From David Cameron’s remark that hoodies were the uniform of an emergent resistance movement comprised of young gangsters and rebels, to becoming a symbol of social injustice in the US following the Trevyon Martin case, all the while remaining a favored casual wear of everyone from Mark Zuckerberg to Prince Harry, the hoodie is a powerful statement about self, image and status.
Girls like for the laid back, easy going impression they give to men, men like for the laid back, easy going where they afford after hard days or long nights. Comfortable, versatile, and sporting more design bells-and-whistles than a cockney pearly king crossed with chameleon, the options are innumerable, the styles endless, the statements made beyond black and white categories.
But with all this variety and choice, how do you go about actually wearing one? Are there more options than throwing one on with jeans? Do they work with skinny trousers? What about cords? And do we dare don a hooded sweatshirt beneath the coveted class of a blazer or suit jacket?
Option 1: Sophisticated Layering
Yes, mate. Nothing says ‘On It But Ridin’ It Easy’ like a fusion of casual and formal wear. Depending on your industry, you can make this hoody-jacket looks fly and still be taken seriously. Alternatively, as evening wear it shows you’re making an impression without taking yourself too seriously. Despite the remarks of David Cameron, the hooded top has been a staple of the chic and classy for a long, long time.
Option 2: Roots and Beats
There are as many styles as there are hoodies, but the current clarion call of the fashionista is to return its gangsta rappin’ roots and leave that hoity-toity, catwalk stuff alone. Many people think that going back to hoodie roots means reverting to the 1980’s, but the hoodie goes all the way back to the middle ages when they were worn by monks.
Perfectly suited, then, to the street poetry and beat philosophy of the recalcitrant rebel. A men’s hooded top can be the centrepiece of a street wardrobe, baggy jeans and designer sneakers paling in comparison.
Option 3: The Student and Intellectual
You’re either putting the world right or you’re planning how to make your fortune, and you just have too many important things to consider without adding your wardrobe to the list, right? Or at least that’s the impression you like to give.
Hiding you fashion light under a bushel might get your lucid and agile mind noticed in the lecture room, and plain hoodies with perhaps little more than the name of a venerable institution have been swaddling students from the too-cold weather created by a poor diet and too much time in the library for a long time.
Try going for a zip-up hoody, leaving it opening and sporting a plain tee. Say everything you need to say with smart-as-hell shoes and the occasional designer label.
You get the gist. There are so many possibilities that if you can’t wear a hoodie, you might as well wear nothing at all.
Fergus Harlow is a freelance writer specializing in culture and networking history. He loves to browse Blue Inc for their great range of men’s hooded tops. Fergus lives in Edinburgh, is currently wearing a hoody, and will be buying more.