It helps when reviewing a specific item to have an affinity for the general type of product. That fondness isn’t a prerequisite, simply something which gives the reviewer an obvious way into the piece. I’ve got to admit, being asked to write a review of the Stanley Stella Changer sweatshirt didn’t initially fill me with joy. The reason is purely personal, I simply don’t adore sweatshirts in the same way as I do t-shirts, polos or hoodies. Give me one of the latter and we’re good to go. Whilst having worn them, sweatshirts aren’t an article of clothing which I yearn after. Not an issue in itself, being objective is easy, part of the job. However, it’s a lot to ask for a single example of something to alter an overall view.
So, did the Stanley Stella Changer sweatshirt make me rethink the role of the sweatshirt in my wardrobe? Read on and find out.
As with previous reviews, there are a mix of images. Some are Stanley Stella stock shots and some are my own (clearly less professional) photographs. You’ll have very little difficulty in differentiating between the two.
General Info for the Changer Sweatshirt.
Stanley Stella manufacture a wide range of blank sweatshirts for men, women, and children. They also offer a large number of unisex garments such as the Changer (product code STSU823). Unisex fit is clearly attractive for the custom clothing industry because it means there are less products required to create a comprehensive rebranded range. The Changer sweat is one of Stanley Stella’s core products, those pieces of apparel which are designed to have mass appeal. Stanley Stella describe it as their iconic unisex crew neck sweatshirt. How does it fare when we consider colour and size options?
Colours in the Changer Sweatshirt.
Well, the truth is that there are an awful lot of colours available in the Changer sweatshirt. Thirty-seven, at time of writing. That’s pretty impressive. They break down into four categories. White and natural raw, solid colours, essential heathers and special heathers. You’ll be hard pressed to find a wider choice in blank or branded clothing. I looked at several examples and they’re accurate when compared to what you see online (obviously with the normal caveat that individual screen displays will vary from one user to another). This huge variety is understandably popular with folk who need base garments for printing and embroidery because it makes matching company colours that much easier. There are also some delicious seasonal shades which work with fashion rebranding.
Sizes in the Changer Sweatshirt.
It’s worth mentioning size range before we get into actual measurements on this review of the Stanley Stella Changer sweatshirt. The word that springs to mind is comprehensive. Sizes start at XXS and stretch all the way up to 4XL. As with the vast array of colours, having an extensive size offering makes sense for the garment decorating market. The demands of the latter can be very diverse and offering the maximum flexibility is a surefire way of winning admirers. Not all colours are available in the sizes at either end of the spectrum, but that’s pretty standard procedure and to be expected.
Any review of the Stanley Stella Changer sweatshirt needs to include measurements and fit. Which meant it was time to whip out my trusty tailor’s measure and tell the tale of the tape. Good news here. The measurements as stated in the Stanley Stella product specification sheet are completely reliable.
In the Wash.
Washing is an essential part of the appraisal of a garment. It gives you a more complete picture. An item may appear sensational in the packet or on a hanger. However, it doesn’t always seem quite the same after a spin or two round the washing machine. More good news on this front with the Changer sweat. It washes like a dream and looks as good afterwards as it did before. No noticeable shrinkage, despite me doing my customary wash at a higher than recommended temperature. I ought to point out that you really do need to follow the manufacturer instructions, as well as any additional advice from your printing and embroidery company. The information they give is there to ensure the garment and decoration perform to the best level.
There’s nothing quite like wearing an article of clothing to really get a handle on it. The manufacturer classify the Changer sweatshirt as ‘fitted’. Not sure I’d totally agree with that. It struck me as more of a regular fitting in terms of the body styling. I’ll settle on a compromise and say that it’s comfortably fitted. Which is a positive from my perspective. This sweatshirt feels contemporary without being ridiculously tight or over-stylised. It’s a good weight at 350 GSM, yet avoids feeling too heavy.
Finish and Quality.
The quality and finish on the Changer sweatshirt is exceptionally good. There are numerous small but very nice touches. A set in sleeve, twin needle stitching at the sleeve, armhole and bottom hems. Herringbone tape and the classic self fabric half moon at the back of the neck. They’re not necessarily major details, but the combined effect is one that speaks of retail quality.
Comfort and Feel.
Defining the feel of a piece of clothing can be a difficult thing to do. It’s not the same as quantifying the weight of material or examining the quality of the stitching. There’s something almost emotional about how a garment feels on your back. The Stanley Stella Changer sweatshirt feels gorgeous. It’s probably one of the most comfortable tops that I’ve ever worn. Soft yet substantial, light yet also warm. Having worn it for several weeks, the feeling hasn’t got old. I gravitate toward it when choosing what to wear. That’s probably the highest compliment that I can pay it.
Ethics and Ecological.
Nowadays, there’s more to apparel than how it looks and how long it will last. The ethical and ecological aspects of how a garment is produced are becoming key factors in the buying decision. As an individual, I’m far more aware of these factors and I’m not alone in that regard. Consumers are increasingly conscious of the bigger picture behind brands. The implications for blank clothing can’t be ignored. When you print or embroider a product, the origin of the base product is important. It becomes part of your brand identity as soon as you add your company logo or decorate it with your artwork.
So, this review of the Stanley Stella Changer sweatshirt has to mention the environmental credentials of the shirt. It’s made from 85% organic cotton and 15% recycled polyester. These tops meet the Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS), Oeko-Tex 100 Standard and are part of the Fair Wear initiative. If you want more information on what those accreditations mean, click HERE to read the Fifth Column article about eco standards and certifications for ethical t-shirt printing. The salient point is that the Changer sweatshirt is ethically produced and sustainably sourced.
How many Stars?
So, how would I rate this garment? And has writing a review of the Stanley Stella Changer sweatshirt changed my overall opinion on sweatshirts?
Well, the rating is easy. It’s a Five Star sweatshirt. Changer scores big on style, quality and value. It boasts impeccable ethical credentials, into the bargain. I would give it serious consideration if I needed blank sweatshirts to print or embroider. As a consumer, I’d be very pleased to get one as uniform or buy a rebranded version.
And on a personal level, yes, I am inclined to reassess my view of sweatshirts. Wearing this item has changed my opinion of them in a positive way. Which is pretty good going for one garment. That’s about it. If you want a closer look at the top, click the style name below to go to the corresponding product page:
Reviewed by Frankie (freelance reviewer) for Fifth Column.