Dappered Classics: 5 hooded sweatshirt upgrades

Only on the weekends. Only from the Dappered archives.

Ditching the Hoodie – 5 hooded sweatshirt upgrades

Originally published 9/20/2011

The over-sized, bulky hooded sweatshirt is the default relaxation uniform most men habitually turn to.  The problem is, as “comfortable” as they  may be, they’re about one step above a snuggie when it comes to making you look good.

The hood itself is rarely if ever used.  The cascading jersey cotton around the middle gives you a shape that’s half Jabba the Hut, half Mayan Pyramid.  It’s just not real sexy.  There are other, better looking ways to dress way down and stay warm and comfortable.  Here’s five pieces of affordable proof:

1. Shawl Collar Cardigans: Old Navy Pocket Front Shawl Collar – $39.94

Nice front pockets.

This looks like something Woolrich would make, but in design and not fabric.  It’s a cotton poly blend, so it’s very much a smooth sweatshirt like material.  Great buttons, the shawl doesn’t dip too low, and those front pockets help and not hurt.  Quilt stitch patches of the same color and fabric are at the elbows.  They run a tad big but if you size down you might run out of room in the forearms.


2. Button Mock Neck Sweaters: L.E.C. Cable Sweater – $63.20* SHIPPED ($79.50)

Available in charcoal too.

Lose the ol’ 100% cotton 1/4 zip mock neck in favor of one of these more mountain ready looking things.  They seem to be magnets for women when you and her are on the same couch.  Over $60 even with a code, but sweaters have gotten real expensive everywhere.  Wool blend and hefty looking construction.  *Use the code DISCOVER and the pin 6956 to knock 25% off everything through Lands’ End & Lands’ End Canvas plus get free shipping.


3. Long Sleeve Polos: J. Crew Factory – $34.50, Charles Tyrwhitt Pima Polo – $69.00

Not quite a Rugby (which is a great option as long as it fits close) and not completely plain.  Options like these have a few extra details (stripes, cuff / collar lining) that make them more than just a plain pique polo with extended arms.


4. A Thrift Store Blazer – $5.00 – $15.00

Look for tweed. Kinda ugly is just fine.

One of the great things about a hooded sweat shirt is that you can spill a beer or hot sauce on it and it really isn’t a big deal.  Thrift store blazers are so cheap and so old that you can beat them to death and they’ll be all the better for it.  Splurge and get it tailored if it’s sailing out at the sides.


5. The crew neck sweatshirt / cheap button up combo:  Mossimo Fleece – $17.99

The hood has been molted.

Here’s the key.  Find some rumpled button down collar shirt at the thrift store (while scouting for blazers maybe?).  Old Navy shirts end up there all the time.  Doesn’t matter if it has a logo on it either.  That goes on underneath the crewneck.  You wouldn’t think it’d be possible to dress up a sweatshirt, but it is.  Feel free to leave it untucked as long as it’s not dress shirt long.  Size down in the sweatshirt if you can.

Other options?  Care to defend the hooded sweatshirt?  We’ve all got one.  Leave it all in the comments…