In the world of hoodies, there’s a lot of same-ness. Sure, fits vary from slim to boxy to oversized and fabrics include fleece-back and loopback varieties, but the overall design is essentially codified. That’s why when I encountered Kapital’s Surf hoodie a number of years back, I was so intrigued. The iconoclastic Japanese brand was both playing by the rules and breaking them at the same time.
The Surf hoodie, designed in 2004, is cut from loop-back cotton and features a front pouch-pocket and ribbing along the cuffs and hem. All of those details are standard-fare for any sweatshirt. But the design of the upper part of the hoodie where things veer into a far more interesting direction. The garment has raglan sleeves and a large hood with a neckline that extends deep over the collar bones. To adjust the fit, the hood includes three buttons that secure under the chin. Undone, the hood and neckline are relaxed like a well-loved vintage sweatshirt. With a one or two buttons secured, the neckline is closer to a traditional hoodie, and when all buttons are fastened the hood fits closely around the face.
The roomy hood is a welcome addition from the norm without seeming like a caricature of a monk. I’ve got a large head and a lot of hair, so most traditional hoodies seem stifling when I wear a hood. With Kapital’s Surf hoodie, I never get claustrophobic donning the hood. On long plane flights, it’s my go-to garment — I can pull on the hood and disappear into my seat.
Made in Japan, the hoodie costs around $155 if you get it through a proxy service like Zenmarket. It comes in more than 10 colors and sizes fit for both men and women. If you’d prefer an option that isn’t emblazoned with ‘Surf’ you can get an indigo-dyed option for $212 without the block-letter word. While the investment isn’t small, these are well-made hoodies constructed to withstand years of use. Mine’s been in constant rotation for quite a while and I’ve only grown to love it more.