A Humble Beginning
It is claimed that the first hoodie was produced by Champion Products, a company that begin life as the Knickerbocker Knitting Company and was a sweater mill. They made sweatshirts and later a hood was added in order to protect the wearers from the elements when outside.
Sweaters have been around for many more years, although they were originally knitted garments made from wool to help protect against the cold and often worn by sailors. The original sweaters were worn during by athletes to stay warm before and after events.
Many schools worked with Champion who provided hooded sweatshirts so that those participating in sports could stay warm when waiting or warming up. As schools often provide a starting point of new fashions, they soon became popular throughout the schools and further a field.
Street Wear And A Bad Reputation
As hip hop culture began to develop in the 70’s, hoodies were being seen more frequently on the streets. Graffiti writers wore them to keep a low profile and break dancers to keep their body warm.
In terms of the big screen, the iconic character, Rocky Balboa wears one while training. It connected this item of clothing with hard work and training and brought it even more into the mainstream of working class culture.
There was also another purpose for the hoodie at this time and this was to hide the wearers identity when committing crimes and not just those of the Graffiti artists but also those looking to steal. The hood was the perfect solution to hide their faces so they were hard to identify.
Another group that found this clothing useful was the skateboarders. In this period skaters used empty swimming pools and other areas which were illegal to practice their skills and hiding their identity was a great solution.
When gangsta rap emerged, the hoodie was the chosen garment of many artists as it suited their music and attitude.
New Fashions – New Attitudes
There are many main stream clothing designers that take inspiration for new fashions from the streets and it was these designers that began to make the hoodie more main stream.
The hoodie did and still does have a bad reputation. From robberies to violence, descriptions of the culprit would generally always include wearing a hoodie. This caused many establishments to ban them from being worn on their premises.
In the past 80 years or so, the hoodie has become a flexible piece of clothing worn by people from a variety of walks of life and almost a necessity to any wardrobe. At this time, almost everyone probably owns one, not only because of its flexibility. They are also warm, extremely comfortable and can be worn and be accepted in a variety of situations, from the gym to shopping or with a shirt and tie. They are a popular garment for couples wishing to be coordinated in their fashion who can choose custom king and queen hoodies to wear together. These are a popular logo to wear for a couple but there are many of this type to choose from.