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History of the Hoodie
It’s a fair assumption that most people own a comfortable custom hoodie as part of their clothing collection, and few can resist relying on it at the end of a long day or when they want to relax at the weekends. It’s perfect for when you’re travelling, if you’re on the way to the gym, if you’re trying to make a smart look more casual, and it is a garment that both young and old enjoy wearing as it is effortless. But when does the hoodie date back to and how has it gained popularity over the years to become one of our best-loved garments?
The hoodie actually dates back as far as the 1920s when the first variations of the cotton jersey were created to give athletes added warmth without the need for wool, which can be an itchy and uncomfortable material. Its modest beginnings came to be with Champion Products who made the very first hooded sweatshirt. The hood was added to protect athletes from the elements when they were training outside, as well as labourers who adopted the garment into their workwear as a form of warmth too when working in cold factories or cold conditions.
But it wasn’t until the 1970s when it made its way into everyday wear for the public, when it was adopted as a signature style for the early founders of the hip hop movement. When Sylvester Stallone wore a hoodie in the Rocky film series, it became a symbol of working-class culture. From here, the hoodie became a staple with skater and punk culture. It was in the late ‘70s that American designer, Norma Kamali, became one of the first designers to put a hooded sweatshirt onto the runway which designers have taken inspiration from ever since. It was around this time that universities also adopted this item of clothing and began to emblazon hoodies with their branding and logo.
The ‘90s saw groups like Wu Tang Clan and Cypress Hill sporting a more casual look, complete with hoodies, and the cover of the 1993 album Enter the Wu-Tang depicted the hoodie too and hoodies made their way to concert merchandise. It was during the ‘90s that the term ‘hoodie’ became more widely used too. Clothing designers like Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger have often taken inspiration from street style and helped to bring the hoodie full circle from schools and the streets to high fashion and back again, with all of the cultural associations that are now attached to this simple item of clothing.
Youth communities have become connected with hoodies in more recent years, influenced by urban culture and modern lifestyles. From skateboarding and punk to sports and hip hop music, there are so many cultural ties with hoodies now that it’s become an integral element of how we dress today. This beloved garment can be dressed up or down and has become a key feature of many peoples’ wardrobes for its easy wear, comfort and range of colours and patterns to choose from.