Has The Hoodie Become An Emblematic Fashion Piece?
The hoodie is probably fashion’s greatest unsung hero, it may not be extremely glamorous and luxurious but over decades, it has quietly but steadily taken over closets around the world, across age groups and styles to become a simple but crucial must-have in our fashion repertoire.
Once characterized as athletic gear or the uniform of internet hackers, it’s fair to say we all have a hoodie or several in our closets, and we proudly wear them outside the house – not just to the gym or to run errands. Hoodies are as much a staple for a trendy fashion influencer, and a busy intern or programmer working from home, as they are for a corporate CEO to wear after work and during the weekend. It’s also equally a popular choice for tweens.
In a lot of ways, the hoodie has become an iconic fashion piece, one that appeals to and represents so many people, but how did this come to be? How did this garment slowly creep up on us, and become something we really can’t live without? We’re going to look at the journey the hoodie has taken, highlighting the key moments that have made it what it is today.
It’s hard to mention the rise of the hoodie to iconic status without mentioning the role that music and cinema have played…but that’s actually not where it started.
It is believed the modern hoodie that we know and love to wear today was originated by pioneering apparel brand, Champion. They developed thick winter sweatshirts for factory workers, and added a hood to it in order to provide extra layer warmth for harsh winters. The brand soon started supplying training clothing to the US military and also to various athletes.
How did the hoodie become a mainstream piece of clothing? Look no further than the movie Rocky, where the hoodie was made front and center in one of the most iconic movie scenes of all time. The hoodie and other sport-inspired clothing also started featuring in hip hop videos, and since then, it has become more and more popular.
There was a point where the hoodie was considered a piece of clothing that’s a cut above pyjamas – you wore it for comfort and nothing else. Today, hoodies are considered fashionable in and of themselves.
What Makes the Hoodie So Iconic?
There’s a certain level of attitude that a hoodie brings to the energy of an outfit. Maybe it goes back to Rocky or the swagger of hip hop, but there’s something about wearing a hoodie that gives you a feeling of confidence and power. Sometimes you need that little extra punch to get you off the couch into the gym, and the hoodie provides that in spades.
There’s a reason why you can find a hood on a onesie for a baby, a college sweatshirt or an athleisure outfit. A hoodie appeals to everyone, and anyone can make it their own. Much like jeans or leather jackets, the hoodie is ultra-accessible and incredibly versatile.
It’s not like a fancy, expensive gown that only feels like something that’s only worn on special occasions or by super rich and famous people. A hoodie is for anyone and everyone, it’s a truly amazing piece that spans age groups, genders and cultures.
The hoodie was further cemented as a fashion classic when the athleisure boom of recent years took place. As more and more people started wearing workout gear outside of the gym, leggings became a fashion piece in their own right, and following closely was the hoodie, in various forms, from windbreaker to classic sweatshirt. We have brands like Ivy Park, Lululemon and Under Armor to thank for this.
In 2020, the hoodie really solidified its status as a wardrobe staple. Following the huge explosion of athleisure, people now had a reason to wear all those stylish sport-inspired pieces. With nowhere to go, people brought fashion to the clothes we wore indoors and the hoodie featured prominently in these looks.
Make a Statement
Hoodies can be a lot like graphic t-shirts, they can be used effectively to communicate a message, or make a bold statement. In a lot of ways, a hoodie is the warmer version of a graphic message tee. Whether it’s a university hoodie, a band hoodie or a hoodie with a bold message on it, a hoodie represents an identity, making a statement and standing up for something that represents you, and that’s one of the most powerful things about this seemingly humble piece of clothing.