The first (hooded) sweatshirt
Initially hoods were added to sweatshirts to keep workers warm during the bitter winters in Upstate New York in the 1930's. Shortly after, supplied as sports kit including sweatshirts to the US military for training exercises and physical education classes.
Fast forward to the mid-Seventies, when hip-hop culture was developing on the streets of New York City. Eric “Deal” Felisbret, one of the early graffiti writers, recalls the hoodie popping up on the scene around 1974 or 1975. “The people that wore them were all people who were sort of looked up to, in the context of the street,” recalls Deal, who says graffiti writers used the hoodie to keep a low profile, and break-dancers wore it “to keep their bodies warm before they hit the floor.”
In the early Eighties, the dearth of skate parks forced skaters to adapt and skate wherever they could, legal or not. “By being a skater, you were sneaking around and trying to get into parking garages and the hood up was this way of masking your identity,” says author and skateboarder Jocko Weyland.
Over time, hip-hop, punk, and skate cultures found common ground in the distaste that society had for them. They could all relate to being harassed by the cops and getting hard looks by adults. And so the hoodie was further interwoven with a culture of defiance.
Hoody of today
Youth culture, urban style, and race are united by a symbolic item of clothing, singling the hoodie out can be problematic. It’s very difficult to strike the hoodie from our social fabric without excluding the same cultures that have adopted it.
For Oftt, we have created our own version in 100% premium heavyweight cotton fleece, featuring kangaroo pocket, flat-lock seams, super soft heavyweight diagonal loopback fleece weighing 500grams. As usual, it is pre-washed to prevent shrinkage and retains a boxy relaxed fit. Hoodies for days!
The heavyweight hooded raglan sweatshirt is available for purchase now.