Today, we’re seeing a strong renewed interest in hooded dresses and tops. Here's how I styled this Hyein Seo piece, which translates the trend from red-carpet glam to everyday fashion without diluting any of the drama.

How To Wear a Hooded Dress or Top: Styling 2023’s Coolest Trend

Today, we’re seeing a strong renewed interest in hooded dresses and tops. Here's how I styled this Hyein Seo piece, which translates the trend from red-carpet glam to everyday fashion without diluting any of the drama.
May 29, 2023
article by Mari Alexander/

photography by Mari Alexander

Slightly inclement weather need not rain on your well-put-together outfit, thanks to the year’s most unexpected trend – the loosely draped, built-in hood.

We’re seeing this high priestess-y, dramatic look everywhere: on runways, red carpets, and even music videos (looking at you, Miley Cyrus and your gorgeous Yves Saint Laurent golden number). I briefly touched upon the trend upon my return from Copenhagen Fashion Week, sharing a look that featured a knitted hood. But today, I want to do a deep dive into the trend because by the looks of it, it’s here to stay – at least for the summer.

But first, some history. You can trace back the beginnings of the hooded garment to Medieval Europe. Stemming from the Anglo-Saxon word “höd,” the accessory functioned mainly to protect the wearer from the elements (or in the case of chainmail hoods, from attacks during war). Those in the monastic life wore it – and still do – to shut out surrounding distractions during prayer. Whatever the purpose, the beauty of the hood has always been its practicality; pull it up when you need it without having to carry it around like you would a hat.

It wasn’t until the 1980s that hoods – elevated hoods, not the frumpy sweatshirt stuff – began cropping up as a solid fashion statement. Yves Saint Laurent brought it to the runway with a collection of decadent and dramatic hooded dresses; as did Azzedine Alaïa. I mean, it’s almost impossible to talk about hooded garments without bringing up Grace Jones in the iconic hooded Alaïa pieces, amirite? Of course, as most trends do, hoods popped their heads out several times between then and now. Just take a look at DKNY’s 2017 runway show, and you’ll see some familiar faces wearing the trend.

But let’s focus on the now. Today, we’re seeing a strong renewed interest in hoods. Saint Laurent dug into its archives, pulling the trend back into the limelight with its spring 2023 show. It was impossible to ignore – silky hoods swathed heads for nearly every look. The trend also turned up in so many other designers’ collections – from Tom Ford to Coperni. On the red carpet, it became a particularly haute statement. At a Bulgari event in Italy, Anne Hathaway slipped in a sparkly hooded Atelier Versace gown; I couldn’t scroll through social media longer than a minute without running into the look. Jenna Ortega wore an all-black Saint Laurent number that I’m still fawning over.

I personally love the look. Not only is it a perfect way to cover up a bad hair day, it’s also just strangely empowering. You can’t help but feel somewhat goddess-like when you drape a loose hood over your head. I know I did with this Hyein Seo piece, which translates the trend from “red-carpet glam” to “everyday fashion” without diluting any of the drama. The South Korean streetwear designer first captured the attention of the fashion world with her thesis collection at Antwerp’s prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts, and from there, it was a quick ascent to global adoration.

Seo’s experimental style takes its cues from counterculture and dystopian themes. A lot of her designs feature layered construction, twisted necklines, and elasticized straps and ties. It often takes a bit of mental gymnastics to figure out how to wear them. This top in particular was a doozy, but once I had it sorted out, it was well worth the effort. Even though the top was a little on the sheer side (for me, at least), I loved the asymmetrical hood and the hardware embellishments on the hanging strap.

I paired this statement piece with a maxi denim skirt from Andreadamo, helmed by Andrea Adamo, known for dreaming up knitwear that borders on shapewear. Think: body-hugging tops and dresses rendered in neutral shades and organic textures. Draped ties and straps also make an appearance in Adamo’s work. Case in point: this maxi denim skirt with straps dangling from its cargo pockets. Marrying the hooded element of the top with the ankle-grazing length of the skirt created a striking silhouette while keeping the look’s wearability at an “easy-to-moderate” level.

Want to experiment with the hooded silhouette? Shop every item from this look below.