A hooded sweatshirt, aka hoodie, zipped or pull-on, has cult status, stands for youth culture, and has been banned and outlawed. The hoodie symbolizes protest, and Facebook’s Zuckerberg swops a business suit for a grey zip-up hoodie. Fashionistas wear Hilfiger, Armani, and Lauren sweatshirts with hoods. And Shaun Diddy’s diamond-studded hoodie is in London’s V&A Museum.
The hoodie is close to a century old with a history of use in factories and then became a leisure item with Norma Kamali’s designs in the seventies. Now you get a hoodie in each wardrobe. Wardrobe organizing hacks know how to fold a hoodie and tidy a closet or a traveling case. The few folds are like doing clothing origami.
- 1x hooded sweatshirt, aka hoodie (with a zipper or a pullover without a zipper)
- A table, a bed, or floor space
What follows are ten easy steps to fold your hoodie into a rectangle, then a square, flip it into the hood, neatly parcelled, and ready to pack away.
Step 1. Lay Hoodie Straight
Sweatshirts with hoods come in different styles and can be pulled over your head or zipped up in front. The hood often is a design feature with drawstrings like those from GAP, Nike, and Roadster, among others. Also, hoodies are off-beat shapes, not rectilinear or square like a sweatshirt but have the hood as an appendix sticking out.
There are novel ways to use the hood as a pocket for a hoodie. Before you fold a hoodie, zip it up. Hoodies’ sleeve designs can differ, with some following the sweatshirt body’s shoulder line and others as a shoulder-less raglan sleeve. Start with laying out the sweatshirt with a hood on a flat surface. You can use a table, bed, or even the floor to fold a hoodie.
Start by putting the hood at the top furthest away from you. The zip-side or front side must be underneath and facing downwards on the flat surface. The bottom of the sweatshirt body must be facing you.
With your hands, smooth out the hoodie’s shape – stretch the sleeves on opposite sides of the hoodie, and smooth down the shoulder lines and side seams. Make sure the neckline is flat, and flatten the hoodie shape with your fingers. The base of the sweatshirt hoodie must be closest to where you are.
The steps are easy to get right once you’ve lain out the hooded sweatshirt flat and smoothed out any creases with your hands. The hood needs to be above – a hoodie laid out at this stage has the shape of a cross. The sleeves must lie on the hoodie's left and right sides.
Step 2. Fold the Sleeves
Facing the hoodie, start with either the left or the right sleeve. Lift the sleeve up and across to the middle of the sweatshirt body. Keep an eye on the outer-seam line of the hooded sweatshirt and fold the sleeve back in line with this outside seam. You must use the center line of the back of the hoodie as a guide.
It would help if you folded the sleeves toward the center of the sweatshirt's body. Once you've done one sleeve, do the same with the sleeve on the opposite side. If the sleeves are longer than the width of the sweatshirt, press your palm down at the elbow length, and make a second fold. Use this midway point to make a double fold with the sleeve pointing downwards to the base of the hoodie.
Again, it would help if you smoothed down the new shape of the hoodie.
Step 3. Visualize a Rectangular Shape
With the sleeves folded in line with the outer side edge of the sweatshirt, you have to look next at where the hood joins the shoulder seam. The best way to remember this step is to visualize a rectangular shape. The shape at the center of the sweatshirt body needs to be spread out. It would be best to flatten the shape after you've folded the sleeves.
The line for the rectangle stretches from the top of the shoulder seam downward. Use where the hood joins and work to the base of the sweatshirt. You must pinpoint where the hood joins the shoulder seam (near the neck). And then, you can visualize two lines running parallel and downwards to the base. These are the guiding lines for the next step.
Step 4. Fold Outer-Seams Back to the Center
Next, you must fold the outer seam towards the center back of the hoodie. Use the join of the hood to the neck and shoulder seams as a guiding point. The line that stretches from this point to the bottom of the hoodie is what you use. And, holding the folded sleeves in place and with the line as a guide, start on one side. Do one fold at a time.
The outer side of the hoodie must be in line with the point where the hood attaches. Smooth the new fold down. Then, repeat this. Again bring the outside seam in line with the point where the hood attaches. And, smooth down these new folds. You’ll be left with a sweatshirt body that’s the shape of a rectangle. The hood is above.
The process seems time-consuming, but you’ll do this quickly and easily with repetition. And, above all, folding a hoodie is fun.
Step 5. Change Rectangle Shape to a Square
Facing the hoodie, a rectangular shape with a hood, use your hands to hold the outer edges of the base of the hoodie and lift these points slowly. It would be best if you folded the base seam back to the point where the hood attaches to the shoulder seam.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll be left with a square shape – the sleeves folded in, the sides matching the outer hood-shoulder join, and the sweatshirt folded in half.
Step 6.Shape and Flatten Square
A quick tip is always to straighten out and flatten each fold. Use your hands to smooth down and even out the new shapes. Once you've folded back the base seam to the shoulder seam, you'll have a square shape and, at the top, the hood.
At this stage, you'll need to turn the square over. Press on the base, which is at the top shoulder seam, with one hand. And with the other, take the bottom fold, use both your hands, and turn the hoodie over. The front side of the hoodie will be on top. Once turned, ensure the square shape is intact. Also, smooth down to even out the form.
Step 7. Make a Pocket
The fun part is when you make a pocket out of the hood. With the hoodie sweatshirt detail folded in a square, flicked over with the front side facing you, you must get the hood in the correct position. Use both your hands to draw the hood out and across the square. Once you've done this, open the hood to the sides and to reach the top.
It would help if you got the hood flat across the top of the folded sweatshirt before flicking it over again. You must have the hood lying flat on the folded square. Similarly, it would be best to use both hands to avoid unraveling the folded sweatshirt when you turn it over, which is the next stage.
Step 8. Put Sweatshirt Body Into the Hood
The moment has arrived, an origami one, when you transform your hooded sweatshirt into a parcel. With the sweatshirt body nestling on the hood, the front side facing you open up the hood. Bring the sides of the hood over the folded sweatshirt. Work all around and tuck the sides of the sweatshirt into the hood.
Once smoothed out, the hood creates a pocket to keep the hoodie in!
Step 9. Use Drawstrings To Secure The Hoodie
Neatly folded, squared, and in the hood, you must tidy the hoodie's shape. Push the square into the corners and flatten the sweatshirt with your hands. Most hoodies have drawstrings. The drawstrings adjust the hood when you wear a hoodie to protect you against the weather.
And when you are folding a hoodie, you can use the hood's drawstrings to make a parcel-like shape for your hoodie. You can use the drawstrings to neaten up the package you've folded. It would help if you slowly drew the drawstrings to tighten in to fit tightly around the edges of the hood.
If your hoodie doesn’t have drawstrings, you must fold the top and sides of the hood neatly over the square.
Step10. Flatten Pocket Detail
The square shape you've made by folding the sleeves in, squaring the central part of the sweatshirt, and finally tucking the hoodie into the hood leaves a neat parcel. The last bit would be to flatten and neaten the hoodie in a hood.
With your hoodie in its hood, you can neatly pack it away. And if
you start folding your hoodie this way, your closet won't be cluttered with a hoodie shoved into the shelves. And you'll not look disheveled when you wear it next.