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A hoodie is no longer just a hoodie. The thing you pick up off the floor in the morning — or from a hanger in the closet, if you’re a real showoff — and throw on before braving the cold has grown all the way up. Thanks to athleisure, John Elliott’s seminal Villain hoodie, Kanye declaring that “sweatshirts are fucking important,” and the absolutely crucial emergence of New York-based rapper A-Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, the sweatshirt has become an important part of the fashion canon.
And it’s not just the multi-functional, well-made hoodies that the bros of Silicon Valley throw hundreds of thousands of dollars at. Designers now are experimenting with graphics, fabrics, and fit more than ever.
Middle school-me (and now-me) is delighted by the hoodie revolution. This is a true story: My mom once went to TJ Maxx, because the Wolfs are nothing if not GD Maxxinistas, and bought me an XL sweatshirt with a huge Slim Shady (yes, as in Eminem) graphic printed on it. I wore it roughly 99 percent of the time during my school days — a luxury afforded only by growing up in the perpetually chilly Bay Area.
There’s nothing quite like wrapping yourself up in what is essentially a blanket that’s acceptable to wear out of the house. The hood also works as a shield for the constant sense of embarrassment teenagers harbor.
Below are the best hoodies to buy now — just probably not at TJ’s, unfortunately.
Whether you’re thanking the brand or blaming them, you have to credit Vetements for renewing interest in the classic Champion logo hoodie ($50, or $60 for the name spelled out.) If you came to this post looking for a nice, affordable hoodie — and not an anecdote about an Eminem sweatshirt — you don’t even need to read any further.
Is wearing just one band T-shirt at a time not enough for you? Well, right this way, you modern-day Caligula. This Maison Margiela hoodie ($695) is a collage of rock ‘n’ roll graphics on top of each other; people across the land will understand how punk you are before you even throw up the horns.
Hypebeast described the aesthetic of this newly-launched brand as “Ball Is Life Meets Skate or Die.” How that applies to this Practice Hooded Sweatshirt ($160), I have no idea. But look at how shiny and silky it looks — thank the poly-blend cotton for that, and then shoot the ol’ leather pumpkin into a “basketball ring” while riding a skateboard, I guess???
Berlin-based magazine 032c couldn’t resist getting in on the hoodiessance. The Magenta Pyrate Society Hoodie ($140) comes in other colors, but why would you want anything else than the pink? The text reads “The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves.” The way 032c tells it, the hoodie is “a yacht club tribute to the early-modern punks of the high seas.” Sick.
Aimé Leon Dore
I want a French Terry hoodie desperately, and this creamy Heavyweight Kanga Hoodie ($155) from Aimé Leon Dore looks comfortable as heck. It’s so beautiful that ALD designer Teddy Santis embossed the brand’s logo on the center like an artist adding their signature on a canvas.
In true #journalist fashion, I called the number on this Collaged Artwork Hooded Sweatshirt ($450) by Alexander Wang. The toll-free number is no longer in service, the automated voice on the other end of the phone told me. A cursory Google reveals that the number was once used by a scammer hoping to gain access to your computer. Has my irrelevant story convinced you of the merits of this hoodie?
Diet Butcher Slim Skin
Don’t let Britney Spears have all the fun with her velour Juicy Couture sweatsuit. This Diet Butcher Slim Skin Black Velour Hoodie ($300) is the comfiest and most stylish way to pretend the ‘90s never ended.
This is an Oversized Printed Loopback Cotton-Blend Jersey Hoodie ($1,210) by a little-known brand called Vetements. Whoopi Goldberg — a style icon on par with James Dean, JFK, and French Girls — wore this hoodie on The View. Your fave could never, says internet people, probably.
When is a sweatshirt not really a sweatshirt? How about when Ganryu’s Action Print Hoodie ($349) pairs one with T-shirt sleeves (notice the lack of cuffs) and the body of a sweater (notice the lack of a kangaroo pocket). Then, the thing is printed with a Shakespeare line: “Action is eloquence.” Talkaboutmixinghighandlowamirite?
Los Angeles-meets-hoodie in the most doomed relationship ever. The Palm Angels Palm Hoody ($325) even comes with two black strips covered in glitter, so the only thing standing between you and stardom is the year-round 80-degree weather.
I Heart New York Sweatshirts
Truly iconic and only $20. The I Love NY New York Hoodie with Milton Glaser’s famous design will help you unleash your inner tourist. Or wear it ironically and unleash your inner pretentious douche.