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For other meanings, see Hoodie (disambiguation).
A man wearing a hoodie

A hoodie (also called a hooded sweatshirt or hoody) is a sweatshirt with a hood. They often include a muff sewn onto the lower front, a hood, and (usually) a drawstring to adjust the hood opening, and may have a vertical zipper down the center similar to a windbreaker style jacket.


Boy wearing a hoodie

The garment's style and form can be traced back to Medieval Europe when the normal clothing for monks included a long, decorative hood called a cowl attached to a tunic or robes,[1] and a chaperon or hooded cape was very commonly worn by any outdoors worker. The hooded sweatshirt was first produced in the United States starting in the 1930s. The modern clothing style was first produced by Champion in the 1930s and marketed to laborers working who endured freezing temperatures while working in upstate New York.[2] The term hoodie entered popular usage in the 1990s.[3]

The hoodie took off in the 1970s, with several factors contributing to its success. Hip hop culture developed in New York City around this time, and the hoodie's element of instant anonymity, provided by the accessible hood, appealed to those with criminal intent.[2] High fashion also contributed during this era, as Norma Kamali and other high-profile designers embraced and glamorized the new clothing[1] Most critical to the hoodie's popularity during this time was its iconic appearance in the blockbuster Rocky film.[citation needed]

By the 1990s, the hoodie had evolved into a symbol of isolation, a statement of academic spirit, and several fashion collections.[citation needed] The association with chavs or neds in the UK developed around this time, as their popularity rose with that specific demographic. Young men, often skateboarders or surfers, sported the hoodie and spread the trend across the western United States, most significantly in California.[citation needed] The rise of hoodies with university logos began around this time.[citation needed] Tommy Hilfiger, Giorgio Armani, and Ralph Lauren, for example, used the hoodie as the primary component for many of their collections in the 1990s.[1][2] A crystal-studded hoodie made by rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs was acquired by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.[4]



In June 2011, police in Wynnum, Brisbane launched a 'Hoodie Free Zone' initiative, with shopkeepers encouraged to ask hoodie-wearers to leave. The zone is part of an initiative to educate businesses on how they can avoid armed robberies, in which the clothing is often worn.[5]


Across Canada, hoodies are also popular. They are sometimes worn under a coat or jacket to provide an extra layer of clothing during the winter. In the province of Saskatchewan, hoodies are often referred to as "Bunny-hugs".

New Zealand

Hoodie Day was launched in May 2008 in New Zealand as part of an annual national Youth Week, a pro-youth initiative to challenge youth stereotypes.[6] Youth Week and Hoodie Day were run by New Zealand Adolescent Health and Development (NZAAHD). The campaign resulted in debate and discussion in the media [1][2]. It was supported by a range of youth, social service, political and aged care organisations - including: Age Concern [3], Wesley Community Action, the Salvation Army, a public service trade union, UNICEF [4] and many youth work organisations. Hundreds of Hoodie Day events were held, including mufti days in schools. Support and criticism was drawn from politicians, who were divided over the event.[5][7] One strong response was drawn from a local government council member (Dale Evans) donning a Ku Klux Klan outfit in protest, citing the hoodie as "not an appropriate article of clothing to celebrate".[8] Two retail complexes have banned the wearing of hoodies and non-compliance and/or defiance can result in eviction or accusation of trespass - although these bans have since been overturned, with one such complex deciding to participate in Hoodie Day. Funds were raised for Aged Care.[6]

For Hoodie Day 2009 NZAAHD asked schools and community groups to look a little closer and see the goodie in the hoodie. Several schools held Hoodie Day mufti days and all over people donned hoodies in support of young people and raised funds for NZAAHD. In total close to $4,000 was raised to help NZAAHD support groups all around New Zealand who work with young people.

United Kingdom

"No hoodies" sign outside a pub in South London

In the UK, hoodies have been the subject of much criticism; some shoplifters have used the hood to conceal their identities from CCTV cameras in shopping centres.[9] The hoodie became a popular clothing item by the 1990s. During the 2000s, it had gained a negative image, being associated with trouble making teens and anti-social behaviour. It became one of the later items associated with "chavs", or Neds.

Angela McRobbie, professor of communications at Goldsmiths College in the UK, says the appeal of the hoodie is because of its promise of anonymity, mystery and anxiety. "The point of origin is obviously black American hip-hop culture, now thoroughly mainstream and a key part of the global economy. Leisure and sportswear adopted for everyday wear suggests a distance from the world of office suit or school uniform. Rap culture celebrates defiance, as it narrates the experience of social exclusion. Musically and stylistically, it projects menace and danger as well as anger and rage. The hooded top is one in a long line of garments chosen by young people, usually boys, to which are ascribed meanings suggesting that they are 'up to no good'. In the past, such appropriation was usually restricted to membership of specific youth cultures - leather jackets, bondage trousers - but nowadays it is the norm among young people to flag up their music and cultural preferences in this way, hence the adoption of the hoodie by boys across the boundaries of age, ethnicity and class."[10]

In May 2005, Bluewater shopping centre in Kent caused outrage by launching a code of conduct which bans its shoppers from sporting hoodies or baseball caps, although the garments remain on sale. John Prescott welcomed the move, stating that he had felt threatened by the presence of hooded teenagers at a motorway service station.[10] Then-Prime Minister Tony Blair openly supported this stance and vowed to clamp down on the anti-social behaviour with which hoodie wearers are sometimes associated. London-based rapper Lady Sovereign published a single titled "Hoodie" in protest as part of a "Save the Hoodie" campaign.[11]

In 2005, Coombeshead College in the south-west of England allowed the hoodie to become part of the boys' school uniform, but the hood could be put up only when it rained. The principal, Richard Haigh, stated that the move would help to calm some of what he called the "hysteria" surrounding the garment.[12]

The JCB Academy allows hoodies, but only a navy blue type sold in the school shop.

In February 2006, a 58-year-old teacher who was wearing a hooded top was asked to remove it when entering a Tesco store in Swindon. According to the teacher, she was wearing the hood because "my hair's a mess". The store did not have a hoodie policy. The shop apologized and said it was taking action to "make sure this doesn't happen again."[13]

In July 2006, David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, made a speech suggesting that the hoodie was worn more for defensive than offensive purposes.[14] The speech was referred to as "hug a hoodie" by the Labour Party.[15][16]

Despite the controversy, the hoodie has been embraced by people from all backgrounds. Zara Phillips, a member of the British royal family, has included hoodies in her range of equestrian clothing at Musto.[17]

In recent years in England many older people have been seen wearing hoodies, particularly in cold weather.

United States

Throughout the U.S., it is common for middle school, high school, and college students to wear sweatshirts—with or without hoods—that display their respective school names or mascots across the chest, either as part of a uniform or personal preference.[citation needed] Hoodies have become mainstream fashion in the U.S., transcending the clothing item's original utilitarian purpose,[18] similar to jeans. This has found its way into a variety of styles, even so far as to be worn under a suit jacket.[citation needed]

The hooded sweatshirt is a utilitarian garment that originated in the 1930s for workers in cold New York warehouses,[4] Hoodies were later adopted by hip hop culture as a symbol of what one reporter termed "cool anonymity and vague menace;" when the garment was depicted in FBI composite drawings of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, the hoodie became linked to "seedy threatening criminality," thereby further asserting its non-mainstream symbolism.[4]

After the February 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin, who was wearing a hoodie at the time of his death, the garment took on a wider significance—it was highlighted as a symbol of injustice[4]—and "million hoodie marches" were staged in solidarity.[19] Additionally, some professional athletes, including Carmelo Anthony and the entire Miami Heat roster, tweeted photos of themselves wearing hoodies.[citation needed] Fox News Channel host Geraldo Rivera encouraged young people of color to stop wearing hoodies;[20] however, he later apologized for his comments.[21]

Sylvester Stallone, playing the movie character "Rocky Balboa," wore a hoodie for training sequences in the 1976 movie Rocky.[citation needed] Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg often wore a hoodie during the months preceding the company's 18 May 2012 initial public offering (IPO), which caused concern among many investors.[22]

In April 2013, the highly durable "10-Year Hoodie" was invented. The hooded sweatshirt is 100% cotton and the American manufacturers sourced yarns that are spun to become softer over time to ensure durability; additionally, a mock safety stitch reinforces all of the sweatshirt's stress seams.[23][24]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Yusuf, Nilgin (2006-08-12). "The hoody grows up". Times Online (London). Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  2. ^ a b c Wilson, Denis (2006-12-23). "A Look Under the Hoodie". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  3. ^ "hoodie | hoody, n.". OED Online. November 2010. Oxford University Press. Accessed 11 February 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d Koehn, Donna (24 March 2012). "Hoodie becomes symbol of injustice". The Tampa Tribune. Archived from the original on 23 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Hood-free zones in Brisbane west". AAP. 28 June 2011. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. 
  6. ^ Hoodies on Parliament. scoop.co.nz, 29 May 2008
  7. ^ Tait, Maggie (26 May 2008). "Youth Week Hoodie Day criticised". The New Zealand Herald. NZPA. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  8. ^ "Councillor stuns board with Ku Klux Klan outfit". The New Zealand Herald. 30 May 2008. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  9. ^ McLean, Gareth (2005-05-13). "In the hood". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  10. ^ a b McLean, Gareth (2005-05-13). "In the hood". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  11. ^ Dan Hancox: Observations on style. New Statesman, 31 October 2005
  12. ^ "School adopts 'hoodie' as uniform". BBC. 2005-05-19. 
  13. ^ "Shop regrets 'hoodie' humiliation". BBC. 2006-02-21. 
  14. ^ "Cameron 'hoodie' speech in full". BBC. 2006-07-10. 
  15. ^ "Cameron defends 'hoodie' speech". BBC. 2006-07-10. 
  16. ^ "Girl, 4, asked to remove 'hoodie'". BBC News. 2007-09-07. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  17. ^ Zara Phillips, Musto clothing
  18. ^ Hoodies Hailed As Defining Fashion Trend The Huffington Post (28 January 2010). Retrieved on 12-28-10.
  19. ^ Jonsson, Patrik (6 July 2013). "George Zimmerman prosecution leaves jury to untangle lies and justification". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on 23 July 2013. 
  20. ^ Geraldo Rivera: 'Leave the Hoodie At Home' Fox News Channel via Talking Points Memo (23 March 2012)
  21. ^ Geraldo Rivera apologizes for 'hoodie' comment Politico (27 March 2012). Retrieved on 03-28-12.
  22. ^ Taulli, Tom (15 May 2012). "Mark Zuckerberg: The Power of the Hoodie". Forbes. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  23. ^ "THE 10-YEAR HOODIE". Flint and Tinder. Flint and Tinder. 29 April 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  24. ^ Stuart Dredge (17 April 2014). "Kickstarter's biggest hits - why crowdfunding now sets the trends". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 April 2014.