Most people today wear hoodies and do so without much thought about its history or how it came to be. But the history that led to this garment’s popularity is actually a fascinating and nuanced one!
A hoodie now is a piece of clothing worn everywhere from gyms to workplaces to travels, but it wasn’t always so. You can find them easily in Fresh Clean Tees online store, for example.
Curious how it all happened, and when did hoodies become popular? Keep reading!
First garments with hoods
The first hooded garments date all the way to 12th century Europe. You’ve probably seen movies set in Medieval times where monks wore hooded robes – yes, that’s exactly what we’re talking about.
Outdoor workers also wore hooded capes called “chaperons” to protect themselves from the harsh elements. While these did resemble today’s hoodies a little, it took more than eight centuries for the modern hoodie to see the light of day.
Origins of the modern hoodie
The first brand to start producing hoodies was Champion, when they began making sweatshirts from thicker material in the early 1930s. Soon after that, a hood was added to those sweatshirts to protect workers and athletes from the wind and provide them with some extra warmth.
This became the favorite garment of high-school football players and other athletes who wore hoodies to train during lousy weather.
Girlfriends, skaters, and hip hop culture
It took a few decades for the hoodie to become more widespread and one of the groups that contributed to their popularity were athlete girlfriends in the 70s. The athletes gave their girlfriends their hoodies as a romantic sign and what teenage girls start wearing soon becomes fashionable at any decade!
Around 1974 -1975, hoodies were adopted by subcultures such as graffiti artists, break-dancers, and rappers. Among the reasons was the fact that besides warmth, the hoodies also provide anonymity. Hoodies were also relatively cheap and easy to take care of.
Then, in 1976 the blockbuster Rocky movie came out and gave the hoodie worn in running and training scenes a popularity boost. This rags-to-riches story won three Oscars and has become an instant classic.
Muggers and the bad rep
Despite the spike in popularity, hoodies were still seen as “alternative” clothing and the fact that street muggers quickly realized that it’s a great garment to wear while stealing didn’t help.
People also were very hard to accept hip-hop music and the culture’s fashion style that featured hoodies heavily. It was deemed “bad” and “dangerous to kids.”
Another subculture that started wearing hoodies was skaters and surfers – again seen as rebels and a bad influence on kids.
While adults did not approve of these subcultures, the youth marveled and wanted to copy them. More and more young people started wearing them as a sign of being different and wanting to stand out. People started using the term “hoodie” in the 1990s as it became necessary with its growing popularity.
Designers and the mainstream
It took until the late 90s and early 2000s for hoodies to enter the mainstream in part thanks to such designers as Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, who were inspired by street fashion. They created new “edgy” clothing lines for high school and college students and made hoodies appropriate and acceptable.
That was a long road from the 70-the 80s when the hoodie embodied an outlaw culture!
When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wore a hoodie on Wall Street in the early 2010s, he established it as part of the “tech” and “nerd” culture uniform and made it acceptable in the eyes of “serious” people.
Today there are endless hoodie styles, from classic oversized to tailored options appropriate to wear to the office.