How To Wear A Hoodie In 5 Modern Ways. There was a time -along with balaclavas, swag bags, and black-and-white striped tops – when a hoodie was something that would instantly mark you out as a would-be robber and all-around shady guy.
But, as much as this humble sportswear staple has the potential to send passers-by straight to the other side of the street, right now we’re urging you to take style tips from David Cameron (remember him?) and hug a hoodie.
Why? Well, practicality aside, thanks to a designer overhaul, the hoodie has gone from a de facto uniform of angry adolescents to the item most likely to be covering the backs of well-dressed men.
The only loser here is Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, whose normcore hoodie has just gone full #menswear. Bad luck, Mark.
The History Of The Hoodie
Long before it found itself a witness to dodgy deals in darkened alleys, the hoodie was the uniform of champions.
OK, so that’s over-egging it a little. However, sports apparel company, Champion Products, does lay claim to creating the world’s first hooded sweatshirt in the 1930s.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that — lo-and-behold — the hoodie was designed to keep athletes warm and dry in miserable weather.
Since then, it’s been adopted by hip-hop culture, skaters, snowboarders, angry young adults, stag parties, university students, and (the reason we’re here) the runway.
The Return Of The Hoodie
Even though come fashion week, many news outlets delight in ridiculing the most outrageous runway looks they can find, in truth most menswear pieces were born out of practicality. And that’s exactly what the hoodie offers: comfort, comfort, and more comfort.
The return of the hoodie signals that we’re now at peak athleisure.
Having successfully broached upscale sportswear in its various forms, it was only a matter of time before menswear got its mitts on the near-century-old staple.
Everyone from streetwear peddling upstarts (Off-White, Vetements) to more established menswear heavy hitters (Balenciaga, Versace) have pushed out high-end versions in their collections, meaning hoodie hysteria is set to continue for some time yet.
To get in on the look early, here are five expert-approved ways to wear yours.
How To Wear The Hoodie
1. As Part Of A Layered Look, how to wear a hoodie
As much as we’re trumpeting the power of the hoodie, don’t think that wearing one is all about making a statement.
When used as part of a layered look, the hoodie can be surprisingly unassuming.
Mr. Porter style director Olie Arnold says: “A cozy cashmere hoodie is a great layering piece for a day in the city, which will leave you looking sharp while keeping you warm at the same time.”
To get this look right, wear a zip-up hoodie over a simple white crew-neck T-shirt, then add an overcoat or jacket, slim jeans, and a pair of box-fresh trainers.
2. As Part Of An Athleisure Look, how to wear a hoodie
Whenever comfort and coolness go hand-in-hand, you can be sure that we’ll be enthusiastic cheerleaders. Such is the case with athleisure. Thanks to those clever menswear designers, you won’t risk looking like you were too lazy to change out of your gym gear.
Jaeger’s head of menswear, James Jee, says: “Gone are the days of the baggy, oversized logo-emblazed hoodie. Fabrics are softer and heavier — a sign of better yarn quality and a lot more of it. The fit is a little sharper and clean.”
To go full athleisure, team a black hoodie with black, fitted joggers and slip on a pair of minimal leather sneakers. Done.
3. Under A Leather Jacket, how to wear a hoodie
If you’re not sold by the high-low mix (it’s not for everyone), then it’s okay to stick to more familiar territory. A leather jacket and hoodie combination is one of those low-octane pairings that work well, season after season.
Reiss head of menswear design, Alex Field, says: “Hoodies have dramatically improved in terms of quality and fit. Therefore, guys are looking to invest in well-fitting, well-made casual designs that they can wear in various situations. Whether that be to the gym or as part of a stylish off-duty look.”
Using a black leather jacket and black or indigo jeans as the base is a good choice. Here, you can experiment with hoodies in different colors beneath your outerwear. You can also combine with a pair of leather or suede Chelsea boots to smarten up this look.
4. With Tailoring, how to wear a hoodie
If you’re going to wear a hoodie with a suit or blazer, you’re channeling a “look” and will instantly mark yourself out as a card-carrying member of Club Menswear.
That’s no reason not to give this high-low combination a whirl, though.
As Giles Farnham, head of River Island’s Style Studio, points out: “Sure, a hoodie teamed with a pair of straight-leg jeans and sneakers is a tried and tested combination that just works. But if you’re looking to sharpen up, try layering under an unstructured suit for an outfit that rips up the traditional rule book.”
To nail the sports-meets-suit look, try a mid-weight gray hoodie with a charcoal gray suit and choose white lace-up sneakers in place of your normal work shoes.
5. With Tailored Trousers, how to wear a hoodie
For a slightly less committed way to mix smart and casual, a hoodie worn with a pair of smart trousers is your best bet. Again, it’s an easy way to avoid that dreaded overgrown adolescent territory.
Head of menswear design at ASOS, Nick Eley, says: “We’re seeing a real move towards ‘high-low’ dressing, so team your hoodie with wider-leg trousers or a longer formal coat.”
Get a grip on this look by opting for a neutral color hoodie. Then add a pair of trousers and sports luxe sneakers. If you’re feeling brave, try a little pattern on the bottom half, such as pinstripes or checks.
General Hoodie Guidelines
- Don’t dig out your old Linkin Park hoodie. You’re not an angst-ridden teenager, and it’s not the 2000s anymore.
- Look for pure cotton designs for optimum quality and longevity (bonus points for brushed cotton and loop-back construction).
- Pullover designs typically look smarter than zip-up designs.
- Don’t chase the latest must-have hoodie if you want to get the most wear out of it. Instead, go for a timeless, versatile design in a color that complements your existing wardrobe.
- A fitted hoodie is a good way to make sure you look sharp rather than sloppy.
- If in doubt, leave the logo. Flecks or mottled weaves are a good way to add interest.
- Unless you’re on campus, university hoodies are a no-go.
- Personalized comedy hoodies are always a fail.
- Over the age of 40? A hoodie in a luxe fabric worn with tailored separates will make sure you look suitably grown-up.