The fall semester is underway in the Chicago area, even though summer isn’t officially over until late September.
This school year marks the earliest start date for Chicago Public Schools in recent memory and students have endured extreme heat since classes began on Aug. 21.
But the weather isn’t impacting how students dress for class. Parents have been poking fun at their kids on social media for wearing hooded sweatshirts year-round.
WBEZ’s Nereida Moreno stopped by Kenwood Academy High School on the city’s South Side on a recent hot day to learn why hoodies are now a closet staple for Gen Z.
Senecca Ruiz, 15, a sophomore, wears a gray Levi’s hoodie to class. He considers hoodies to be a fashion statement.
Isaac Shariff, 16, a junior, wears a cream-colored Adidas hoodie on recent Tuesday but has one in every color. He said teens wear hoodies because they want to feel comfortable.
Kamron Coppage, 16, a sophomore, wears a hooded black sweatshirt featuring the popular hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan. He said he regretted wearing a hoodie during a heat wave the first week of class.
Juanita Jones, 16, a junior, wears a custom hoodie designed by her mother’s coworkers. She wears hooded sweatshirts in the summer because it’s cold out during her early morning commute to school.
Demitri West, 16, a junior, wears a light pink hoodie with a photo of a palm tree in Los Angeles. He says hoodies make him feel more at ease in his own skin, and he likes the design and fit.
Jori Johnson, 17, a senior, said she feels comfortable in her zip-up black hoodie. It’s one of the top fashion staples in teens’ closets, she says.
Malcolm Fleming, 17, a senior, has about 50 hoodies in his closet, ranging from $30 dollar versions from H&M to more intricately designed $300 pieces.