Budget Friendly Winter to Spring Zip Up Jackets & Hoodies

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In yesterday's blog post - we covered budget friendly winter to spring cardigans.  Today, we're covering zip up jackets and hoodies.  Now that we're into February, baseball practice has started here for our 2 boys.  They still have indoor practice (midwest winter lasts through March!), but I love a good cozy jacket or hoodie to hang out in while they practice.  Once we hit April and we're outdoors, these are the toppers I wear almost nightly driving them from ball field to ball field trying not to freeze in the chilly weather. This year, I'm focused not only on comfort and function (hoods, zippers and pockets being key), I'm focused on soft spring colors.  I know if I pick these right, I'll still want to be wearing them 2-3 months from now to when the weather warms up just a bit.

I should also note, most of these pieces are highlighted in the recently released ORM Spring 22 Mini Athleisure Style Capsule.  If you haven't checked it out yet - make sure to do so.  It's a great resource that shows you how to take just 12 pieces (a zip up topper being one of them) to make over 70+ outfit combinations in cute/cozy athletic wear!  I kept all 7 options I tried on for this post under $60 (some as cheap as $8), hoping they would work for most of us.  I wore the same pair of leggings and v-neck t-shirt as a base for each picture during the try-on. I am wearing both in a size XL (26-28).  Alright, let's get started!

This quilted zip up hoodie/jacket is my favorite of all the ones I ordered that could work as a jacket or a sweatshirt.  The quilting on the front has a sheen to it, making it look more like a jacket than a sweatshirt.  It comes in 3 colors (I'm wearing cream here).  I previously had ordered a 3x, and while it worked, I liked the more oversized fit the 4x gave me in the hips and arms. It's perfect for layering.  Having a cream/white jacket just makes me think spring - which makes me love the color even more.  And this is likely a very ridiculous thing to be excited about - but in addition to the great pockets, on trend quilting detail, good hood, stretch in the fabric and easy zipper -- I'm most excited about the thumb holes.  For someone that was never able to wear the "cool" things in school growing up because of my size, something as little as thumb holes in good quality zip up jacket brings me pure joy.  ** Also known as "tales from a big girl that grew up to be excited about clothes. ; - )

This zip up hoodie rivals my absolute favorite hoodie ever (linked here in case you're curious) - but THIS one comes in at only 30% of the price of my favorite one.  Honestly, there are only 2 notable differences between the 2 (in my opinion) - the one pictured here has a regular size band across the bottom - not an overly exaggerated one and the fabric of this one is not quite as moisture wicking (based on feel, not an actual sweat test!) as my favorite (expensive) one. 

I almost didn't order this one because of "fleece" in the title.  When I think fleece, I think fuzzy and hot.  But it wasn't at all.  It felt comfortable and sleek when I put it on. This pale green celery color made me instantly happy and put a smile on my face when I unboxed it.  It looks and feels like new baby spring is on the horizon (if that's not a thing, let's make it one!). Oh - and the price point is GREAT.  So this one wins out of the two zip up hoodies thanks to color and price point pushing it into the lead!  I've also ordered the matching joggers to try too - those will be covered in a future try-on post for joggers!

So many of you messaged me about this zip up jacket when I shared last week what I had ordered to try saying that you personally owned it or someone you knew had it and LOVED it!  I agree - it was again much better than I expected and at this price point, I'm shocked so many sizes are still available (XS-4x, tall and petite too).  It's available in light gray and this ivory/cream color (shown here).  It's long (covers the butt nicely) and the zipper is smooth and looks good.  There is ribbing to it making it look more expensive than it is. The collar is large and in charge (lays very well) and is on-trend for sure!  The ONLY reason I'm not keeping this one is the ivory color leans a bit darker, more tan/yelllow in undertone, than the other ivory/cream options I ordered.  For most people, this won't matter - but for me, with my skin tone, I look best in a crisp white or very bright shade of ivory.  I'm glad I ordered the 4x to allow for plenty of room for my hips and layering underneath the jacket.  If you don't have larger hips like I do, you could likely order the smaller of your 2 sizes.  I might be ordering the light gray to try because I really do like this one!

This sherpa jacket comes in 8 colors and they are SO good!  It's offered in size XS-4x and its the snuggliest, coziest piece I tried on.  This is a strange thing to be excited about, but it's NOT lined!  Here's why I'm excited: normally, with sherpa toppers, things get stuck or feel "stuffed in" together when I try to layer because the inside of other sherpas I've tried are fuzzy on the inside too.  This one isn't - which makes it much lighter in weight (not heavy at all) and very easy to layer with.  I ordered a 4x and think it runs big.  I'll need to size down to a 3x to wear it (plenty of room in the arms, and too much room through the mid section to keep it in the 4x).  The color I'm wearing here is glass sea and it's as divine as it looks in the pic.  Also available in petite and tall sizes too!  If you're taller than 5'6", you might want to consider looking at the tall sizes for good butt/hip coverage.

This zip-up hoodie is on sale, marked down to just $8.  It comes in 8 colors and is offered in size 0x-5x.  I'm wearing the light blue and black in the above picture in the 4x.  I sized up to make sure there was enough room in the hips and arms.  I'm glad I did!  The extra length from going with my higher size helps me wear it with leggings - it will also let me wash it and dry it without hesitation.  Like I've said before, if it doesn't go in the dryer... it has no place in this house!  For $8, the quality is great.  It wouldn't be my first choice, but if budget was one of my top priorities, it would for sure be my top pick.  Good pockets, good colors offered, great size availability, great price, hood isn't HUGE so it doesn't flop forward like some hoods can, you can wash and dry like normal and it's long enough to cover your butt in leggings.  

I was shocked to find this jacket at such a steal!  It's normally, $158 at Athleta (still full price in some colors), but in the white and black colors, it's marked down to just $55!!!  My guess is, it's because only plus size options remain - and not all plus size ladies have caught on to Athleta just yet - so they've discounted it hoping it catches our eye.  Well, it's worked! 

I'm wearing a 3x, and for me ( I usually fall between a 3 and a 4), it doesn't allow enough room in the arms to layer or comfortably zip in the front.  I'm so so bummed!  If they offered a 4x (they don't, they stop at 3x), I'd literally pay full price for this one it's that good!  The hood folds under and then snaps in place.  This gives the jacket that super cute stacked collar you see here in the picture.  It's so comfy because it stands a bit off your neck.  There are side snaps (allowing for extra hip room if needed) and the side pockets for your hands have a snap closure that is super secure (so you could actually put things in them). 

So here's my tip - if you're in the market for a cute, spring, athletic-y jacket with a hood and you wear an XL-2x normally, this jacket is for you!  Currently, 1x-3x are still available in black and white, but because I recommend sizing up one for room to layer and zip comfortably - I'm recommending it for size XL-2X ladies.  If you wear an XS-L, you can check out the full price colors here (and hopefully wait for a sale if budget is a concern).


Alright - that's it for this try-on!  Make sure to stay tuned later in the week when I do another try-on.  Coming up will be pull over hoodies, v-neck, mock-neck and crew-neck sweatshirts!




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