Hoodies! They have a long, somewhat difficult history in the United Kingdom. Its history in the UK is similar to what 18 to 24-year olds have to go through with their parents during the long difficult years of teenagers. Hoodies are the symbol of teenage angst and devil-may-care attitude.
What are Hoodies? Hoodies are pieces of versatile and comfortable clothing that are popular with the younger set, especially 18 to 24 years old. They are pullovers with a characteristic hood, thus, the term “hoodies.” Hoodies often have large frontal pockets and drawstrings to adjust the hood opening.
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Hoodies: A History
You might not have noticed it, but hoodies date back to the Middle Ages as Catholic monks’ clothing. Look carefully at the monk’s garment and you will see similarities in design to the cowl. Cowls are the decorative hood that Catholic monks wear over their tunics or robes. The hoodie as it looks now were first worn by labourers in New York in the 1930s. These labourers work in frozen warehouses. Claire McCardell, the American fashion designer that introduced casual dressing to Americans, popularised the hoodie by designing entire collections based on the hoodie. The 1970s made the hoodie more popular than ever. The hip hop culture that grew along New York streets loved the hoodie because of the anonymity that the hood brings. High fashion, such as Norma Kamali’s collections glamorised the hood-ie. Movies, such as Rocky, added to the popularity of the hoodi-e.
Hoodies and its Popularity in the UK
Hoodies came to the shores of the UK when the hip hop culture started to go mainstream. The hoodies’ popularity with 18 to 24 year olds was unmistakable because of its promise of mystery, anonymity, and anxiety. A professor at Goldsmiths College in the UK, Angela McRobbie, said that the hoodie is part of the distancing of the 18 to 24 year olds to the school uniform and the office suit. She said that the hoodie is a symbol of rebellion and works the same way as the leather jacket and bondage trousers in the past youth cultures. In May 2005, the hoodie gained notoriety when a Kent shopping centre, Bluewater, banned hoodie wearers from their premises. When Prime Minister Tony Blair supported the anti-hoodie call, the public was outraged. Lady Sovereign, a London-based rapper, wrote the song “Hoodie” in protest. People joined the “Save the Hoodie” campaign especially since the cold winters of 2009 to 2010 forced people to wear hoodies to keep warm from the freezing temperatures.