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Style Guide to Men’s Hoodies

Style Guide to Men’s Hoodies
Hoodies come in a variety of fabrics from cashmere to cotton; dress versions to street wear. They were first manufactured in the 1930’s by Champion. Since then, they’ve had many adaptations:  purely athletic or outdoor working man’s utilitarian item, something young law breakers, especially graffiti artists, used to disguise their identity, and part of punk, hip hop, and skater cultures. Today, they’re acceptable for casual, and even stylish outfits for any age. Wearing hoodies is perfect for lounging at home, casual errands, exercise, or an evening date. It really depends on the hoodie’s fabrication, fit, and how you style it.

Hoodies definitely have an important place in everyone’s wardrobe. Luckily, Peter Manning’s Classic Hoodie and Pullover Hoodie pair classic styling and quality fabrication with proportionally sized fit for the shorter man.

What distinguishes a sweatshirt from a hoodie?

When you see the term sweatshirt, what you’ll most likely picture is a pullover, crew necked garment that has ribbing at the cuffs and hem made out of a jersey knit fabric that has a fuzzy or looped backing. This is the original sweatshirt. When you add a hood to the garment, and usually a kangaroo pocket, then you get a hoodie. Both zipped and pullover styles are hoodies just as hoodies are one type of sweatshirt.

Peter Manning Zip Hoodie in Heather Gray
      Pullover Hoodie in Washed Gray

Both Peter Manning Hoodies are made with 11 oz Upland cotton mixed with 4% spandex to give the needed stretch for function and comfort. This is the same fabric that is used in our All Day Sweatpants. This allows you to match your Zip Hoodie and Sweatpants. Layered with a monochromatic or contrasting Polo, Henley, Vintage Crew or V-Neck tee and you get a complete outfit.

The Upland cotton is a heavy enough weight to provide some warmth as an additional layer, yet is also light-weight enough for year-round use and an underlayer. These sweats don’t have a fuzzy interior, just smooth comfortable jersey double knit. As always, you get a fit that is designed specifically for you.  Sleeves aren’t too long, the waistband won’t hang down past your hips, armholes won’t hang to your elbow, and you won’t feel like you’re wearing an oversized fabric box. While it may be possible for a tailor to alter your sweatshirts and hoodies, this is almost impossible to do without interfering with pockets and zippers.

We’ve thoughtfully designed each hoodie for optimal usability. The Classic Hoodie has a front zipper that bisects the kangaroo pocket. The hood itself is of classic design with a seam down the middle. There is a cord that can cinch the hood if you get caught in the rain or snow and need to snug it up to keep it in place. 

The cords aren’t just to ease boredom – Emilio Estevez in The Breakfast Club


The Classic Hoodie comes in colors that match or complement our All Day Sweatpants. Worn together or separately, these foundational pieces can be mixed and matched with all your other casual clothing and are timeless additions to your wardrobe.

Our Pullover Hoodie can be worn either as an outer layer (with a t-shirt underneath) or as an inner layer under vests, denim jackets, bomber jackets, sportscoats or overcoats. Because our cotton is such a smooth mid-weight it can be dressed-up to work as business casual clothing. Adding to their versatility, our Pullover Hoodies come in 6 washed colors:  navy, gray, burgundy, black, moss, and olive.

Another interesting feature of the Pullover Hoodie is the head opening, which sits higher than a normal sweatshirt opening. The two sides of the hood cross in front to add interest. The hood itself is made from 3, rather than 2 pieces. This allows the hood to lay flatter against your back and fit closer to your head when pulled up so it’ll stay in place. There is no need for pull cords and the finished look is much cleaner and sleek. The pocket extends onto the bottom cuff creating a unique shape to add interest. This also means that you get a generously sized pocket that starts at your waist rather than your chest.

How to style a hoodie

Hoodies can be dressed up or down. You are more likely to dress down a zippered hoodie for casual situations and dress up a pullover hoodie. Peter Manning’s hoodies are the perfect weight for either. Don’t forget that the most important factor to always looking good is to have a great fit. 

Pullover Hoodie

To dress up a hoodie, layer a pullover under an unstructured jacket, or if you like a more form-fitting look, under a tailored jacket, overcoat, or leather jacket. Pair it with jeans, tailored trousers, or khakis. Minimal leather sneakers or Chelsea boots anchor the outfit. 

Zip hoodie in navy

Casual looks can be achieved with zipped or pullover hoodies. They can be paired with shorts, jeans, joggers, or sweats. You can layer them over just about anything:  button ups, polos, Henley’s, sweaters or t-shirts. 

Our 4-way stretch fabric (thank you spandex) makes our hoodies perfect for athleisure wear or exercise without swimming in excess fabric. The fact that our hoodies will fit you well means that whether you are at work or play, you’ll look neat.


Remember, there is a difference between comfortable due to stretchy, soft fabric and sloppy, messy, or swimming in your clothes. Oversized clothing can not only make you look shorter, but also heavier. This is definitely a don’t if you are planning on wearing your hoodies for more than relaxing at home.


An oversized hoodie can make you look shorter and heavier

History of hoodies…a reflection of the times

Rocky brought the hoodie out of colleges and into everyone’s home

As mentioned before, sweatshirts, and the fabric they’re typically made from, was patented by Champion in the 1930’s. Their process allowed them to sew heavier materials that were needed for warmth. The hood was added to help keep workers warm in New York and was adopted by university athletes for the same reason. They were suitable for sports because of their stretch, yet also protected the head from rain and cold. Champion also supplied their hooded sweatshirts to the US and English military for training exercises.

The sweatshirts reached a greater audience in the 1960’s when universities started to print their names and logos on them. Their popularity reached a worldwide audience with students and alumni proudly announcing their affiliations. Hoodies still weren’t a mainstream item that were an integral part of everyone’s wardrobe. That changed in the 1970’s in 2 diverging paths.

First, hoodies were adopted by hip-hop culture. Graffiti artists, especially, wore them to hide their faces when they were tagging buildings or the NY subway trains. Petty criminals wore them for the same reason. As hip-hop styles became more popular, the hoodie also became more popular, albeit with negative connotations.

With the release of Rocky in 1976 the hoodie became an everyman item. Rocky’s gray hooded sweatshirt became iconic. This also brought the sweatshirt full circle to its origins of athletic wear and warmth for the working man in NY.

The hoodies of the 1980’s and 90’s brought a sense of rebelliousness, along with practicality, to the skate and punk subcultures. Not only were they stylish, they were also practical warmth, and brought a sense of anonymity. This is also when manufacturers started experimenting with new textiles and designs.

The 1990’s elevated the hoodie from street and exercise gear to fashion when designers Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger included their versions in their sportswear collections for a hip, urban vibe. There were still some negative, criminal associations and some businesses and malls banned them for safety reasons.

While racial profiling and protests still exists, they aren’t based on wearing hoodies. Today, they are an established part of everyone’s wardrobe.

Final Thoughts…

The basic design of hoodies has stayed consistent for the past 75+ years. There have been tweaks and flourishes, but hoodies are pretty much timeless. This is one of the reasons why it’s worthwhile to invest in quality hoodies. Our customer reviews talk about both the quality and fit of Peter Manning hoodies. One reviewer even said that “This hoodie makes me look slimmer compared to other brands.” That’s the power of a garment that’s designed to fit the shorter man. 

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