Clothes have always mattered more to me. As a tween mall rat in the early aughts, for instance, I obsessively searched for ski pants with the perfect boot cut (Old Navy, in Cheetos orange, of course). As an adult, I get — or, until recently, got — my measurements taken monthly so I can find off-the-rack clothes with a perfect fit. You know that person you see in a store (remember stores?) buried beneath an unruly pile of jackets, shirts, and pants as they zigzag to a fitting room? The person running the hem of a linen-silk button-down against the inside of their wrist over and over again? The person whose browser is cluttered with tabs to various retailers’ websites so he can constantly refresh them to ensure he gets the last medium at 30 percent off? I’m that person.
So when friends began turning to me for advice on what clothes to buy, it didn’t really surprise me. Even today, with most people still cooped up in their homes, the requests for long-sleeved button-downs or reasonably priced loafers or gothninja basics have not let up. This year spent largely at home has in fact led to more requests for certain items, like hoodies. Middle-aged friends holed up in escape-plan Airbnbs have asked for the comfiest one they won’t mind spilling coffee on; the kids of those middle-aged friends have asked for styles that look like something Justin Bieber or Jacob Keller would wear; friends of friends have slid into my DMs to ask for hoodies that can go from a day of Zoom calls to a night of bingeing Netflix. Regardless of the state of the world, a great hoodie is always essential. And the best ones, like my ten favorite hoodies below, are not only stylish, subtle, and comfortable but are wearable most any time of year.
The hoodie I recommend for country-club casual
Whether you play tennis or not, perhaps, like my old doubles partner Jeff, you like to bring some clean, Wimbledon-style swagger to your daily wardrobe. For that, he swears by this hoodie, which he first told me about (and I’ve since told more people about) and which he wears in white to pad around the house. (Those worried about wearing white all day should know it’s available in lots more colors, too.) Says Jeff, “It is super-comfy and has the Nike Tennis logo made iconic in the ’90s by my idol, Pete Sampras. Even if I’m just watching reality TV, there’s an air of undeniable class in rocking tennis whites while doing so: It makes me feel like I’m heading to give a private lesson to Westport divorcées at $160 an hour once this episode of Selling Sunset ends.”
The hoodie I recommend to new dads (or anyone in L.A.)
A few weeks after my L.A.-based friend Chris welcomed his new baby, he reached out looking for a relatively inexpensive hoodie he could easily pack in a diaper bag. I sent him to this one, which, to me, is perfect for a casual playground flex or as an easy layer to keep you warm on a California night. The hoodie has spacious pockets (for holding … toys? Diapers? I don’t have kids) and packs down with ease. And its ultralight, eco-jersey material is like good bedding, keeping you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s warm. The best part: It’s cheap enough that you won’t care if it gets doused in burrito juice or your kid’s spit-up. (And if you’re worried about either of those things, I should note that Alternative Apparel offers a “two for $65” deal on this sweatshirt if purchased from its website; the discount is automatically applied when you add two to your cart.)
The hoodie I recommend to DIY homeowners (or would-be scumbros)
One winter past, a friend of a friend asked me for thoughts on a hoodie warm