From Cowl to Kangaroo Jacket: The Ubiquitous Hoodie

Hoodies may seem like the epitome of modern fashion – or at least relatively modern fashion – but the truth is this trend has been spreading for 1,000 years. From the secluded monasteries of medieval Europe to the catwalks of New York Fashion Week, the hoodie has certainly come a long way.

Monastical Hoodies

Monks, you ask? Yes, your favourite piece of clothing was created in a monastery! It was called a cowl. The cowl itself was an important fashion accessory at that time, not because of how it looked, but for practical reasons. Life in a European monastery was cold.To keep themselves as comfortable as possible, monks began to sew hoods onto their tunics and robes. It was the birth of the proto-hoodie.

Workers’ Gear

The next step in the hoodie’s evolution occurred during the Great Depression in the United States. During this time, outdoor labourers in New York faced bitterly cold working conditions and little pay. A company called Champion saw its opportunity, and created the hooded sweatshirt. Today, outdoor labourers all over the world wear hoodies as part of their daily work gear. Construction companies, lawn care businesses and many other labour-based companies even have branded hoodies for their staff.

Kangaroo Jackets and Bunny Hugs

Before the word “hoodie” became the internationally accepted name for this piece of clothing, it had a few different labels. Whatever you call your hooded sweatshirt, chances are that you’ve seen all kinds of people wearing them. Skateboarders, band members, fashion divas, workers, tourists, moms and kids; everyone loves a good hoodie.

The funny thing is, hoodies have been integrated into all kinds of social groups as well. From isolated students to outgoing entertainers, the hoodie is more than a sweater. It’s a piece of clothing that binds all kinds of people all over the world. Whether you put up your hood to feel secure, to feel warm or it down and studded with rhinestones, you can’t help but notice how this ubiquitous fashion trend has carved out a niche in every person’s wardrobe.


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