Despite the arguments for and against, the hood remains a popular and useful garment with fashion enthusiasts reclaiming this apparel in a new form.
A hoodie is a heavy upper garment with a hood. The garment includes large front pockets, a hood, and usually contains a drawstring to adjust the size of the hood. Sometimes, the garment is also tailored with a zip. The history of the hood dates back to 30s, when laborers in New York used it to protect themselves from the chilly weather. As they cannot spend much on their clothing, they were provided with good quality apparels which would last for a long time. Thus hooded sweatshirts became their best option. In the span of time, with new fads zooming in the market, they were used by all classes. During the 70s, Sylvester Stallone seen in a hooded sweatshirt as ' Rocky' made the garment a 'fashion icon'. Later on, designers tailored their collections based on this pattern and gave popularity to the clothing.
Generally manufactured in cotton-jersey, the hood went through a fascinating journey from an innocuous sports casual wear, to a leitmotif of menace. They are often associated with teenage menace, who engage in cumbersome activities; and want to remain unidentified under the hood. In UK, wearing hooded garments were subjected to heavy criticism, as shoplifters were using it to hide their faces from the CCTV cameras. In many shopping centres hooded sweatshirt is being associated with the uniform of thugs.
Despite the entire bad rap, hooded apparels have been favored by many as a college garment, fashion attire, street wear, sportswear item, and to give protection against chilly weather. It has become a desirable apparel in almost every industry. It is being preferred by people of both sexes and of all ages, and is regarded as a practical garment which is also aesthetically pleasing. It proves to be an ideal garment for sports activities such as skateboarding, or snowboarding. It keeps the wearer warm and comfortable, and gives additional warmth and protection from cold weather.
Hooded t-shirts are available in a plethora of charming patterns, colors and designs, manufactured in accordance with the current fashion trends. Best selling hooded shirts comprise of a combination of 80 percent cotton and 20 percent polyester. Combining both aspects of leisure wear and work wear, they are a trendy garment ideal for younger markets. Though available for people of all ages, apparel manufacturers mostly target the age group of 18-30. The latest trend is hooded shirts for both men and women with deep cuffs and thumbholes to keep hands warm, and a double layered hood with a long and lean silhouette. For people who are focused on health and fitness, yoga hoodies are available in the market, and sleeveless hooded shirts are available for gym sessions. Hoodies with internal phone pockets are also seen in store racks. Customized hooded sweatshirts are also manufactured by printing an image of the customer's choice on a blank shirt.
With all its virtues, hooded apparels have overcome the bad rap, and are considered both as a functional and fashionable wear.
- "Reclaiming The Hoodie", Dan Worth, Company Clothing, February 2009.
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