September 2, 2014

Will Your Next Business Suit Be an Executive Hoodie?

executive hoodie

Whoever thinks that hoodies don’t belong in the workplace has probably never seen the Executive Pinstripe Hoodie from Betabrand.

The Executive Hoodie is made from suit fabric and retails for $168. Mark Zuckerberg provided the inspiration behind the hoodie, and its launch coincided with the social media giant’s IPO.

So could a hoodie become the next big thing for business professionals? Probably not. But some office environments are becoming more casual. And even more consumers can appreciate the humor of Betabrand’s creation.

The San Francisco based startup focuses on clothing items that display a bit of quirky humor. Founder Chris Lindland originally launched the clothing company in 2005 as Cordarounds.com, a retailer of horizontal corduroy pants. He marketed these using pseudo scientific facts such as sideways corduroy’s ability to create less friction, (which leads to cooler crotches.)

In 2010, he decided to broaden the company’s offerings and changed the name to Betabrand.

The brand’s strategy is to create unique products with a sense of humor and then allow the people of the Internet to help the products go viral.

Even the product descriptions display some novelty and humor. The Executive Hoodie’s description reads:

“After years of experimentation and one enormous bill at our local particle accelerator, the fashion physicists at Betabrand have finally combined business-suit and hoodie molecules at the subatomic level. The result: Our new, limited-edition Gray Pinstripe Executive Hoodie, a revolutionary business-casual (or casual-business, if you prefer) breakthrough.”

Other Betabrand products include Dress Pant Sweatpants, Disco Hoodies, Dress Pant Yogapants, and Sons of Britches.

In addition to unique products and funny descriptions, the company also relies on participation from its customers and fans. The site displays images of customers wearing their purchases underneath the official product photos. It also utilizes a Think Tank, where customers can submit, vote for, and crowdfund new products and ideas.

That mix of customer involvement and a sense of humor that resonates with active Internet users is what has led to Betabrand’s viral success. Lindland had no prior fashion experience when he first launched the brand. But he did have an understanding of online marketing and a unique vision. And that has been enough to lead to online success so far.

Image: Betabrand

9 Comments ▼
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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a staff writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles and feature stories. She is a freelance writer specializing in marketing, social media, and creative topics. When she’s not writing for her various freelance projects or her personal blog Wattlebird, she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

9 Reactions

  1. Thanks for the press. Just wanted to let folks know that you can save 10-20% off any Betabrand purchase if you become a Model Citizen by modeling for us on our website: http://www.betabrand.com/modelcitizen. Any questions? Let me know.

  2. I think that a hoodies is quite cool. It can also serve a purpose when it is snowing or raining lightly. However, there is still something about hoodies that makes them look less formal than normal suits so I think the old suits are still here to stay.

    • They’re definitely practical in certain situations. I don’t think they’re necessarily going to replace suits, but it’s still an interesting concept.

  3. Hoodies in the workplace is definitely something great and new that would be a wondeful addition to formal fashion. It brings in variety in dressing for formal events.

    • Fashion has taken different levels through civilization over the years as people from different parts of the world have different types of dressing because of their culture. Wearing the hood on a formal dress to me will not make one appear formal. Think of the idea of wearing a long and loose piece of a material around you in your suit. One may want to have formal clothes more fitting than loose. Though fashion is dynamic and not static, the formal dress should be left to be what it is today having . We may however change the designs to have more variety.

  4. I really like the message this puts across, that we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously all the time, that it’s possible to mix business with humour and pleasure, and make a success of it.

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