Spend Low or YOLO: Comparing Low-Cost and Expensive Hoodies

Some hoodies cost upward of $1,400.

ByABC News
August 31, 2016, 8:21 AM

— -- The hoodie has seen its fashion style evolve from being worn at the gym, as seen in the classic "Rocky" movies, to being worn on the sidelines of sports events by coaches like the New England Patriots' Bill Belichick to being worn at the office by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Now the hoodie is a fashion darling spotted on the likes of Rita Ora, Selena Gomez and even Rihanna.

With that level of cool comes, wait for it, the designer hoodie.

We found a slew of options that cost more than your standard $29 Champion or Gap staple hoodie. One hoodie rings up at $365, another at $845 and another at $1,495, all for a sweatshirt.

Why? To answer that question we went to the Westfield Garden State Plaza in New Jersey and asked two of our interns to zip up in hoodies at different price points. Maria wore a $30 hoodie and Jade wore a $365 hoodie.

I had to make one amendment to the two hoodies because the zipper on the more expensive style was a dead giveaway. It was highly-stylized and looked like an embellishment, so I covered the zippers on both our expensive and inexpensive hoodies.

With our interns modeling the ridiculously similar blue sweatshirts, both cotton, I approach about 30 shoppers and posed a simple question. “See these two sweatshirts?," I asked. "One is more expensive than the other. Which one?”

Roughly 60 percent of the people we asked guessed the hoodies' prices correctly.

Many identified the more expensive hoodie by looking closely and saying they noticed embellished seams and a slightly nicer metal ring on the hood string. But when I asked people to guess how much more the expensive hoodie cost, they failed miserably, guessing in the range of $20 to $50.

“Try $335 dollars more," I told them.

Consistently, that news of the hoodie's actual price caused people’s jaws to drop. When I told them about hoodies for sale in the $800 to $1,400 price range, the only word that describes their reactions is incredulous.

Lori Bergamotto, style director at Good Housekeeping magazine, explained the trend at the high end.

"Right now in fashion we are seeing this move toward boxier silhouettes, things that are over-sized and really we have a lot of street style stars to thank for this," she said. "The pendulum in fashion is always swinging. One minute it is all about the most uncomfortable highest heel you could wear and then the next minute it is all about the fashion sneaker.”

Maybe it’s a revolt against stilettos and skinny jeans? That I understand. A fashion trend moving toward comfort and athletic inspiration? I am all about that.

A sweatshirt for $1,495, um, no thanks. I think I’ll just use that money for my mortgage payment this month.