Tradlands Review | The Varsity Sweatshirt

tradlands varsity sweatshirt review

It’s an exciting week, you guys. Instagram-darling ethical fashion brand Tradlands is officially seven years old, and to celebrate, they’re doing it up with a very good anniversary sale. I’m sure that many of you already know this because it’s been all over the ‘gram, but seriously, it’s a good sale. Tradlands clothes are really expensive, so this is a rare opportunity to try them out if you’re on a strict budget.

Before I jump into the review, I just want to give you a brief rundown of how the sale works. From now until 1/14, you can take an extra 25% off already reduced prices with code BDAY25. From 1/15 to 1/17, the discount jumps to 30% with code BDAY30. So, if you’ve been looking at one of the highly coveted alpaca Fisher Sweaters, for example, today it would cost you $156 instead of $237. Tradlands also uses Afterpay, so you could split that price up into four smaller payments over the course of a few weeks (I haven’t used Afterpay for Tradlands, but I’ve actually used it twice to buy a few sets of Thinx, which were a similarly large investment for me. The payment plan method worked really well for me and definitely eased the sticker shock of spending $100+ on blood-catching underwear).

Today I’m reviewing what I think of as one of Tradlands’ most classic pieces, the Varsity Sweatshirt. The Varsity Sweatshirt has been around for several seasons in many different colors and fit iterations. This style is part of the anniversary sale and is still available in multiple sizes in colors Grey, Shell, and Azure. Tradlands gifted me this sweatshirt in Shell in size XS so that I could review it for you on the blog. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t expecting to be asked if I wanted to try a new piece and I was already heavily considering buying this myself during the anniversary sale. So, many many thanks to Rachelle at Tradlands for making all my sweatshirt dreams come true.

Let’s jump into the review!

tradlands varsity sweatshirt shell


The Varsity Sweatshirt is a classic crew neck sweatshirt inspired by vintage sportswear. It’s made ethically in Shanghai from 100% cotton. The washing instructions on the website say to “machine wash with confidence” which I absolutely love, because there’s nothing worse than buying something you plan to wear all the time and then realizing you can’t put it in the washing machine (although tbh I put everything in the washing machine regardless of what the tag says. #rebel). I haven’t washed this yet, but I’ve heard reports that it may shrink a little if you’re not careful.

The Varsity Sweatshirt normally costs $89 and is currently on sale for $79 (plus an additional 25% off). The Azure color is on sale for $59 and is still available in all sizes.


“Shell” is probably my favorite color that Tradlands makes. I have a henley in this same shade (sadly no longer available) and there’s also a short sleeved tee that’s been in and out of my cart a few times. I would describe Shell as a custardy off-white. My husband said it was eggnog colored. Basically, it’s creamy and lovely and pulls just a little yellow. I personally love this because I think it adds some warmth and dimension to a black & white look. I have this fear that Tradlands is done making things in this shade, and that makes me very very sad.

If Shell isn’t your thing, this sweatshirt is also available in a classic light grey and a turquoisey blue called Azure, as I mentioned before. It was also available in a beautiful Rust shade, but that’s sold out now (they go fast!).


I agree with the reviews that this sweatshirt runs a little large. I’m wearing the XS, and you can see that I have plenty of room (for your reference, I’m 5’3″, 32″ bust, 27″ waist, 40″ hips, 120-125 lbs). I considered ordering this in the XXS, but decided against it based of the reviews that said it might shrink. I like the way it fits me now, but I think I would still like it with a little shrinkage. It’s somewhat long – as a petite, I tend to prefer more cropped styles – but the stretchy bottom hem makes it so that you can hike it up a little higher on your hips if you like.

tradlands varsity sweatshirt review


I have a lot of feeling about this particular characteristic. One of the primary trends of the online reviews of this sweatshirt is that it is not very soft. I’ve heard this from some of my friends who own this sweatshirt as well, and I agree with them – I was surprised at how stiff the fabric felt when I pulled it out of the package. But here’s the thing. I think this is probably the best thing about this sweatshirt. Hear me out, okay?

When you buy a sweatshirt that’s ultra soft and fleecy from the very beginning, you’re buying it with the understanding that brand new, that sweatshirt is as soft as it is ever going to be. From the first wash on, it will only get less soft. The fleecy inside will pill and the whole garment will get thinner and less cozy the more you wear it. The Tradlands sweatshirt is the complete opposite. I think of it like a really nice pair of jeans – stiff when you first buy them, and the more you break them in, the softer and more luxurious they become. I think that’s what Tradlands was trying to accomplish with this sweatshirt, using a top-notch material that gets better with age as opposed to one that only degrades the more you wear it (looking at you, poly-blends).

I also just want to clarify that when I say “stiff” I only mean that in comparison to most conventional sweatshirts you’d buy in a store today. This is a super comfortable sweatshirt, even brand new.


If you’re shopping the Tradlands sale this week, I do really recommend one of the Varsity Sweatshirts (my other top pics are the Fisher Sweaters and the Barcelona Tops). As soon as I was done taking the pictures for this post, I took my dog on a 3-mile walk along the Potomac River wearing this and felt great. I’m already really looking forward to packing it for our trip to Florida in May. I feel like it would be perfect for an evening running around a theme park with a pair of black shorts and a cute crossbody bag.

If you have any questions about this sweatshirt or the Tradlands sale or anything else, let me know in the comments. I make a small commission from any sales trafficked through my blog, so if you found this review helpful, please consider clicking through one of the links in this post to make a purchase. If you’re reading this after the sale, or if you’re thinking of buying something that’s not currently on sale, you can use my code GOBLINSHARK15 for 15% off your first Tradlands order.

This post contains affiliate links and gifted items. All opinions are my own.



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