The humble hoodie may not be the most fashion-forward item in your wardrobe, but it is one of the most comfortable and practical. As such, the warm and loose-fitting garment is a modern menswear staple that every gent should own. While you can, of course, easily rock a hoodie around the house, you can also wear one as part of a cool, casual weekend outfit if you partner it with the right pieces. So, before you head out the door in your hooded jumper and sweat pants, be sure to read this guide. It can show you how to wear a hoodie the right way for a look that’s as stylish as it is snug.
History of the Hoodie
Hooded garments have been a documented part of men's and women's wear for centuries. The word hood derives from the Anglo-Saxon word hōd, ultimately of the same root as English hat. The hooded sweatshirt was first produced in the United States starting in the 1930s. The modern clothing style was first produced by Champion in the 1930s and marketed to laborers working in freezing temperatures in upstate New York. The term hoodie entered popular usage in the 1990s.
The hoodie took off in the 1970s, with several factors contributing to its success. Hip hop culture developed in New York City around this time, and high fashion also contributed during this era, as Norma Kamali and other high-profile designers embraced and glamorized the new clothing. Most critical to the hoodie's popularity during this time was its iconic appearance in the blockbuster Rocky film. At the same time, hoodies started emerging in the Geek culture when Mark LoGiurato introduced them at companies such as the Software Bottling Company. The rise of hoodies with university logos began around this time. By the 1990s, the hoodie had evolved into a symbol of isolation, a statement of academic spirit, and several fashion collections.
New Zealand and the Hoodie
The "Hoodies on Parliament—politicians challenge youth stereotypes" campaign was launched in May 2008 in New Zealand (NZ) as part of the annual national Youth Week event, a pro-youth initiative organized to challenge youth stereotypes. To launch the campaign, NZ politicians, including National MP Nicky Wagner, Green Party MPs Sue Bradford, Nandor Tanczos and Metiria Turei, and Maori party MP Hone Harawira, wore hoodies while standing on the steps of the country's parliament. Archbishop David Moxon, Archbishop of the Anglican Dioceses, and Brian Turner President of the Methodist Church of NZ also participated in the campaign.
Support and criticism were raised by politicians, who were divided over the 2008 event. One strong response was drawn from a local government council member, Dale Evans, who donned a Ku Klux Klan outfit in protest, citing the hoodie as "not an appropriate article of clothing to celebrate."
"Goodie in a Hoodie" day was then run in 2009 by New Zealand Adolescent Health and Development (NZAAHD) in partnership with Age Concern—the organisations used the campaign to highlight the stereotypes that both young people and the elderly face in New Zealand. Liz Baxendine, president of Age Concern at the time, said to the media: Older people and young people have a lot in common. We both face stereotypes based on our age rather than our real achievements and outlook on life ... we've got to de-stigmatise the hoodie and see it for what it is. Everyone wears them. We need to take the hoodie back!
Urban wear is very popular these days. However, many people are still confused and misguided about the real definition of this fashion trend. The phrase urban wear could be associated to its root, the word urban, which pertains to a city. Thus, urban clothing is usually defining particular wear in a location or inner city. Modern urban clothing has grown to be a culture rather than a specific fashion in a particular inner city.
Urban wear could be literally translated into culture clothing that pertains to trends and fashions symbolizing urban culture. This usually grows from music or sport into a full cultural brand that could spread to any country. Urban fashion is not anymore associated or identified with only one nation. It is worn by men and women, from anywhere in the world, who are very much into fashion individuality and influence from music and sports icons who are into urban clothing.
Who is wearing urban clothing? Technically, urban wear could be categorized or linked with hip hop, alternative, or skate clothing. Thus, it is usually worn or followed by men and women aged 14 years to 36 years. What is most notable about such clothes is that they do not discriminate creed, age, or color. The clothes just strive to logically and obviously express personality and individuality chosen and preferred by people who follow the urban wear trends. Urban wear is more than just fashion and clothes, over time it has become personal statement. The person who is wearing it is stating their individuality. Before urban wear was only associated to hip hop artists. Now, not only hip hop artists are donning on the colourful style, it has become a worldwide fashion trend.
As mentioned, urban wear signifies the individuality of the person wearing it since they could individualized their style and make it stand out. With urban wear undergoing changes, it has become a hit not only to teens or young adults. It is also garnering appeal from higher age groups. It is also starting to transcend socio-economic classes. Hip hop artists, influential and public people can be seen wearing this style from time to time.
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 begun pushing out high-end versions in their collections, meaning hoodie hysteria is set to continue for some time yet.
Like most pieces in men’s fashion, the hoodie had humble beginnings. Sportswear label Champion began making sweatshirts in the early 1930s, adding a hood to them to protect athletes and labourers from the elements. Meanwhile, college sporting teams began asking for warmer apparel for winter which lead the hoodie to become adopted by young America during the sixties.
By the seventies, hip-hop culture was developing in the streets of New York. Here, the hoodie was popularised by graffiti artists, break dancers and trouble-makers, all wanting in some way to eschew the police, concealed by hoods. By the eighties, renegade skaters were hoodie purveyors too, while the hard-edge gangsta rap of the nineties cemented the hooded sweatshirt as a sign of societal rebellion and subculture inclusion. Welcome to the hood.
Fast forward twenty years and the hoodie’s cloaking abilities now serve a different purpose thanks to its incredible comfort and premium twist.
A pullover hoodie is a hooded jumper that can be slipped on over your head. The simple style features no zip and is typically loose with drawstrings in the hood for adjusting the opening.
A zip-up hoodie is a hooded jacket with a zip down the centre. The style can be worn open or closed and is often slimmer than the standard pullover hoodie. As such, it’s usually better for layering.
Although it’s not as common as the other types, a half-zip hoodie can still be a good option. The style features a zip that extends from the hood and finishes at the lower chest or upper abdomen. As such, it can be unzipped and easily slipped over your head before being zipped back up for warmth.
If you prefer wearing loose-fitting clothes and like to always be ready for a game of basketball with your crew, you’re likely already familiar with the comfort of a hoodie. But are you pairing your well-worn hoodie with complementary pieces? To stay athleisure-ready, pair your pullover or zip-up hoodie with a plain white or black t-shirt, a pair of fitted joggers, and matching sneakers. Choose a cool hoodie in a neutral color—gray is a popular option—for an easy, relaxed look.