Whether you are Darth Sidious floating around the cold corridors of the Death Star (yes a Star Wars reference), an athlete trying to keep warm, recovering from a hangover from a rough Friday night, or just trying to go for a stroll around town everyone has come to know that the hoodie has become a welcomed, and loved, addition to their closets. No matter what you think about how hoodies (hooded sweatshirts, sweatshirts, or whatever else you would like to call them) look, no one can deny how comfortable and warm they are. Hoodies are a staple in our lives, wardrobes, and they come with a multitude of different options along with varying styles. Today, with this blog, we will take you down the trail of where those hoodies originated from, some major historic staples, modern highlights, and why you just love that hooded sweatshirt so darn much!
The Early Years
We can get a bit bold with our timeline. However due to the lack of resources, we will gradually jump to the 20th century. Many can argue about the modern origins of the hoodies we have in our closets today; however, we are going to take the hooded sweatshirt concept back a bit further than that. Possibly further than you anticipate. We are going to catalog the hoodie back to when the action of hooded, warm garments first originated to get an understanding of its full evolution.
Arguably, the hoodie first got its start in ancient Greece over 3,000 years ago and were then adopted by the monks of the medieval world to be worn as hooded robes. Soon after as the years started to drag on into the 17th century; women then used hooded shawls to hide their identity for promiscuous activities in the evening (if you know where we are going with that).
The Hoodie of the 20th Century
The more modernized version of the hoodie that we know today had its roots in the early 20th century and was created by the Knickerbocker Knitting Company, a company founded in 1919. The Knickerbocker Knitting Company (today known as Champion) claims to have created the first modern day hoodies, and still maintains that claim. The original reason for Knickerbocker’s creation of the hoodie was to keep warehouses workers in the cold winters of upstate New York warm during those frigid winter months. Once that kicked off, the hoodie started to spread to other workforces avenues and then further to professional athletes. The hooded sweatshirts did not meet its true prominence until the 1970’s and the dynamic shift in American entertainment culture took the hoodie along with it for the ride.
Hoodie’s Growing Popularity
The 1970’s saw the dawn of a lot of major fashion statements throughout, not only America, but the world. It was the age of awakening for many cultural aspects of the world. The hoodie also had its defining moment in the spotlight, especially as a result of the increasing popularity of the hip-hop genre. Not only were the biggest names in hip-hop sporting these warm companions, but so too were colleges. Universities across American began to embroider their logos on hoodies and students ate them up in bulk. In 1976, the internationally famous movie “Rocky” further helped to propel the hoodie to athletes across America as it was seen in many different scenes being used by the fictional boxing champion as he performed his workouts. That movies inspiration helped to advertise the hoodie which rode that inspirational wave to many closets.
Later as the 1970’s came to a close, the 1980’s started to stream onto the scene and hip-hop along with it. No longer was hip-hop and underground movement but hitting the mainstream streets and billboards across the United States. Along with this rise in popularity, hoodies as a leisure item (and fashion statement) rose with hip-hops fame as the rappers were seen wearing the warm sweatshirts in their music videos and on the streets. The emulation that hip-hop had with many athletes and their lifestyle went hand in hand with the use of the hoodie as before hip-hop really took off, hoodies were only mainly used by athletes for training. It wasn’t until the 1990’s hit the scene that the hoodie took off as a college staple, and now we are all seen longing for owning a hoodie of our favorite American university.
Now we have seen the hoodie make a different turn and take a larger role in cultural movements, and even in the workplace. As modern companies tend to “tone down” their professional work environments for a more office friendly setting, CEO’s are even now seen wearing simplistic hoodies representing their companies, with office staff following close in toe. Not only this, but we are seeing a large cultural movement now in the 2020’s which has carried momentum from the tail end of the 10’s. Movements and organizations within the United States, like Black Lives Matter or MAGA movements for example, are seen demonstrating with hoodies representing their organizations or slogans. This has carried a trend now as these movements grow, and politics has taken center stage in the interests of today. With the movements aside, celebrities and cultures everywhere are adapting the hoodie to their wardrobe as street style has become a large, and ever expanding, trend in the world today.
Popular Icons and Hoodies Today
Many popular icons have been seen sporting and favoring hoodies in our modern age. Hip-hop artists Eminem brought the hoodie to life in northern suburban households with his rise to fame while being constantly seen wearing his grey hoodie. Many early hip-hop artists that emulated that sport style we referenced earlier like Puff Daddy, Run DMC, Tupac Shakur, and Fat Joe emulated the use of hoodies in their work (along with an extremely large list of 90’s and 00’s rappers as well). Major staples in professional society today, mainly main tech company CEOs emulated a toned down office lifestyle like Mark Zuckerberg for example, who employs the use of his iconic blue zip-up hoodie often on camera. The list is essentially endless, and ranges from a vast amount of punk, rock, hip-hop, rap, and cultural icons.
We all know it. The hoodies may have seemed to have a young upbringing in society today, but are, in fact, a very old wardrobe choice for humans dating back thousands of years. We absolutely love our hoodies, and we are sure that you do too. They are warm, comforting, roomy, and fashionable; there is no reason not to love them; and it’s obvious why they have become so popular over the years! Hoodies are here to stay, whether you love them or not. We actually happen to have plenty of them available should you be interested, and with winter right around the corner… it would be a perfect time to brows around, don’t you think?
No matter your shopping decision, we hope that you found this history of the hoodie to be insightful, and fun. Hoodies are such a great clothing choice we couldn’t help but to dive on in and find out what exactly made them to be the fashion staple of today. Stay warm friends!