The Best Hoodies for Your Body Type

male-model-spring-2016-street-style-10

The hoodie is one of the bare essentials of a man’s wardrobe, but how do you perfect a look which is both comfortable and flattering?

Check out more from our Men’s Style Guides here.

One of the main benefits of colder weather is being able to break out the thermals. Knowing how to choose the best hooded sweatshirt (or hoodie) for your body type is essential for nailing the smart-casual look and will help in making you feel comfortable and confident with your body. Here are our key tips on finding the right hoodie for your body type.

The basic hoodie evolved from the basic sweatshirt. The main difference? The introduction of a hood to the design. There are so many different styles of hoodies for those of you looking to keep warm whilst staying stylish and on trend.

The iconic hoodie may also include other features such as a full zip, a half zip, or no zip at all. It can have one large or two pockets and is very often oversized for comfort. Finding a reigning champ sweatshirt that is both practical and flattering can be a challenge. The typical souvenir hoodie from a holiday or a gig might evoke a great memory for the wearer, but might not be the most stylish or easiest piece of clothing to incorporate into your wardrobe.

Even something as conventional as a hoodie can be both comfortable and flattering for someone who understands the basics of shopping for their body type. If you want to upgrade your wardrobe and find the best cool zip up hoodies for you, then follow this guide and you will no longer be in doubt.

streetwear-hoodie-outfit-grid

Try Before You Buy

As the old saying goes, ‘Try before you buy’ is an essential piece of advice for anyone looking to shop the perfect hoodie for their body type. Just ask Max:

Since hoodie sizes are usually really broad – you’re limited to S, M, L, XL – I always try on at least two of them. For me it’s M or L. The reason is because obvs different labels have slightly diff sizing. You don’t wanna go too large, because baggier clothes infantilise men and make you look like a teenager or even younger. Weirdly, too small has the same effect – it looks like you’ve grown out of your clothes and haven’t bought new ones yet. So it’s all about finding the right amount of slouch, because you want it to be comfortable, but not over baggy. It’s like any clothes – the size is a guide only, you gotta try other sizes around your base size to get the right feel

– Max Hicks, blogger and former model

Understanding Body Types

The first step to finding a great looking hoodie is to understand the basics of body types and the cuts of clothing that work best for you. Once you get to grips with this, shopping for clothing, including good hoodies becomes much easier. Your style and the clothes which flatter you will naturally evolve along with your body type over the years. And remember it is always better to wear clothes that truly fit and accentuate your figure for both men and women. Comfort, both physically and psychologically, is key for introducing items into your wardrobe that will stand the test of time. Nobody really wants to fill their wardrobe with badly fitting clothes they will only wear in some parallel world. Especially those of us shopping on a budget. So guys, check out the following advice for your body type to make sure that you never miss a trick.

The Short Guy

short-mens-hoodie-grid
PHOTO CREDIT: Adam Vaszil. 

If you are short, the best thing for you to do for your body type is to avoid an oversized hoodie. If you are under 5 foot 8, the baggy look will do nothing to flatter your body. Also make sure not to buy a hoodie that is too long. Instead, make sure to buy a hoodie that falls no lower than just past your belt otherwise the look will dwarf you. You should also take time to consider the length of the sleeves. Do not buy a hoodie where the arms are too long as it will have the same dwarfing effect on your body. As a rule of thumb, the sleeves of your hoodie should never go past your fingers.

The Tall Guy

Mens Hoodie street style
PHOTO CREDIT: Lookbook

If you are tall, your main priority when choosing a good hoodie will be the length. You need to avoid buying a hoodie which is too small for your frame. Do not buy a cropped hoodie if you are pushing 6 foot as you will end up flashing your stomach every time you stretch.

Be careful to check out the quality of the fabric and if the hoodie is liable to shrink in the wash. Consider buying the next size up if you are shopping on a budget and are hesitant about the quality of the fabric, as cheaper materials tend to shrink. Though remember hoodies are an investment just like anything else – spending a little bit extra can improve the look of a whole outfit. If you are tall and lean, you will easily be able to pull off a standard hoodie or a cable knit jumper. You will also look good in both a zipped hoodie or one with one large pocket.

The Normal Guy (with a bit of muscle)

Young-Skout-hoodie
PHOTO CREDIT: Instagram/Young Skout. 

If you are of fairly average build, you should opt for a hoodie that is fitted and avoid one that sags around the waist. Same goes if you are a little on the muscular side. If you are muscly you can get away with wearing a slim fit hoodie as this will flatter your body. The hoodies that look best are zipless ones with one big pocket. Just ask Shani Varner:

‘When I go out to find the perfect hoodie I look for pieces that compliment my muscular build. So I tend to go for more form fitting hoodies specifically in the shoulder, arm and waist to give myself what I like to think of as the superhero look. So I gravitate to fabrics that are a mix of cotton and spandex.’

– Shani Varner, Model

The Heavy Guy

Bigger-guys-hoddie-style-grid
PHOTO CREDIT: Johnny B.

If you are a little on the heavier side, make sure that your hoodie doesn’t draw too much attention to your stomach. Your main priority when choosing a good hoodie will be to find something that is comfortable but which equally flatters your shape. Choosing a hoodie which is too large in an attempt to deflect attention from your physique will ultimately have the inverse effect and make you seem larger.

If you are planning to wear a coat over your hoodie, make sure that your hoodie is not too thick. Buy a hoodie that grips tighter around the arms rather than one which hangs loose as it will be easier to wear under a jacket. When shopping for good hoodies, be sure to purchase a double-pocketed hoodie rather than a hoodie with one big pocket which will emphasise your belly. This advice is key for anyone who is worried about looking a bit heavy in their hoodie.

Some More Tips

Grey or Black Hoodies are an Essential

After you have determined the correct size of hoodie for you, consider some of the following details that will go into complementing your look and will help you find the best cool zip up hoodies for men. For a guy, it is essential to have a grey and a black hoodie in your wardrobe. They are the LBDs of men’s street style. A black hoodie is immensely practical and will go with everything.

Think About the Pockets

Consider too, the pockets of a hoodie. Some hoodies have shallow pockets and others have pockets that are cut so there’s a little bit of depth. Smaller pockets would help keep the silhouette of the body and would be a great choice for someone looking to show off their body in a tight hoodie. However, larger pockets are more practical for those of you who end up finding your keys in there during the summer months. A small detail but it’s deal breaker sometimes.

Drawstrings and Zips

Some more details to consider when shopping for a hooded sweatshirt are drawstrings and zips. Particularly the colour of the zip and the thickness and colour of the drawstrings. Drawstrings change from season to season but it is one of the few aesthetic details to take notice of as the garment itself is such a classic. For example, if you choose a black hoodie with white drawstrings and a white zip, pair it with some black shoes that also have white trim. Be sure to try and match the colour of your hoodie with your shoes. This is easier if you tend to go for darker colours as you would pair them with a dark shoe, but if you tend to wear vibrant colours, it will be best for your look to pair your hoodie with a shoe of the same colour. An all black hoodie with black drawstrings is a safe option for those of you who rely on many different types of shoe but will no doubt look best with black mono Vans. Consistency in colour will make the outfit pop and the drawstrings are a good way to achieve that.

mens hoodie street style
PHOTO CREDIT: Lookbook

A Bit of Background

The hoodie was born in the early 90s. It continued to evolve into different styles as it gained popularity and continued on into the new millennium. The hoodie gained prominence in the early 90s, as a large, oversized garment of the skateboarding culture. The urban hoodie is a very large hooded sweatshirt that hangs baggily over the wearer. These are the two most worn styles of hoodies for men.

An important thing to note about the skater style is that though the looks are oversized, they still fit the wearer. Most hoodie-wearers go for a loose but not oversized hoodie, in order to flatter the body. Nowadays men are much more concerned about how good hoodies can flatter the body and do not rely solely on a hoodie as piece of loungewear.

The popularity of the practical hoodie has ultimately made it unisex clothing. The discerning factor between men’s and a women’s hoodies lies quite simply in the way in which the hoodie fits the body. The difference is subtle but important. Men’s hoodies almost always hang loose on the wearer and tend to come in darker and subtler colours and logos. The man’s hoodie tends to be simple, as men tend to be more subtle in their clothing choices than women.

Today, the hoodie has broken free of teenage culture and has become more acceptable social wear for adults. The hoodie is essential for a man’s wardrobe and features prominently in street style. The 90s look of baggy trousers and very large hoodie that swims around your body is a rather dated look, and notoriously hard to pull off, unless you are Kanye West.

Kids the movie
Kids is the epitome of skate culture style

On That Note..

So guys, in order to get your look spot on make sure to respect your body type and take our advice when bagging yourself your next hoodie.  Also, don’t forget the most important part of the hoodie: the hood. Don’t neglect to try the hood and see how it fits before buying your hoodie to avoid having a hood that is way too big for your head. However, if you do have a bit of a penchant for a baggy hoodie, keep it for lounging around the house to avoid looking like a 90s skater. The good thing being most women love to steal their boyfriend’s big, baggy hoodie on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

This article originally appeared on The Idle Man.

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