Boys In The Hood: How To Upgrade Your Hoodie Game

Hoodies have come a long way from the slouchy, skate-brand variations you probably wore in high school. And thanks to start up icons and casual work places, they’re definitely more than just weekend couch wear. They've grown up, slimmed down, and can be found on the backs of some of your favorite style icons. There’s so much more to the modern hoodie than meets the eye, so allow us to shine a light on some new-school hoodie styles, and show you how to get away with wearing one outside of your living room.

What’s Your Type?
Before you dive into the wide world of street-legal loungewear, you need to familiarize yourself with a few fundamental hoodie styles:

The Pullover - A no-fuss, no-frills approach, pullovers are usually designed a little looser than most to allow you to pull them straight over your head with little to no hassle. Drawstrings are pretty mandatory, letting you adjust the hood to fit your preferred style.

The Zip Up - Usually the slimmest fitting option of the three, full zip hoodies are meant to be worn as a layering piece. Some guys opt to wear them under a jacket or suit, or over a henley or t-shirt. Either way, look for a snug fit when shopping around.
The Half-Zip - The happy medium between pullovers and full zips, these hoodies usually have a zipper, clasps or buttons that start at the neckline, and end around the torso area.

The Right Material
Sure, we’re definitely down with a super comfy cotton terry hoodie for Sunday couch time or super casual situations. But if you’re looking to step up your hoodie game to rock-solid stylish status, you’ve got to consider the right material. When upgrading your hoodie look for finer gauge knits in cotton or, step it up to a sweater-type knit. A soft, wool or cashmere blend hoodie is not only going to give you a cool, elevated-casual look, but it’s also going to be damn comfortable too.

The Art Of Layering
Unless you plan on robbing a bank, or are simply on your way to the gym, most hoodies should be worn as an element of a broader look. There are a lot of options in how you can properly layer your hoodies, but let’s focus on a few key standards that will take you through the fall and winter months in style:

Outerwear - Whether you choose to rock a leather jacket, bomber, moto or field jacket, make sure the fit is just as snug as your hoodie, and limit the color to a simple neutral hue like grey, black, or navy. Keep the pants or jeans slim, and let your footwear follow the flow of the rest of your look. Wearing a bomber or moto jacket? Throw on some moto-style boots or some rugged desert boots. Something a little more relaxed? A simple, minimal sneaker is the right finish.

Denim Jackets - First and foremost, every man should have a denim jacket (or two) in their arsenal. With that said, throwing a denim piece over a half zip or pullover is a great way to add a layer of warmth, while giving off a blue-collar, devil-may-care attitude. Denim tends to go best with denim or dark chinos, so keep it simple and slim with a pair of dark jeans and your favorite leather shoes or boots.

Suiting - Despite this look’s past transgressions, wearing a hoodie under a suit or blazer can be done. It just takes a little bit of finesse and a some confidence. Remember that hoodies are casualwear, so the rest of your look needs to follow suit. Keep the jacket and pants slim, with an emphasis on fit and don’t try and make it look business-y. Footwear should be just as laidback, too. Clean, sharp leather sneakers are a great way to accentuate your look, while still looking put together.

All in all, hoodies are the perfect way to balance style and comfort, and with designers using high-end fabrics, weaves and non-traditional colors, it’s only a matter of time before that old hoodie of yours starts learning a few new tricks. Until then, stick with a few traditional, yet versatile, options that you can layer onto your existing looks and elevate your style this season.