The humble hoodie is a piece that has found its way into virtually all corners of modern fashion, with everyone from streetwear hipsters to corporate office workers incorporating them into their daily looks. We can’t think of too many other pieces that seamlessly float between leisure and luxury with such ease.
It’s also with this in mind, that the hoodie should certainly not be seen as a piece of clothing that you throw on in the comfort of your own home during the evening or one you give to a female guest (unless you want to actually get rid of it, because you’ll be unlikely to ever see it again).
While it’s certainly true that you needn’t spend a huge amount to get yourself a highly capable hoodie, the more you are able to part with will result in you being able to rock more desirable brands that will make you the envy of your designer-conscious brethren.
But before we get into the best hoodie brands you can buy right now, let us provide you with a quick history lesson.
Where The Hoodie Came From
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 pining for warmer apparel to wear during winter, which lead to the hoodie becoming adopted by young America during the sixties. Hip-hop culture soon embraced the hoodie and today it’s become a mainstay in the modern male wardrobe with plenty of designs to choose from.
How To Pick A Good Hoodie
While the brand name will likely determine your choice of the hoodie, there are still a number of factors you should be looking out for before you make a purchase. When shopping for your next hoodie, look for quality craftsmanship, a perfect fit – depending on its intended use, you’re going to want to decent movement – and versatility (will it appropriate for transitioning from casual weekender to evening bar). These traits will ensure the hoodie not only looks good but will remain so for years to come.
Naturally, you’ll also want to consider whether you want a pullover or a zip-up style. Zip-up hoodies are naturally easier to take off and put on but can come across far more casual in their design.
How To Wear A Hoodie
The modern hoodie is at home in smart casual circles as it is in the plain casual. These days men can wear hoodies with:
The zip variety, much like a blazer, can be worn open as a quick throw-on layer during cooler summer nights – zipping it halfway can help to accentuate your upper body proportions – or fully zipped up if the temperature decides to really drop. You can wear the zip-through smartly and it’s more versatile. You can take it off without messing up your hair, and unzip once inside if you start to feel warm.
The only rule is to make sure you never go down the double hoodie route; that is, wearing a hooded tee with a hoodie (we’d hope you wouldn’t wear a hooded t-shirt anyway, but we felt we needed to make the point). If you need more tips, check out our comprehensive style guide on how to wear a hoodie.
Hoodie Fitment Rules
As a rule to using hoodies to sharpen up your look, the hoodie should be fitted. Shoulders should be snug, with the sides of the hoodie following the drape of the torso. A billowy body immediately creates a sloppy, weekend dad style. Think comfort and never go for a super tight fit. A nicely fitted hoodie is a far better look for dressing up and dressing down.
Best Hoodie Fabrics
Cotton jersey is the original (and the best). It’s loved by athletes and now urban gents alike. The cotton stops air from penetrating (thus, keeping warm), it absorbs sweat and is breathable when body temperatures warm up underneath. A bit of polyester blended in is fine for added durability but make sure there’s cotton in the mix.
Todd Snyder may have a longstanding collaboration with Champion, which has seen a plethora of sweaters released, but Todd's own collection includes super-soft and super-warm cashmere hoodies
The company's hoodie range is a little limited compared to some other retailers, but with pullover and full-zip options available, you're hardly left wanting. Fabrics are lightweight, soft and stretchy and will keep you warm, while minimising sweat thanks to moisture-wicking technology.
You'll find zip-up and pullover hoodies in Everlane's collection, with fabrics such as french terry being used for its durability. Each hoodie can also be had in a multitude of colours, meaning you can wear dark, professional colours to work and more vibrant, fun colours on your days off.
The current hoodie range co prises solely pullover designs, ideal for retaining warmth when the temperature drops, and are presented in a couple of classic looks that be dressed up or down.
The company is so confident of the durability of its clothes that it calls its hoodies '10-year'. This literally does mean Flint and Tinder expects them to last at least 10 years, thanks to a combination of American craftsmanship and tough, weighty fabrics.
Outerknown's hoodie range is beach boho through and through. Innovative features such as on-seam pockets and rubberised closures help them stand out from a crowded sea of sweats and with a range of colours to choose from, you'll do well to stock up.
It's not just shorts and t-shirts for the gym in Gymshark's clothing range either, as you'll also find an extensive selection of hoodies too. Materials alternate been light and heavyweight for transitioning between seasons, as well as for use in and out of the gym.
That's not to say the Lululemon hoodies can't be worn for more active pursuits, as they're made from breathable fabrics designed to keep your body warm and comfortable, without the build up of excess sweat, but are designed to look decidedly more laid back.
The brand's hoodie range encompasses more urban-orientated pieces that those that can comfortably classed as athleisure wear. These pieces will look just as good in the boardroom, however, reinforcing just how much a versatile designer Hugo Boss is.
The company's hoodie selection encompasses french terry and slub cotton (cotton with a slightly rough and uneven texture) fabrics, which are used to produce hoodies in a range of colours that can easily be slipped underneath a blazer or worn down with jeans at the weekend.
Saturdays NYC hoodies take on various fits, colours and designs, with some rocking pictures, others emblazoned with the company logo, while others ditch both in favour of a more minimalist silhouette. Something for everyone, then.
The brand's hoodie range makes for great viewing. On one end of the spectrum you have minimal pieces that simply sport the company logo, while at the other you have hoodies with full back prints that offer a chance to really let your personality shine. They come in a variety of fits, from slim cuts to oversized (which make for great Sunday lounging pieces) and all have a air of cool not expressed by many other brands.
Mission Workshop's hoodie range caters to a variety of uses, including simple and soft pieces for the city, to heavyweight, waterproof versions designed to accompany you on longer outdoor adventures.
This is exemplified in the choice of fabrics used for its range of hoodies, which, while may be more akin to something your dad would wear, are made from the likes of cashmere to provide a supersoft feel that you'll never want to be without.
Hoodies encompass a mixture of midweight and heavyweight fabrics, with some even being able to defend against light rain showers. Typically neutral in their colour palette, Carhartt hoodies make great casual pieces that can assist in a time of need.
Champion hoodies are unapologetically sports and athletic-orientated, so you're unlikely to rock one to the office (unless it's dress down Friday) but make an ideal accompaniment for casual weekend looks.
Both zip-up and pullover styles can be had from Uniqlo and in a variety of fits and fabrics. Select hoodies are fashioned from the company's Dry-EX fabric, which dries stupidly quickly and wicks sweat away from the body.
Hoodies take on classic and familiar looks, but are made from luxurious French Terry with supersoft linings that make them worth every single cent.
Positioned more towards the higher end of the market, James Perse hoodies are made in the USA or Japan and make use of high quality fabrics that are garment dyed, making them feel personable from the very first wear.
The majority of Nike's various clothing labels have their own hoodie, whether it be Nike SB, Nike Sportswear or even the highly technical Nike ACG collection.
Acne Studios' hoodie range has something for everyone, with various fits on offer along with colouring and those with or without prints on the front.
Hoodies, for example, may use traditional materials such as French Terry, but benefit from Italian craftsmanship and the twins' fun and exciting vision, making the brand truly one of a kind.
The brand's hoodies certainly fall into the essentials category, since they predominantly rock minimalist silhouettes in a range of colours. Don't expect run-of-the-mill cotton though, as John employs a use of more durable fabrics such as French Terry in various weights.
The hoodie range features zipped and pullover style and is very monochromatic in its use of colour.
Being high-end, don't expect CDG Play hoodies to come cheap, but you can expect on-trend pieces of a sublime quality that will prove to others you know what you're doing.