How the hoodie is gaining ground…

by Nov 3, 2021Blog

Hoodies are gaining ground as popular and fashionable garments for everyone to wear, almost everywhere.

Hoodies on the golf course and 19th hole

Golf clubs around the world have been pressed, for years, to allow the hoodie to be worn by players. Success has been very patchy, but many have given way and hoodies are now allowed at more clubs and courses than ever before.

Generally, there are restrictions on what decorations can be printed or embroidered on clothing to be worn on the course and in the clubhouse. But, the garment itself is definitely becoming more accepted in some of the most conservative of environments.

Some professional golfers have occasionally worn hoodies while playing over the last few years. This year, the Ryder cup saw some of the USA’s golf superstars sporting a hoodie during their practice rounds.

Traditionalists everywhere will often fight the introduction of ‘new’ anything! But, while slow, progress is being made. The hoodie will gradually work its way into the stuffiest of places and sports clubs will be no different.

Why? Because of the hoodies unique mix of style and functionality. And, even more so, because of the need for almost every institution, including all sports, to attract a younger audience and younger players and participants. Younger people who have grown up with an affinity for the hoodie.

Hoodies in the media

Brooklyn Beckham is just the latest ‘almost celebrity’ to be seen, and photographed, wearing a hoodie. His was seen during the recent Paris fashion week. It wasn’t that he was caught out without makeup and just wearing any old thing thrown on in a hurry (think any romcom where someone was doing the ‘walk of shame’) this looked like a deliberate choice.

If you search for news stories about hoodies you will always find a few. The garment is gaining popularity. This is partly because the age group who have grown up with the hoodie being viewed positively is now coming to prominence and being seen more and more across all walks of life. Times, and fashions, are changing and the hoodie is reaping the benefits.

Mainstream acceptability/fashion

So far, the hoodie hasn’t truly made it to mainstream fashion or acceptability in all circumstances. We know this because it is still comment-worthy that someone would be wearing a hoodie at a fashion week. This will gradually change—it will become commonplace.

Leavers hoodies have been leading the field

The gradual increase in popularity and visibility of the hoodie in many facets of modern life has been largely fuelled by the leavers’ hoodie. Tens of thousands of youngsters approaching the end of their time at school or college every year get a leavers hoodie. By no means all leavers, but a good proportion. Sports team hoodies, trip hoodies, ski hoodies and hoodies for university societies, clubs etc all contribute to the growing visibility of the hoodie.

The Leavers Hoodies Company can’t claim leadership in the fashion world nor to have made a massive impact on the world in general. But, is nice to know that something we are involved with every working day of our lives is growing and becoming more popular and more mainstream every year. A quiet sense of achievement 🙂

Hoodies haven’t always been loved by the establishment

But it is worth remembering that the hoodie first came to real prominence, where everyone was talking about them, for all the wrong reasons.

Shopping centre - not Bluewater

Shopping centre – not Bluewater

In May 2005, the Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent, banned the wearing of hoodies. Worth noting that the Trafford Centre in Manchester had banned them 7 years earlier but without the media frenzy it created. Shortly after the ban the Prime minister, Tony Blair, supported the Centre’s right to ban the hoodie—”for the sake of the feeling of safety amongst the people who are using the centre”.

Around that time the media were in a frenzy as newspapers, tabloids especially tried to outdo each other with sensational stories about hoodies and hoodie wearers. Headlines, and not just one or two, referred to hoodies and hoodie wearers concerned with youth crime.

At the same time, the more staid elements of the media and academics were questioning whether the hoodie phenomenon was a manufactured story or a justifiable concern.

Funny results of the ban: The ban at Bluewater apparently led to a significant increase in footfall through the centre, probably the primary aim of the ban. It also led to a huge increase in the number of hoodies bought at the centre. So, in a place where the wearing of a hoodie was not permitted, the buying of them boomed!

Header photo by Kindel Media from Pexels
Shopping centre (not Bluewater) image by StockSnap from Pixabay

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Hoodies are gaining ground as popular and fashionable garments for everyone to wear, almost everywhere.
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