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The History of The Hoodie

history of the hoodie

Although we must honor our respected t-shirt and its versatile possibilities. We must also remember there are other garments in our grasp that are just are honorable and comfortable as such. The first one that comes to mind: the hoodie.

Some may refer to it as a sweatshirt but you’d be wrong. There’s a specific difference. A sweatshirt does not have attached hood. Simple as that. And when you need a warmer piece of clothing, who the hell doesn’t want a hood? Sure a hoodie is just a sweatshirt with a hood, but there’s many cultural implications that the hoodie provides. A sweatshirt just doesn’t have a chance.

Along with the hood, a hoodie can also have a zipper in the front, drawstrings for the hood, or, often enough, a muff sewn into the front to keep the hands warm.

Although hoods have been popular since the monks of Medieval Times looked like badasses with them over their heads, praying and kicking some devil’s ass, manufacturing of a “hoodie” wasn’t introduced to the US until the start of the 1930s. And much like the t-shirt, which was made for working men purposes, the hoodie was no different. Produced by the company Champion, they were first sold to laborers who had to endure freezing cold weather, the hood being a protectant for the ears and face.

The use of the hoodie lasted as such until the 1970s where three major factors changed the matter: hip hop culture, high-profile fashion designers, and Rocky. All three factors popularized the hoodie to national attention in which several demographics of people embraced the new clothing.  A swirling culture of hoodies was now in effect with every society embracing them. From the streets of New York to the steps of Philadelphia, the hoodie could be seen.

Another major factor to it’s popularity was the ability to mask a person’s face and shroud their appearance. With such, the hood also became popular with anyone who possessed criminal intent. Yikes. Gosh darn thugs and no-goods is what I call them. This spurred backlash in several countries where the use of a hoodie was frowned upon. The UK especially saw any hoodie-users as potential threats and would often require people to take off their hoodies or, at least, remove their hoods.

By the 90’s the west coast had also embraced the hoodie, skateboarders and surfers were the first to wear them but soon the trend rose until universities and schools began using the hoodie as a significant choice of apparel.

Although controversy arose with the hoodie’s ability to mask one’s appearance, in recent times, the hoodies has been embraced by many cultures. Even the UK’s once strict policies against hoodies has changed and the culture has embraced their functionality. With some bans still in effect for the country, some people move forward to accept the garment as an effective way to stay warm and guard yourself from cold winds and rain.

So the next time it’s too cold for a t-shirt, remember there’s a warm, cuddly option waiting for you that’s been part of human history for the last 80 years. Embrace it, y’all. The hoodie.

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