Each season has its own beautiful accents that make it special and we dress to match our seasonal feelings and surroundings. Autumn brings the falling of leaves and, with it, a symbolic reset in nature, so we wear fall colors, classic crew sweatshirts, and bundles of layers. Spring brings the cracking of baseball bats and the fragrance of flowers, thus we head to the park in ball caps. Summer has the smoke of backyard barbecues for when we dress in our friendliest and most casual tee shirts, and winter has the crackling of logs in a fireplace, so we pretty much just wear blankets.
Yet, my favorite season isn’t defined by a calendar’s marked time of year. Instead, it’s the exceptional stretch of days that are equal parts cool and warm, when we can be both stylish and sporty. It is perfect, and it is always welcome. I’m of course referring to hoodie-and-shorts season.
The thing about hoodie-and-shorts season is that even if you’re unfamiliar with it, you know the exact conditions for pairing a hoodie with shorts. It’s when those cool, sunny days roll in; when it’s brisk enough to layer up top, yet with enough sunshine to let your legs breathe. You know the sensation and its variants. It’s the same curious sense of just right you experience when you wrap yourself in bed covers while kicking your feet out past the bottom of the comforter.
Hoodie-and-shorts season is perfect for the guy who makes up his mind when the temperature won’t, and it’s finally here again — or it never really left, given this extremely strange, very unique, and mostly indoor year.
Event: Digital Work Meeting
Fit: Zip-Up Hoodie + Khaki Shorts
While there’s been a lot of talk this past year about professional backgrounds for your Zoom calls, what about your comfort level? Not everyone needs to suit up for work each day, yet everyone needs to be professional enough. That’s where the zip-up hoodie and khaki shorts come in.
The zip-up hoodie is perfect for at-home professionalism. It has the all-out comfort of a pullover, but it allows you to prove you’re dressed for the job. When zipping up your hoodie for the workday, keep the zipper low enough to reveal the buttons of your dress shirt or henley tee. Whether you mix and match your colors or want a monochromatic look for yourself, your zip-up hoodie perfectly fits the work-from-home lifestyle.
But why the khaki shorts, you ask? At some point in your video conferences, which have seemingly replaced regular calls and even emails these days, you may have to get up, whether it’s to refill the coffee or use the facilities (from said coffee refills). When you stand, everyone will see whatever sits below your waistband. If it’s khaki shorts, you look sharply dressed for the job without anyone the wiser. Thus, this combo effectively delivers the comforts of home while presenting the illusion of full work attire.
Event: Walking the Dog
Fit: Pullover Hoodie (Oversized) + Sweatshorts
This is essentially the most comfortable version of hoodie-and-shorts season that you’re able to throw on the easiest. No matter what you have on, you can always toss your pullover hoodie over it. Whenever the dog has to go out, whether it’s dawn or dusk, you need to have this type of outfit ready to go. You already know the exact hoodie — the one from an especially fun year of winter holidays, likely a size bigger than you’d normally wear. It’s the hoodie you bought before you followed through like hell on your new year’s resolution. The shoulder stitching hits juuust above the bicep, the drawstrings go aaalmost past your belly, and it holds a special, soft place in your heart. It’s like a secret weapon of oversized plush — an old friend, if you will.
While this outfit is ideal for walking your dog, it’s really come through for life during Covid. You’re not going places. You’re not having people over. You’ve got very little to do socially, so why not be at your most comfortable? Sure, this outfit suits the comfy moments of your life each and every year — gaming days, movie nights, and the like — but in a global pandemic year? You pretty much only have comfy times!
Plus, given the pandemic, you’ve been at home a lot more and at the gym a lot less. Add in your vigilant support of supporting local restaurants during their time of need and you’ve likely gained a few pounds. Hell, we all have. But you know what? This ensemble ensures that you’re comfortable, no matter how many times you hit up food delivery. Much like the dog you walk, your sizable pullover hoodie and roomy sweatshorts love you unconditionally. Love them the same way.
Event: Living in the South
Fit: Pullover Hoodie (Fitted) + Chino Shorts
In the South, winter is akin to a Yankee’s late fall. In turn, that means spring and autumn in the South are very different from the rest of the country. In the South, spring and autumn are almost completely hoodie-and-shorts seasons. Hoodies and shorts are up and down the student sections at rival SEC football games, and the combo of hoodies and shorts is more than just comfort in the South — it’s style.
Here, a hood’s overlay is akin to a shirt’s collar. The sweatshirt portion allows you to stay out after the sun, and with it the temperature, go down, but it’s not like you ever plan to pull the hood up because it’s not going to be that cold. You want it because it’s fashionable. The slight dip at the hood’s neck offers the same casual look of leaving the top button of a henley open. Yet, the hood offers more structure around your neck and face.
Life in the South means any version of “cold weather” is by and large hoodie-and-shorts season. A fitted pullover hoodie with chino shorts is a look that carries you through evenings and weekends, from breweries to backyards. Sure, we’re not exactly out and about these days, but a return to your social life is on the horizon, and you want to look good and feel great when it finally arrives.
Hoodie-and-shorts season is indeed upon us, and you need to revisit or revitalize your collection to be ready. Remember, you’ll need a zip-up hoodie for work, an oversized pullover hoodie for casual comfort, and a fitted pullover hoodie for whenever you can go out again, especially in the South.
— Parker Ainsworth