A blazer with a hoodie? Come on, right? To some, the phrase itself is an oxymoron. Two dueling clothing articles that have no place being seen or worn together. We know some enthusiasts will lament the slow erosion of formal, traditional menswear for “athleisure” or casual attire. We get it. Regardless, wearing a blazer with a hoodie is no longer just another street style but a transcendent, mainstream look.
Like most new fashion trends, the more you see it the more you begin to accept it and potentially even like it. In this episode of UNFUSED, we break down how this trend emerged along with a few successful looks you can pull off.
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The History of the Blazer with a Hoodie
Though it’s tough to pin down a definitive origin, our research on the story traces the look’s lineage (geographically) to the Northeast — circa late 1990s / early 00s. As many can remember and attest, male prep schools had (and still have) strict dress codes, e.g. shirt, tie, blazer, dress shoes, etc… When it reached frigid temps, students were able to cover the shirt / tie with a sweater. Many chose to forego / replace the sweater with a hooded sweatshirt, resulting in the signature hooded flap look that you see as the hoodie rests against the blazer lapels.
Many NBA players, i.e. Lebron James, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, etc… attended formal sports prep schools during those years, adopted the look, and carried it over to the NBA — giving it a new life entirely as a street style essential. Modern street style at it’s core is about mixing dissimilar articles (e.g. a formal piece with a casual / athletic piece) to ultimately craft a uniquely, stylish look.
How to Wear (and not Wear) the Blazer with a Hoodie
The blazer / hoodie look is wholly American due to the hoodie itself, which has become an instantly recognizable American fashion item. What began as a utilitarian piece of clothing is now a mainstream fashion item attracting the attention of most fashion houses. Gucci, Dolce & Gabana, and Versace are some of the more notable fashion houses that now sell ultra luxurious hoodies ($$$$) as part of the core product lineup. A $1000 hoodie may have seemed insane a few years back but, it’s actually out there.
Though the Gucci hoodie may be a luxurious product, the beauty of this look in our eyes is pairing an otherwise reasonably priced item (the hoodie) with a more traditional, formal piece such as a blazer.
For this look, we prefer solid, darker hued hoodies. We also prefer it without heavy graphics or embroidery. Going with a darker, plain color-way will give the outfit a sleeker, more formal all around look.
The navy one below from American Giant is a perfect, staple hoodie that we personally love. As it’s name implies, all of American Giant’s are produced domestically. Made from a sturdy, workwear-inspired knit with a strong, no-nonsense feel, they’re built rugged outside but soft inside — specifically designed to layer all year round.
The look below is one of our favorites. The dark slacks pair perfectly with the dark hoodie. The speckled charcoal wool blazer contrasts effortlessly with everything. The hoodie is also more fitted / lighter which gives the ensemble the sleeker look we’re after. Bulkier hoodies are great for day to day activities but for this look you want a more tapered fit. Our purchasing advise is to buy your hoodie a size down (XL to L) if you’re looking to complete this ensemble.
Another more basic ensemble is shown below. What we like about this one is that the blazer itself is one that most men already have — which makes this a look you can put together in minutes. Navy on navy is a simple, effective combo that you can never go wrong with. In order to give the look a bit more contrast, it’s paired with a pair of khaki toned denim.
If you’re not going to a super formal venue the outfit — particularly the soft, comfy hoody is the perfect piece of attire if you’re eating out and plan to have a heavy meal.
With that being said, there are a few fashion ‘no-no’s’ you can make with this look. The look below has a few red flags that should be readily apparent. As we said earlier, a baggy, loose hoodie just won’t work. First off, you’ll have to find a heavy, overcoat type of blazer to be able to fit over the hoodie. You can certainly wear it with an overcoat but it’s not ideal. The look is too full and the baggy look frankly comes off as a bit sloppy. Lastly, the t-shirt exposed beneath the hoodie just adds to the issues. If you’re wearing a t-shirt, try to tuck it in so it’s not exposed below the belt line.
The Blazer with Hoodie Conclusion
We really like this look. Because it’s gained a bit of mainstream notoriety you can wear it around and pull it off as a trendy look. The hoodie makes it super comfortable (perfect if you’re going out for a heavy meal) and it’s not that difficult to assemble. As such, this is one of the simpler guides we’ve put together in that our advise is super simple. 1) Look for a slim, tapered hoody — preferably a darker, solid hue (without too much embroidery or graphics) 2) Pair it with a dark, solid blazer. Slacks or denim is up to you — either will work depending on the occasion.
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