Remember when hoodies were just for guys who worked on New York's docks, or heavyweight boxers, or lads hanging around outside shopping centres? No, us neither. The hoodie's transformation from working class staple to luxury essential has been overstated somewhat – even Rod Stewart used to wear them in the Eighties – but it is undeniable that the sweatshirt's hooded cousin has risen to a position of previously unimaginable prominence. Rocky never had the chance to rock an Hermès hoodie, after all.
Back in the Seventies, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the woooooooorld would probably have opted for Champion, the brand that invented the hoodie, 40 years earlier, for workmen shivering in cold New York winters. The sweater’s multipurpose jersey fabric could be washed easily, was comfortable, warm, stretched (a little) and lasted forever. And the best hoodies you can buy today tick all those boxes, too. But since its invention, the hoodie has come and gone with many faces. Evolving through the decades, having integral roles (among many others) in the trends of everything from hip hop to Hamptons prepsters.
im电竞官网-Jump forward to 2020 and the hype for streetwear is electric. Logo hoodies from brands like Supreme and Palace disappear into the wardrobes (or eBay stores) of hypebeasts before they even hit the rails. The luxury industry has taken note, too, elevating apparel artists like Virgil Abloh, who made the hoodie his canvas, to the helm of fashion's biggest houses.
im电竞官网-When Abloh, previously founder/creative director of Off-White, was announced as Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton, it signalled the global acceptance of streetwear, whether the community had asked for it or not. Abloh naturally started to infuse the heritage luxury brand with a sprinkle of streetwear ‘hype’. “A brand that paved the way for exponential growth of the hoodie is Off-White”, says Jack Cassidy, head of menswear buying at Selfridges London. “Virgil Abloh delivered a new version of luxury, to make the hoodie one of the most covetable items of recent years.” This transformation of the hoodie has been felt in the retail market, with buying teams changing the way they purchase and market them. Now, the hoodie is a signifier of taste, wealth and the kind of connections that will get you a Supreme collab pre-release.
Not that big, bold and beautiful is the only way to go. A simple hoodie is still the off-duty staple it's always been, something you can wear to the gym, in the gym, to walk the dog, or to walk the dog the pub (or, if you're a tech billionaire, what you wear to ring the opening bell on Wall Street). And depending on how luxuriously you like to spend your weekends, you've got options from the Champion version to hoodies by brands like AMI and Maison Kitsuné, cut in premium cottons and with more considered fits. Or, if rather than the pub you spend your weekends at the bar on the deck of your mega-yacht, you'll want an lowkey-luxe cashmere hoodie from Brunello Cucinelli or Loro Piana, for that Kendall Roy-at-sea vibe. You won't be the only one: Damien Paul, head of menswear at Matches Fashion, notes that the retailer has seen a 200 per cent increase in interest around luxury basic hoodies.
Whichever way you go, this is our pick of the best hoodies a man can buy right now.
Let's start off easy: the iconic grey hoodie. Thanks to Rocky, this is the cinema staple for the training montage. I tried it once, going to the gym in a hoodie. It was rubbish and I wouldn't advise it. Better to slip on this boxy Acne Studios hoodie post-gym instead, with loafers and wide leg jeans rather than running shorts.
Acne Studios hoodie, £260,
im电竞官网-Great for summer, when it comes. Levi's has embodied the 'sunsetting on clouds' vibe as a hoodie. This one is from the brand's more premium range, Made & Crafted. Pair with beige chinos and vans for laidback LA style.
Levi's Made & Crafted hoodie, £85,
All aboard the hype train. Big logos, oversized fits and all the Instagram clout.
Off-White hoodie, £420,
In the magical world of Gucci's Alessandro Michele, this counts as subtle. This chunky cream hoodie is an easy way to rock Gucci, with indigo jeans and some sneakers. Your parents will think this is cute, but baby you're wearing GUCCI!
Gucci hoodie, £870,
Is this breaking the 'hoodie' rules? I say no. Jersey sleeves, but with an added lightweight, technical shell. This hoodie is for the adventurer. Or just when the wind picks up on the Kings Road.
Herno padded hoodie, £425,
Loud and proud. This hoodie is printed with stripes reminiscent of bleeding ink, with a big ol' Burberry logo. Try this slightly oversized, with black pleated trousers and chunky sneakers.
Burberry hoodie, £590,
im电竞官网-A rugged classic. A simple, comfy hoodie to chuck on to mow the grass, make the bed, clean your bike, buy some bread, walk to the park, watch TV, go fishing, realise you don't know how to fish so walk home, cook dinner and also then wear to bed. It's a team player, this one.
Patagonia hoodie, £85,
Summer evenings, the cooling breeze as you cycle home with your friends. All daydreams at the moment, but when it does come around, this lilac hoodie from Adidas will work perfectly. Pair with vintage style, faded jeans.
Adidas hoodie, £69,
I wonder what it feels like to wear a £780 hoodie? I will personally never find out, but you can with this contrast-tipped, melange cotton-jersey zip-up hoodie from Brunello Cucinelli. Also smart enough to wear to a informal dinner party. Just no spills, please.
Brunello Cucinelli hoodie, £780,
im电竞官网-A subtle, luxury basic option from French brand AMI, by Alexandre Mattiussi. Only from the brand's signature heart logo will people know your expensive taste in loungewear. And if you know, you know. Welcome to the club.
AMI hoodie, £195,
im电竞官网-Teddy Santis (a Queens, NY native) is a very cool man and he makes very cool clothes via his Brand Aime Leon Dore. But in an easy-to-wear way – looking good, made simple. His hoodies are minimalist and come in tasty, summery palettes. They also sell like hot cakes, so hit add-to-cart quickly.
Aime Leon Dore hoodie, £160,
im电竞官网-The king of luxury basics, Sunspel has put its 160 years of experience towards crafting the perfect hoodie. A simple melange loopback cotton-jersey in either blue or grey. We've gone with blue, as it will go with almost any thing.
Sunspel hoodie, £150,
It feels like a good time to get nostalgic – the past seems rather pleasant in comparison to whats going on at the moment. Obviously we can't climb onto a giant peach and float amongst the clouds. But we can wear this Hundreds hoodie, crafted in tribute to Roald Dahl's novel James and the Giant Peach.
The Hundreds hoodie, £120,
im电竞官网-Speaking of peach. My new favourite colour? Hell yeah! Bianca Chandon always makes mega basics, but with a streetwear vibe. Its peach 'lover' hoodie from DSM is a winner.
Bianca Chandon, £155,
Where it all begin. Evolving with different cuts and colours, the champion hoodie is an iconic staple. Built to last and incredibly comfy, its reverse terry range is a hoodie we should all have at least one of.
Champion hoodie, £89,
im电竞官网-Mix it up with the henley-style hoodie from prep-style gurus, Gant. This hoodie is fittingly from the brand's Pure Prep collection, with each garment using natural and bio-based fibres.
Gant hoodie, £140,
There has been a steep increase in athleisure wear – active clothing for not being active. The Kooples have perfected this in its Kooples Sport line. Basics with activewear considerations, but which still look great. What a brilliant idea.
The Kooples hoodie, £188,