As big guys, we’ve all got a closet full of hoodies. They come in all styles and colors, and they’re usually pretty inexpensive. Generally you put one on to run errands because its comfortable, roomy, and let’s face it, always seems to fit. But what if we take the hoodie and instead of dressing it down, we dress it up?

“I seem to have a bevy of big comfortable hoodies. I love how they feel, but want to figure out a way I can wear them to work our out to dinner. Can you help?” – Eric

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Eric, we can absolutely help. The savvy big guy is always looking for ways to stretch his wardrobe and making a hoodie do double duty is a great way to achieve that. When dressing a hoodie up, think about pairing it with a brightly colored button down or traditional check (as pictured). Throwing on a slim tie and a dark pair of jeans pulls the look together. For shoes, try a wing tip oxford with a contrasting colored sole (Stafford at JCPenney. $50), they’re a perfect finishing touch while still being playful. It’s a look that’s perfect for a more creative work environment, or happy hour with friends. You can even untuck the button down and unzip the hoodie to give it a more casual, but still refined look.

The hoodie we chose here (Calvin Klein, Macys up to 4X) is a slimmed down version of the hoodie we all know and love. It has a waffled texture and riveted details on the shoulders and pockets. When shopping for a hoodie, remember to look for a slimmer silhouette and something with a little extra detail.

This Ralph Lauren plaid version gives that extra pop of style while still keeping the essential elements of a hoodie, meaning you won’t have to trade comfort for style. For a less bold look, this Old Navy Thin-Striped hoodie (Sizes to 3X at OldNavy.com) works well for this application. It’s a thin material and won’t ad bulk when layering.

There you go Eric, your hoodies don’t have to be banished to football games or dog walking excursions. Find ones that fit you well and mix and match button downs and polos to find a look that works best on you. And when you do, send the pics our way.

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