Yet I can't stop purchasing them! I love Hoodies, I love the comfort and ease of wearing them and I love that you can use a Hoodie as a jacket and given the right one, a very casual blazer.

I ain't young. Remember, I'm the Maude in this Maudecast. Though not 80, I am in my 40s and finding something that makes me feel comfortable and look good at the same time gets tricky. In my past experiences on the Quest for Hoodlandia, I've encountered five different types of Hoodie Monsters that have blocked my path, engaging me in various types of battle as I fight on to find the real Perfect Hoodie. These five monster Hoodies are as follows; The Offensive Linebacker, The Skinny Bitch, The Beer Goggle, The Donatella and The Moo Moo. Please allow me to introduce you to them --

The Offensive Linebacker - This is the Hoodie that your ex-husband forgot to take in the divorce. The one stuffed in the back of your closet with the NFL Team you HATE embossed on the lapel. It was expensive, but of poor quality, thick but felty, bulky but not cozy, not warm enough yet oddly too hot. It earns its name due to its Boxy shape which is oh so flattering for us middle-aged women trying to remind ourselves we still have a shape.

The Skinny Bitch - You know this one. It's the one you wanna punch in the face. You'll find this Hoodie in the Junior section after you spend 2 hours trying and failing to find an appropriate Hoodie in every women's section of every department store in America. Built to last a Nascar season, it's too thin, has no give, or forgiveness of any curves. It binds you like a corset stripping away any semblance of the female form (unless your 12), and it often comes only in canary yellow, highlighter pink, black/white polka dots or Hello Kitty.

The Beer Goggle - This Hoodie can be sourced from a surprising number of places from outlet and discount stores to the knick knack shops at popular tourist attractions worldwide. The Beer Goggle's fit ranges from marginally adequate to drowning you but, the fit is not its key attribute. The Beer Goggle is a deceitful Hoodie as you are tricked into buying it because it blinds you with its clever or attractive branding grabbing your interest for a fleeting moment during your vacation. It's assuredly of poor quality and will end up in a closet and/or a truck bound for Good Will inside of 9 months.

The Donatella - This Hoodie costs more than the car you drive.

Moving on.

The Moo Moo - This Hoodie can be found in discount stores and the Plus size section of any major department store. It's too big for you yet you might have to buy it because at least you can zip it up whereas The Skinny Bitch will never see closure. It's a flat, thin cotton material, with a truly ugly design of the flora pattern persuasion. Most definitely primary colors, never black, bonus if found in Teal or Raspberry. A fan favorite of ladies over 65, the Moo Moo has a fit you can't quite describe, designed exclusively for a shape that doesn't exist in the human world. Possibly it was modeled on a seal or some docile obliging land mammal.

You can tweak and add elements but those are pretty much the Five monster Hoodie styles women deal with regularly in the quest for Hoodlandia. I'll let my co-host Jake weigh in on the men's battle for the perfect Hoodie. But for me, well, American Giant delivered on its promise -- They took me to Hoodlandia. And it is AWESOME! I never want to leave.

Why ?? I'll tell you. The American Giant Classic Zip Hoodie is real. It's not a mythical creature. It's the perfect fit. It's smart, it's practical. It's not condescending or insulting in any way. It just fits so perfectly. From the moment I put it on I instantly wiped away all thoughts of the Five monsters. This Hoodie is of exceptional quality -- made right here in the US of A. It looks like it was made with care, the stitching, the seems, the zipper. The design is FLATTERING! Actually flattering for any body type -- they have a wide range of sizes to fit many different body types. This Hoodie is the equivalent of The Traveling Pants - it just fits, no matter who you are, how old or young or what your body type is. And it makes you feel great. It's warm, cozy, but it breathes. I never thought I could love a hoodie so much and feel this good wearing one.

Thank you American Giant. You are a true warrior. Thank you for forging the path to Hoodlandia. May others follow in your giant footsteps.

Myself and my Co-Host, Jake Essoe will be doing a full review of the Men's and Women's American Giant Classic Full Zip Hoodie on our PRODUCT REVIEWS podcast. And I'd also like to add evidence of the confidence this Hoodie gives you: Note that I posted a pic of my middle-aged self in the same article as a beautiful model wearing the same Hoodie. Yup. It's that good. #nomoreshame #mythicalcreaturesdoexist

In the meantime, here's a cool video on HOW IT'S MADE

Visit American Giant Harold & Maudecast to find out more about this hoodie!

About American Giant


American Giant was launched in February 2012 by Bayard Winthrop. Winthrop and Kendall started the company to tackle the problems of quality, fit and transparency in the apparel market. The first American Giant product, the Classic Full Zip, was created by Philipe Manoux, a former industrial engineer at Apple, and designed by pattern-design engineer Steve Mootoo.

The Original Product

The original product, the Classic Full Zip, features reinforced elbow pads, a double-lined hood, custom hardware, a side-panel for mobility, and spandex woven into the cuffs and waist to hold shape and elasticity. The heavyweight cotton used in this product is harvested in the U.S. and then processed and knitted in American factories by local workers. American Giant began manufacturing with its flagship, Classic Full Zip hooded sweatshirt, and has since grown its basic apparel offerings to include t-shirts, hoodies, and sweatpants for both men and women. American Giant carries a variety of styles and fabrics such as supima, heavyweight fleece, lightweight cotton, modal, and raglan.