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 wrong’un.
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 learn how to wear hoodies the right way.
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, but 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 learning how to wear hoodies 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.
To get in on the look early, here are five expert-approved ways to wear yours.
HOW TO WEAR HOODIES
AS PART OF A LAYERED LOOK
As much as we’re trumpeting the power of how to wear hoodies, 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 cosy 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.