Wearing hoodies in the summer may seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually quite common among teenagers. There are a few reasons why teens tend to wear hoodies even when it’s hot outside:
Hoodies are extremely comfortable. They’re made of soft, lightweight fabrics like cotton, fleece, or jersey that feel good against the skin. Teens often prioritize comfort over weather-appropriateness when getting dressed. Wearing a cozy hoodie provides a sense of security and warmth.
Hoodies allow teens to express their personal style. Oversized hoodies with graphic prints or brand logos are a staple of teen fashion. Hoodies come in many colors and patterns, so teens can show off their unique tastes. Wearing a hoodie displays belonging to certain subcultures like skater, hip hop, or anime fandoms.
Hoodies are functional garments that serve many purposes for teens:
- Pockets – Hoodies have front kangaroo pockets that hold phones, wallets, keys, and other personal items. Teens like having their belongings hands-free.
- Layering – Hoodies work great as light jackets. Teens layer them over tank tops or t-shirts for extra warmth indoors or after sunset.
- Head Cover – Hoods provide shade and privacy. Teens use them to cover messy hair or conceal earbuds.
For some teens, wearing a hoodie in the summer is an act of rebellion or refusal to conform. Schools often prohibit hoods indoors, so wearing them expresses resistance to authority. Hoodies allow teens to keep a low profile and avoid interacting when feeling anti-social.
Why Hoodies Are Common Among Teens
Beyond trendiness and utility, there are a few reasons why hoodies appeal specifically to teenagers:
Teens dress to fit in with their peer group. If hoodies are considered cool among their friends, teens will wear them to avoid sticking out. Even in hot weather, a teen may feel socially pressured to sport a hoodie.
Many parents dislike hoodies for being sloppy, unsafe, or gang-related. Teen rebelliousness leads them to adopt fashions that parents disapprove of. Wearing a hoodie symbolizes independence and forging one’s own identity.
Adolescence involves many physical and emotional changes that teens may find stressful or overwhelming. Hoodies literally surround the wearer with soft, cozy material that provides comfort and security during turbulent times.
Hoodies are inexpensive, casual apparel available at any department or discount store. Teens have limited budgets, so hoodies appeal as cheap options compared to pricier jackets. Hand-me-downs from older siblings also contribute to hoodie ubiquity.
Concerns About Teens Wearing Hoodies
While hoodie wearing is generally harmless for teens, some concerns have been raised:
Hoodies worn upright can partially obstruct vision. Critics argue hoods reduce peripheral sight lines, creating a safety hazard. However, most teens push their hoods back when increased visibility is truly necessary.
Concealing Weapons or Contraband
School administrators sometimes associate hoodies with crime and violence. But prohibiting hoodies has not been conclusively shown to reduce rates of weapons or drugs in schools. Enforcement of such bans also raises issues of racial discrimination.
Hoodies are not inherently gang-related, but some law enforcement profiling has linked hoodies to criminal activity. Stereotyping teens as threatening or suspicious based on wearing hoodies remains highly problematic.
Teen hoodie wearers are often labeled as brooding, sullen, or up to no good. These negative stereotypes are largely unfair, as most teens don hoodies for the same practical reasons as anyone else. Assuming ill intent due to a hoodie ultimately does more harm than good.
Health Considerations of Hoodies in Hot Weather
While fashionable, wearing hoodies in high heat carries some health risks that teens should keep in mind:
Excessive sweating in a hoodie that’s not breathable can lead to dehydration, nausea, weakness and collapse due to heat exhaustion. Teens should ensure proper hydration and ventilation on hot days.
A hoodie traps in body heat and prevents sweat from evaporating. This raises core temperature, which can result in discomfort, fatigue, or heat-related illness if severe. Overheating may also trigger skin issues like prickly heat rash.
A thick hoodie blocks the sun’s rays, but exposed skin still needs sunscreen. The hood offers shade for the face, but the neck, hands and legs remain vulnerable to UV damage without diligent protection.
Safe Hoodie Wearing Tips for Teens
While hoodies aren’t inherently problematic, teens should follow certain precautions:
- Choose lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton-poly blends
- Layer a tank underneath to allow sweat to wick away
- Hydrate frequently with water to replace lost fluids
- Take off hoodie immediately if overheated and rest in the shade
- Use sunscreen on any exposed skin
- Be aware of reduced peripheral vision from an upright hood
- Consider wearing hood down if increased visibility is needed
- Wash regularly to eliminate bacteria that can cause body odor
Teen hoodie wearing is largely driven by the pursuit of comfort, style and belonging. While some concerns exist around safety and stereotyping, most teens sport hoodies for innocent reasons. With proper precautions, hoodies can be part of safe and healthy wardrobes for teens – even in summer!