A brief history of the humble hoodie

Everything you didn't know about your favourite fashion staple.

Kanye said it best when he said: "sweatshirts are fucking important."

You own a hoodie. Bold statement? Absolutely.

Do we know we’re right? Damn straight.

For anyone really confused right now, hoodies are typically made from a cotton-jersey and the essential element is the hood — some have drawstrings, marsupial pouches, materials like cotton and polyester, zippers or none of the above.

Hoodies are an effortless way to look cool and casual while staying comfortable — especially on those WTF am I going to wear? mornings. They are an everyday, wash-and-wear staple, worn by everyone from freelancers to CEOs.

Keep reading to see how your favourite mainstay made it into mainstream fashion.

Hoodie history 101

According to design curator Paola Antonelli, the hoodie’s history stretches back over 3,000 years to the ancient Greeks and Romans.

By the 17th century, women had started to wear hoods to hide when they went to meet with their lovers. Awww romance. While they helped these ladies avoid scandal, they were also seen as scary. Hoodies had woven themselves into the fabric of society’s associations with death, attached to both the Grim Reaper and executioners.

More chill and less chilling, the modern-day hoodie was invented in the 1930s by Knickerbocker Knitting Company, which became the brand Champion. It was developed to help warehouse labourers in upstate New York stay warm during the frigid winters. From there, it was adopted by workmen and athletes everywhere. 

It was in the 1970s when the hoodie began its heyday. Hip-hop was taking off in the urban centres of the United States, while American universities began plastering their logos and crests on sweatshirts, and the 1976 film Rocky famously saw the titular working-class hero jogging up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in his iconic grey hooded jumper.

In the 1980s, hip-hop artists were moving more into mainstream music — and hoodies came with them. The musicians were emulating the power and success of athletes, and their ostentatious style formed a sort of chicken-and-egg relationship with gang culture. By the 1990s, the hoodie had become a staple in wardrobes around the world, spanning college campuses and counter-cultural movements.

Following the turn of the century, for better or for worse, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg defied corporate norms by making a hoodie, t-shirt and jeans his every day #OOTD. It was a fashion moment that turned into a movement. A suit in the work place… no way.

Today, hoodies bridge hip-hop and high fashion. With the rise of streetwear, they have become fixtures on catwalks from Tokyo to New York to Paris, not to mention celebrities everywhere.

Hoodies have become the ultimate symbol of casual cool. Since you definitely own one, let us help your own it in your next outfit.

How to style your hoodie

Winter winner

There are so many different ways you can wear your hoodie. In Australia we have such varying weather that can really hit the colder numbers down south! Hoodies are our favourite layer player and we like to wear ours paired with a coat, blue jeans and boots.

OOO: Outstanding Office Outfits

While a hoodie has become commonplace in the modern office, it wouldn't hurt to dress it up. Try out street-style chic with a hoodie over a pair of wide-legged pants and white sneakers, and transition easily from spreadsheets to spirits.

Weekend warrior

Running errands but don’t want to look like you ran out of outfit ideas? Hit the town in your favourite hoodie with a statement coat or over a white button down, sweatpants and your biggest boots. Need to dress it up later in the day? A skinny pair of jeans and you're good to go.  

Summertime radness

During the summer, we sport hoodies over shorts and sandals on chilly beach or park nights. While we may wear options made out of wool or fleece in the winter, we break out more breathable cotton editions during the summer.


 Inspired by Original Post https://www.frankandoak.com/handbook/style/history-of-the-hoodie