How to Wear A Hoodie Without Looking Like A Douchebag
STICK TO TRADITIONAL PROPORTIONS.
We have Los Angeles-based streetwear label Fear of God to thank for the oversized, disproportionate hoodies littered in every fast-fashion outlet from Abercrombie to Zara. You know, the ones with overhung shoulders and bigger hoods and wide, boxy torsos and—god help us all—tennis tails.
Hoodies come in a wider variety of shapes and sizes these days, but the proportions are often exaggerated: too long, too short, too wide around the hips, too big. There’s a place for these new-fangled fits in, perhaps, the wardrobes of privileged teenagers or draped on office chairs in a call center full of 20-somethings. They belong there, with the jogger jeans, and not in the closet of a grown-ass man.
How to Get Through: Go for the traditional hooded sweatshirt that fits like it should, with regular proportions: sleeves that end at your wrists, not too slim nor too wide at the torso, with a hem that ends just two to three inches below your belt.
AVOID PRINTS AT ALL COSTS.
A proper hooded sweatshirt comes in a solid color or with a subtle pattern or texture. It’s not a venue for expression the way a graphic T-shirt is, so you can’t as easily use it to tell everyone how much you love Metallica (which, really, is not something you should be telling people at all).
How to Get Through: If you must, though, opt for a hoodie with small, subtle embroidery, or one made with an interesting texture like denim melange or waffle-knit cotton.
STEER CLEAR OF TRENDY COLORS.
Like pink and white. Dark and subtle colors are always better for hooded sweatshirts, especially now that light-colored hoodies are all the rage with the vape-and-streetwear crowd.
How to Get Through: Black and gray are impervious to the rise and fall of trends. So are navy, olive, and burgundy—all colors that may just work on a hoodie, in just the right shade.
SCHOOL PRIDE STAYS AT SCHOOL EVENTS.
There’s something to be said about the hoodie as an alternative to the varsity jacket. Being that hoodies are necessarily athletic wear, it’s natural to own one that represents your school, maybe with a logo patch or embroidered letters in varsity font. But if you must, only ever wear it in school events—never when there isn’t any context that would make it appropriate. Nothing’s douchier than a guy who wants to hand out unsolicited information about his educational attainment.
How to Get Through: There's no pass. Sorry.
IF IT'S HOT OUT, JUST DON'T.
One golden rule of style is that nothing stylish should ever be uncomfortable. So unless it’s a relatively cool day (and it hardly ever is where we’re from), avoid wearing a hoodie outdoors. Even douchebags know that hoodies are meant for colder temperatures; they just refuse to accept it, or decide that their “swag” takes precedence over some goddamn common sense, even at the expense of sweating buckets.