Once upon a time, streetwear was the opposite of luxury and high fashion. Now, that’s not the case. The lines between them are blurring. Street-style hoodies can be seen on runways and red carpets, on hip hop stars and pop celebrities alike.
So what actually is streetwear? This term can refer to anything from graphic tees to casual jeans. But some urban brands take simple everyday hoodies and elevate them to desired scarce items.
Streetwear as a style became a thing in the 70s and 80s. It was initially inspired by outfits of New York hip hoppers and Los Angeles skaters. Later it also caught the influence of punk, Japanese avant-garde, the legacy of workwear fashion, sportswear, and athleisure. The mix turned out to be not only relaxed and comfortable but also flashy and bright.
In the 90s, when artists like Beastie Boys hit the charts, the style went mainstream. Established brands like Burberry and Gucci appeared in rap videos. Tee-shirts with logos moved upmarket: Fendi and Dior not only picked them up from sportswear brands but added chunky gold accessories like chains and massive watches. The new generation of hip-hop millionaires was the market for it.
But what actually made streetwear the thing it is today was scarcity and exclusivity. Clothing labels started to do very limited capsule collections, aka drops. Instead of advertising, they used partisan marketing and social media to sell it. True fans love limited editions and drop releases and are willing to hunt them down.
Today it is sometimes hard to divide streetwear from luxury fashion. Streetwear hoodies are among the most coveted items on the market. Labels like Supreme and BAPE are collaborating with elite fashion houses for even lavisher capsule collections. The rockstar streetwear labels are not only about funky designs on tee-shirts. They make finely tailored hoodies and cut-and-sew tees with the best materials. No wonder everybody wants them.
Streetwear hoodies are an essential addition to any wardrobe. Here are a few reasons why you should buy one.
Hoodie epitomizes streetwear.
It has become a global fashion phenomenon. So if you want to pep up your style, it is a great place to start.
Hoodies are relaxed yet fashionable.
They are the most worn clothing items around the world. They are always in season and good for any weather. They are equally suitable for Netflix and chill, an evening jog, or a casual date. Moreover, a certain hoodie will look perfect even on a red carpet or at a high-end restaurant. A tiny hint: you can always wear multiple layers with a hoodie for extra warmth. Or you can not wear anything underneath, nobody will notice.
They suit everyone
There is no wrong body type for a hoodie; gender barriers are erased. It can make anybody feel comfortable and cozy in any situation. With a streetwear hoodie, you can go even further, having a special hoodie that suits your personality and speaks for you.
Hoodies are incredibly versatile
There are tons of colors, designs, graphics, and combinations. Moreover, there are a number of different fits. With all this, you can style a hoodie to become anyone you like: a fancy schoolboy, an effortlessly cool rapper, or a fashionable rebel. There is no right or wrong way to wear a hoodie while you feel comfortable and showcase your creative side.
If you do not have a hooded sweatshirt in 2021, you are definitely missing something. So here is a list of the most interesting brands you should look at to find a perfect streetwear hoodie. Some of them are relatively cheap, others quite expensive. But all are worth investing a buck.
Top Streetwear Hoodie Brands to Shop in 2021
Ocular Stussy Hoodie, $125
One of the oldest streetwear brands, Stüssy, was established in 1980 in California. Back then, they just printed graphic tees. Their creator, Shawn Stussy, was a surfboards manufacturer. His career in fashion started when he scrawled his surname on a board and then used it as a logo to put on tee-shirts and other clothes. He was able to generate a lot of buzz around it and turn his small business into a fashion empire.
Stussy symbolizes quintessential streetwear, known for creative, eye-catching, and bold designs as well as limited collection and innovative marketing.
Mona Lisa Off-White Hoodie, $400
Off-White is an Italian luxury brand by a prominent American designer Virgil Abloh. Its diagonal stripes and arrows are among the most recognizable symbols in the fashion world. The designs are unique yet deceptively simple. The pieces are extremely pricey, but also very well-cut.
The brand is known for many successful attempts to blend streetwear with high fashion. It is also famous for multiple collaborations with companies like Nike, IKEA, Levi, and more.
Studded Collars Supreme Hoodie, $215
This is the brand you heard of even if you pay no interest to the fashion world. Supreme was started as a skateboard label in New York. It was among the first companies that revolutionized the retail approach and used the supply-on-demand production model. While “drops” are relatively frequent, each new product is released in a very small quantity. This leads to never-ending queues to every physical location. Fans can wait in lines for days. They are also willing to pay hundreds of dollars for anything with an iconic red box logo — even if it is a brick.
Supreme is also known for its unexpected collaborations. It has joined efforts with Louis Vuitton and Rolex to name a few.
Giant Shark Bape Hoodie, $335
BAPE, or a Bathing Ape, is one of the most coveted and recognizable Japanese streetwear brands. Created by DJ and designer Nigo in the early 90s, the label provides bizarre and colorful designs and the iconic camo print.
The cult label from Tokyo should be your first choice if you are looking for something outstanding and bold. Take a look at the camouflaged hoodie with a shark print. You can even zip it right up over the face.
Magic Unicorn Vetements Hoodie, $1000
Yes, an oversized hoodie can be that expensive. A brand by Demna Gvasalia was founded in 2014 and became notoriously known for the ability to sell basic pieces for astronomical prices. Its style is sometimes described as “poverty chic” targeted at a very highbrow audience. But it also preaches a pragmatic and down-to-earth philosophy. The pieces are products of the collaboration between a group of friends who had previous experience with the best fashion houses around. They appropriated the mass culture, refined it, and transformed it into witty luxury hoodies.
Champion Reverse Weave Hoodie, All Over Logo, $75
There is no way you can go wrong with a classic Champion hoodie. The company was started as a workwear label which later began knitting apparel for sports. But over the recent decade Champion collaborated with some of the most hype streetwear labels and celebrities. It has joined collections with Supreme, Bape, Vetements, and many more.
It has an immense social media popularity (like 6M followers on Instagram) and is worn by the Kardashians themselves. The price still is pretty modest and the pieces are available in regular stores (except those from collaborative drops).
7. Heron Preston
Pink Heron Hoodie, $375
Heron Preston is mostly known for rebranding iconic images like the NASA logo. His signature looks contain quality cotton hoodies with a graphic print on the chest and small but meaningful details like drawstrings, pocket, and sleeve decoration. Preston is also famous for his collaborations with Off-White, Justin Timberlake, and Nike.
Arc’teryx Palace Hoodie, sold out
This brand from London is a living incarnation of UK skate culture and street style. Palace started as an underground tee-shirt label in 2010 and had grown up to one of the most respected names. It is dubbed as an English Supreme. It uses scarcity marketing to the fullest, the web-shop has items on stock only on drop days. Aside from hoodies, you can find some best boards, nice caps, and bombers with occasional instances of snakeskin and velvet.
Hubbs Pullover Obey Hoodie $110
Obey Clothing was created by street artist Shepard Fairey in 2001. It was originally an extension of his political position. The brand used a theme from the film They Live mixed with punk culture. Since then, the clothing label has become another canvas for artist’s political and social views, which are quite provocative. This hoodie is a perfect choice for those who have an active position and are confident enough to share it with the world.
10. Fear of God
FOG Essentials Hoodie, $90
Fear of God is a company from Los Angeles by designer Jerry Lorenzo. It was found in 2012 when Lorenzo, a man from a Christian family, was rethinking his faith. The focus of this brand is streetwear mixed with the military style, sportswear aesthetics, and divine inspiration. Essentials collection uses low-key yet elevated basic pieces with experimental silhouettes. The colors are mostly monochrome, like washed black and heather grey. All the details are subtle and muted.
The brand is also known for collaborations with footwear giants like Nike and Vans.
Kith Adrian Sherpa Hoodie, $225
Kith was created by Ney York sneaker designer Ronnie Fieg. This brand is both a multifaceted retail store and a standalone streetwear phenomenon. Its popularity skyrocketed thanks to numerous unexpected collaborations, like Coca-Cola, Disney, or high-end pram manufacturer Bugaboo. Kith's main asset is footwear, however, the apparel lines with logo hoodies, sweatshirts, and sweatpants are popular as well.
12. You Don’t Want This Life (YDWTL)
P[L]andemic Hoodie, $135
Another UK fashion label. YDWTL is rather new to the scene but it is already selling in some prominent locations around the world. The company focuses on building a community of like-minded individuals. It speaks on the current topics and has an active position about current events. For example, this hoodie has a rather thought-provoking design. We want the Covid-19 situation over, says the brand. We do too.
Drifters WTAPS Hoodie, $265
The correct pronunciation of this Japanese label is “double taps”. The name comes from the military, where it means kill shot. As you can see, the military theme is one of the main inspirations for this hoodie along with workwear. This street fashion brand likes loose cuts, utilitarian style, and muted colors. It specializes in baggy hoodies and cargo pants. Choose WTAPS if the army green is your favorite color. However, this iconic brand has something to surprise you as well.
Patta x Dekmantel 2020 Hooded Sweater, $145
No surprise this brand from the Netherlands also started with a limited collection of graphic tee-shirts. They were sold out pretty quickly in a multi-brand boutique and the demand started to grow. Therefore Patta was established as a brand of its own, and a pretty successful one.
This hoodie is a collaboration with the Dekmantel festival. The event itself was canceled this year, but the spirit of celebration is alive in this project. The drop also features tees and shoulder bags. The bright holographic collection is perfect for cold and dark Northern winter.
Undercover hoodie, $825
Another Japanese luxury streetwear brand in our collection, and another one that did a collaboration with Nike (who didn’t?), is Undercover. Undercover’s history goes back to the 90s. While many western designers look at Japan for inspiration, Tokyo designer Jun Takahashi admits he is heavily influenced by British punk culture and bands like The Sex Pistols. He was probably the first designer who made the real crossover between street style and high fashion in Japan.
To Sum Up
Each streetwear brand has its own philosophy and aesthetic. It might be hard to choose one hoodie to buy from this list. But we believe you can’t go wrong with any of it. A bright high-end hoodie made of quality material is a staple in any wardrobe. It will be the best choice when you don’t know what to wear. And also it can be the most stylish piece in your collection, made to impress the public and express your position. Gear up for a street-style game!