Custom Apparel in Decatur, AL: An Ode to the Hoodie
Whether you are bundling up for a cold winter’s night or want to explore urban fashion, the hoodie is a great addition to anyone’s wardrobe. It is unisex, has a front-facing pocket for warming your hands or carrying stuff, and it is pretty much one size fits all. Another great thing about them is that they are pretty easy to customize. They can come in all colors, and as long as you have enough surface area, you can decorate it. However, not a lot of people find the hoodie all that favorable as a piece of clothing. Why is that, and what was the origin of their creation? Is there a middle ground that can be met aside from that controversy. Or is the hoodie as a fashion statement too much hype? Let’s find out about hoodies as custom apparel.
Hoods in History
Hoods have been around for a very long time. So long, in fact, that it predates existing records. What we do know, based on archeological findings is that hats were a commonplace thing and served to protect the wearer from the elements. Hoods didn’t come in until Ancient Greece and Rome. Hoods were part of the headwear that was available to women at the time. The word Hood itself was part of the Anglo-Saxon language at around 1,100 CE. This gives us a rough time frame where it would come into fashion consciousness.
Hoods were often worn with a cloak or a cape on top of outerwear. There were multiple reasons why a person would wear a cloak. According to Wikipedia, “Open-faced hoods may be worn for protection from the environment (typically cold weather or rain), for fashion, as a form of traditional dress or uniform. In the case of knights, an armored hood is used for protection against bladed weapons. In some cases, hoods are used to prevent the wearer from seeing where they are going (e.g., in cases where a prisoner is hooded). Hoods with eye holes can prevent the wearer from being identified.
With these applications of hoods in history, we can start to unravel a little why hoodies would be considered controversial custom apparel.
Hoods are mysterious, they conceal which can both protect someone or spell their doom in a cloak and dagger fashion. However, by describing them as only a tool for deceit is limiting the other purposes they serve.
The Real Origins of the Hoodie
The specific pullover style of a Hoodie wasn’t an invention until the 1930s. It was a way to protect athletes and laborers from the elements. The Rolling Stone, who interviewed the creator of the custom apparel, pointed out “Employees at cold-storage warehouses and tree surgeons working through the winter were calling for a garment that would provide more warmth than their long underwear. Meanwhile Champion was working directly with high schools to determine their apparel needs. Eventually, they made the big double-thickness hooded sweatshirts that football and track athletes wore in bad weather”. From there, the hoodies expanded into both outerwear for high school athlete kids and their girlfriends.
Hoodies and Counterculture
Then in the mid-1970’s it became adopted into urban and hip hop culture as common wear. Because that was what high school kids were into. Whether someone planned to rob someone else, or it got a worker through a cold night, it was clear that hoodies were a piece of clothing for the common man and teenagers trying to find themselves.
Skateboarders would wear them in abandoned parking garages. Grafitti artists will wear one in the middle of the night to paint a mural on a broken down train car. In spite of being discouraged in their own environment, the urban subcultures found a way to express their creative side. They were able to build something in spite of the lack of support from authority figures.
And when those kids from the ’70s to ’90s grew up, they brought their own counterculture into the mainstream. It just became a culture. Even fashion designers are willing to recognize it. So, take a second look at hoodies for your custom apparel choices. You won’t be disappointed.