What is a Fleece Jacket? Everything to Know Before you Buy one

fleece jackets

Warm, soft, breathable and lightweight, the fleece jacket can be one of the best garments in terms of functionality in your winter wardrobe. 

As winter arrives, we start getting worried about having adequate warm clothing. Stocking up on garments for layering, we focus on choosing something that retains our body heat. There is an array of jackets, cardigans, and other outerwear to choose from, but the fleece jacket is definitely something worth having.

Protection from cold weather comes at the cost of bulkiness, but not when you are wearing a fleece jacket. What is a fleece jacket? Why is it one of the most popular winter wear?  What is fleece clothing? Is fleece good for winter? We will answer all of these and much more about the fleece jacket.

What is a Fleece Jacket?

The fleece jacket is a garment that is made up of natural wool or, more commonly, synthetic polyester. It is very soft to touch and is one of the best jackets in terms of insulation. Fleece jackets are available in a wide variety of colors and styles. So, there is no dearth of options, whether you want a piece for inner layering or a classy piece of outerwear. 

Wearing a fleece jacket will provide you with such warmth and coziness that one craves in the winter. Besides having qualities like breathability and super lightweight, the fleece jacket ranks high on the style spectrum as well. You can simply don the jacket over jeans and a t-shirt and look well dressed. 

man wearing a blue fleece jacket

What is a Fleece Jacket Made of?

Fleece is actually the coat of wool that covers the sheep. Although immensely fuzzy, soft, and warm, natural fleece is not as lightweight and water resistant as synthetic fleece. The fleece jacket we see today is made using synthetic material. It closely mimics the natural wool. 

A jacket made of natural fleece is pricey due to the fact that sourcing it requires effort. One more thing to note is that natural fleece is heavier than its synthetic counterpart. 

Synthetic fleece is made by a tight weave of polyester fibers which are later brushed to make a thick fabric. The material for polyester may be derived from petroleum, or recyclable plastic, making it a highly eco friendly option. 

Besides plain fleece, you can also get textured fleece that is even softer, and garments made with it look pretty exquisite.

fleece fabric

Fleece made with polyester fiber is much more durable and water resistant than natural fleece. This is the reason why fleece jackets saw a surge in popularity during the 1990s, when their moisture resistant properties made them a perfect choice for sportspeople.

If you are confused about what fabric is best for a fleece jacket, we will recommend going for the synthetic one as it has a lesser cost, is enduring, and matches the natural wool in terms of trapping the body heat. 

Qualities of Fleece Fabric

pink fleece fabric

One of the best qualities that make fleece a desirable choice is that it feels so soft and fuzzy. The feel of it is enough to evoke the feeling of warmth, which is why it is a popular option for lining several types of jackets as well. Here are the other advantages of fleece:

  • It being lightweight makes it one of the most comfortable fabrics. Fleece is hence a popular choice not just for jackets but for blankets also.
  • The water resistance of fleece is fairly good, making it an apt choice for outdoor activities such as hiking in winter. The moisture resistance also keeps sweat away from the skin. 
  • The microfibers cause water to shed off instantly, which is why fleece dries very quickly.
  • Fleece garments keep insulating even after being wet.
  • One of the things that made fleece famous is its breathability. It maintains body temperature and keeps odor at bay.
  • Fleece is durable. It will last for a long time in your wardrobe as it is less prone to damage, even from various chemicals. You can even pass it down to someone as it is still in good condition after years. 
  • The garments made with fleece are lightweight and easy to pack as they cover much less space than other types of outerwear. This is why it is a good choice for hikers and campers, as it can be stuffed inside the backpack without any hassle. 
  • The flexibility of fleece allows easy mobility. You can walk, run or even do a full fledge workout. 
  • Fleece is very easy to clean. Unlike other types of outerwear, there are no additional steps involved in taking care of the jacket, such as brushing, dusting, and using a softener.

Is Fleece Breathable?

The fleece of any type is breathable as the fabric has air gaps. Depending upon whether you are choosing cotton fleece or polyester fleece, breathability varies. While polyester fleece is more water resistant, it is less breathable than cotton fleece. 

Is Fleece Good for Winter?

Fleece is the ultimate choice for winter wear. Its insulating property comes from the air gaps that trap body heat and keep you warm, especially during outdoor activities. It is a perfect garment for mid layering under a softshell or a hard shell jacket. 

Types of Fleece Jackets 

Fleece jackets are classified into three types in terms of weight. They are available in super lightweight as well as a heavyweight. The higher the weight of the jacket, the higher it insulates. But the breathability decreases. Let’s make the concept perfectly clear.

  1. Lightweight Fleece Jacket

If the weight of the fleece jacket is under 200 grams per square meter, it is a lightweight jacket that is highly breathable but provides lesser warmth. It is appropriate to wear a lightweight fleece jacket for walks during cool early morning weather. It is comparable to a lightweight leather jacket in terms of warmth.

  1. Midweight Fleece Jacket

The midweight fleece jackets weigh around 200 to 300 grams per square meter and are less breathable than the lightweight fleece jackets. They are ideal for mid layering your winter outfits, such as the fleece hoodie and leather jacket look, as they are great at providing adequate insulation. Besides that, you can also use a midweight fleece jacket as everyday outerwear in moderately chill weather. 

  1. Heavyweight Fleece Jacket

A heavyweight fleece jacket weighs more than 300 (gsm) grams or square meter. It is a highly insulating jacket. Just like the down jacket, but it is a bit breathable. The heavy fleece jacket is enough to keep you warm in super cold weather. Wear it during outdoor activities when the temperature drops a bit too low during winter. 

What is Warmer? A Jacket Lined With Fleece or Insulation?

A jacket lined with fleece is snug and retains heat, but the one with down insulation is definitely warmer as it completely blocks cold wind and is not breathable at all.

Fleece Jacket Styles

Fleece jackets are immensely popular in contemporary fashion. If we talk about types of jackets for men made with fleece, you can get:

  • Fully zipped fleece jackets
  • Half zipped fleece pullovers
  • Quarter zipped fleece pullovers
  • Fleece crew tops
  • Hoodie style jackets
  • Sleeveless fleece jackets
  • Fleece Cardigans
  • Long fleece coats
  • Fleece jackets with an adjustable hem
man wearing a brown suede jacket

What is the Point of a Sleeveless Fleece Jacket?

A sleeveless fleece jacket is handy when you want something for layering under a fitted leather or denim jacket. As there are no sleeves, the fleece jacket is easily adjusted beneath the outer layer without hindering movement. You can also wear it over a pullover sweatshirt or a turtleneck. 

What is Softer Than a Fleece Jacket?

The sherpa jackets are considered softer than fleece jackets.

FAQs

How to Keep Fleece Jackets from Matting?

To avoid matting, wash your fleece jacket in the gentle wash mode with cold water. Air dry it by hanging it on a clothes hanger. Washing the jacket in very hot water or drying it in a tumble dryer will damage the fleece. Also, do not use a fabric softener or bleach on your fleece jacket. 

Are Fleece Jackets in Fashion?

Due to their soft and plush feel, durability, and a variety of colors and styles available, the fleece jackets are very popular in contemporary fashion. They are very versatile as well as you can pair them with a variety of other clothing staples like simple t-shirts, crewneck shirts, pullover sweatshirts, henleys, turtlenecks, jeans, joggers, and chinos. 

What is the Purpose of Fleece Jacket?

Depending upon their weight, you can use fleece jackets for layering outfits. Lightweight ones serve the purpose of keeping you warm in mildly cold weather, while the midweight and heavyweight fleece jackets are fit for harsh winters.

What is a Polar Fleece Jacket?

Polar fleece is a type of synthetic fleece that is highly insulating and much warmer than microfleece. Polar fleece jackets are very light and soft.

What Temperature is Good for a Light Fleece Jacket?

Light fleece jacket do not provide the warmth required for a minus degree temperature. You can use it for layering on days when there is a mild cold breeze. 

What Weight is a Heavy Weight Fleece Jacket?

A heavyweight fleece jacket is weighed above 300 gsm.

Takeaway

The level of insulation, breathability, and soft touch of the fleece jacket makes it a preferred choice for men and women. They are specifically suitable for activities that require a high level of movement, such as climbing, hiking, and running.

The jacket is available in three types based on heaviness. But the style variety is abundant so that you can buy the perfect fleece jacket for yourself according to your needs.

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