Hoodies have historically gotten a bad association with slobs and fashion-inept dudes who may or may not live in their mom’s basement, but this is far from the truth.
The hoodie is one of the most versatile pieces in your wardrobe. Whether you’re going to the gym, going on a date, or braving cold weather, a hoodie can step your style game up and keep you comfortable while doing it.
Here are seven different base case hoodie outfits for you to consider.
What You’ll Need to Style a Hoodie
Since there are so many ways to style a hoodie, you’ll need a fairly developed wardrobe in order to capture all the style combinations we address in this article.
Of course, not all of these styles will be for you, so use the list below as a point of reference that you can pick and choose from.
- Blue or black jeans
- Black chinos
- A white T-shirt
- Athletic shoes
- White sneakers
- Chelsea boots
- Solid color button-down shirt
- Pullover hoodie
- Zip hoodie
7 Ways to Style a Hoodie
Styling a Black Hoodie
In the versatile world of styling hoodies, a black hoodie is the poster child. Apart from trying to wear a black hoodie with a tux, I can’t think of any scenarios where this catch-all garment doesn’t work in your favor.
Our black hoodie of choice is American Giant’s Classic Full Zip. Made with ringspun cotton and produced domestically, this hoodie is soft, durable, and intended to last well beyond the lifespan of your typical hoodie from a fast fashion manufacturer.
The Classic Zip is made from 100% combed ringspun cotton, which is a big reason for its heft. Ringspun cotton is different from plain old cotton in that it’s made by twisting and thinning cotton strands to make a fine, strong, and soft rope of cotton fibers.
The simplest way to style this hoodie is thrown over top of a white tee, with blue jeans and some sneakers to match, like these hi-top Converse All-Stars. This tried and true outfit should be a basic staple in any man’s wardrobe, as it’s perfect for an assortment of activities.
Going grocery shopping but don’t want to look like a schlub? Check. Meeting the boys after grocery shopping for a few beers? Don’t even need to change. Going on a casual date and want to score extra points when your date gets cold? Sacrifice your hoodie.
If Warren Buffett looked at sweatshirts like he looked at stocks, he would pick the black hoodie as the ultimate store of value.
Want to step this outfit up a notch?
Although the above outfit is a bit generic, it can easily be augmented to have a bit more flair. Instead of putting the hoodie right on top of the white tee, first throw on a button down shirt or flannel, and leave it unbuttoned.
Put the hoodie on top, and you’ve effortlessly added some layering and use cases. This outfit is perfect for late Fall and early Spring, when it’s typically breezy and getting colder, at least in the four season parts of the world.
The formality of this outfit can be upped a step by switching out the sneakers for some good quality leather boots, like the Dragon 3.0 from Taft. Footwear often sets the tone of an outfit, and full-grain leather boots added a rugged, sophisticated air to an otherwise casual outfit.
Made with waxed suede leather and a sturdy Goodyear welt, the new Taft Dragon is a big improvement on past iterations and a beast of a boot with a slim, sleek profile.
From an outsider’s perspective, this small change can take you from being a casual young adult to a full grown man. The details make a difference, especially when it comes to footwear.
Styling a Zip Up Hoodie
Similar to what we saw in the previous section, when styling a zip up hoodie I prefer to not zip the hoodie up if I don’t have to.
Zip up hoodies give awesome opportunities to layer your clothing, which is functional for settings with different temperatures and also quite stylish.
Using the same American Giant Classic Full Zip hoodie, you can put together a basic outfit for the colder months by beginning with the same base of blue jeans, white tee, and Classic Full Zip, and then add a denim jacket or corduroy jacket over top.
This outfit achieves a more rugged, grungy vibe, while being practical, comfortable, and simple. I’d style this outfit with good quality leather boots.
In this case we’ll again leave the hoodie unzipped, which I find more comfortable. However, it’s there to be zipped and add an extra bit of warmth if need be.
Another quick take on styling a zip up hoodie is to start with the same base of blue jeans, white tee, and Classic Full Zip, but then put a flannel or heavy shirt jacket on top as an outer layer.
This outfit gives you plenty of options to mix and match your layers, or add and remove them as the temperature changes. If you’re out on a date and you know your date gets cold frequently, this outfit will win you extra points since you have two layers to sacrifice for their warmth.
Thoughtful, caring, and sacrificial—you’re basically a modern day Casanova.
Styling an Oversized Hoodie
Baggy clothes are trending in mainstream fashion, so it’s only right that we look at how to style an oversized hoodie.
In general, try to style an oversized hoodie with other baggy garments. Wearing an oversized hoodie with tight pants will make it look like you skipped leg day or like the lead singer of a pop punk band from the early 2000s.
An oversized hoodie should be used as your outermost layer, since trying to put other layers on top will look awkward and likely not be comfortable.
A simple start to styling oversized hoodies begins with straight-cut blue jeans, sneakers, a tee, and your oversized hoodie on top. This is your basic, errand-running outfit.
The hoodie we’ve chosen to style here is another staple from American Giant, called the Storm Full Zip. This hoodie is based off the Classic Full Zip from American Giant, but updated to be water-resistant and feature a scuba hood.
This hoodie isn’t constructed to be oversized, but we’re using a larger size than normal to basically use this as a jacket.
The scuba hood is extra deep and zips up over the neck to protect from the elements. I like to throw on a baseball cap, zip the hoodie up, and put the hood on for an incognito look that functions well in any weather conditions.
An oversized hoodie is also great for trips to and from the gym when it’s cold outside. Zip the hoodie up on your way to the gym to keep yourself warm, and unzip it on your way out to cool down.
The Storm Full Zip takes the body of the Classic Full Zip and upgrades it for performance in bad weather. Featuring a scuba hood, zippered pockets, and heavyweight water repellent fabric, this hoodie comfortably straddles the line between outerwear and casual zip hoodie.
Styling a Sweat Suit
Following the trend of baggy clothing, sweat suits are big in mainstream fashion. I don’t think it’s ever been more socially appropriate to wear a sweatsuit in places that aren’t the gym, which is great because you’ll be hard pressed to find a more comfortable outfit.
The basic sweatsuit outfit is for going to the gym. I like to grab a pair of American Giant Classic Sweatpants, their Classic Full Zip, a non-cotton workout shirt, and pair it all with some white socks slightly visible below the sweatpants. This casual, almost messy look is as comfortable as it is functional.
The Classic Sweatpants feature a back pocket and channeled waistband, which ensures your sweats are the perfect fit, no matter how big your food baby is. Double-needle stitching with high-strength thread means these sweats are not only comfy, but also strong and durable.
Stomper boots are another oversized-clothing inspired fashion trend, and these pair particularly well with sweatsuits. For some reason, this seems to be the outfit of choice when heading to the airport, especially if you throw a long pea coat over top of your sweatshirt.
A baseball cap tops this look off, and gives you that extra smidge of anonymity that you might find celebrities exercising to avoid the paparazzi.
While my preference is to style a sweatsuit with a pull over hoodie, a zip hoodie works just as well, and again gives you the option for layers.
Styling a Hoodie for a Date
Think a hoodie is too casual a garment for a date? In some cases, you’d be right, but there’s plenty of ways to make this work.
I’d stick with full zip hoodies for dates rather than pull overs, as full zip hoodies give you the option to layer and throw in some more formal pieces.
Using the Classic Full Zip hoodie from American Giant again, put this on top of a single-color button down shirt with slim chinos and leather boots, and you’re good to go. Alternatively, you can swap out the button down shirt for a quality crew neck sweater, and still achieve the appropriate formality.
If you want to be a little adventurous and rugged, tuck a white tee into black chinos, throw on some brown leather boots, and rock a full zip hoodie on top. This look is made appropriate for a date simply by tucking your shirt in.
This gives the outfit a cleaner appearance, and also helps to accentuate the “V” figure between your waist and shoulders that society has evidently dubbed attractive.
In general I think that you’re better off wearing a more formal jacket for a date, such as a Harrington or bomber, but a hoodie is a good option as an outer layer when all else fails.
Styling a Hoodie as Outerwear
Hoodies like the Storm Full Zip from American Giant are the perfect choice for outerwear if you don’t want a full-blown jacket. The versatility of the Storm Full Zip makes it a good choice for rain, snow, wind, and layering for the cold.
While it won’t be as warm as a designated winter coat, using a hoodie as outerwear means you can hit more layers beneath without looking like the little brother from A Christmas Story.
Since I’m dressing for the elements, I’d grab straight cut blue jeans and leather boots, topped with a quality crew neck sweater. The Storm Full Zip goes on top, and is optionally completed with a baseball hat for a little extra protection.
This is the kind of outfit that will keep you going in a blizzard, monsoon, or everyone’s worst enemy: icy sidewalks.
What you choose to wear beneath the hoodie is totally up to you, but again, since we’re using a larger hoodie as outerwear I’d aim for non-tight pants to balance the visual weight of the outfit.
Styling a Hoodie to Turn Heads
It could very well be the case that all the outfits we’ve covered to this point are known to you, so you’re looking to spice things up a little.
Hoodies have recently started to be included in more avant-garde fashion trends, one of which I’ve exemplified below.
This outfit starts with leather stomper boots like the Dr. Marten’s I’m wearing. For pants, you need some type of trouser or dress pant. It can have a herringbone pattern and stripes like mine, or a single color.
Tuck a black turtleneck sweater into these trousers, and then throw a pullover hoodie on top, making sure to pull the collar of the turtleneck up to be seen, and maybe even rolling the sleeves out and over the hoodie’s cuffs.
The iconic Doc's. These combat boots span the style gap between generations.
And that’s it! This surprisingly comfortable outfit will definitely turn some heads and speak volumes about your fashion acumen at the same time.
This outfit is perfect for dates, going out with friends, or just running errands. It blends enough formalities to make it great for an upscale bar, but also appropriate for the local dive.
There are few things more comfortable than the snug embrace of a quality hoodie, and hopefully this article has shown you a few more ways to work your hoodies into fashion-forward outfits.
The possibilities and combinations for hoodies in outfits are nearly infinite, but remember to be mindful of the formality of the outing, the weather, and the layers you can use.
If you know a bloke who could use some hoodie help or would benefit in any way from this article, share it with them! We all deserve a little more hoodie in our lives.
What is the best hoodie brand?
The best hoodie brand is American Giant, and their most popular hoodie is the Classic Full Zip.
How do you know if a hoodie is good quality?
You can tell that a hoodie is good quality by the material used to make it. Hoodies made from ringspun cotton, like American Giant’s, are more soft and durable than hoodies made with regular cotton or polyester.
Is a zip up or pullover hoodie better?
Neither a zip up or pullover hoodie is better, it comes down to personal preference. Pullover hoodies are great for insulating and keeping you warm, while zip up hoodies are great for layering with other clothes.