The hooded sweatshirt is a piece of clothing that I have always taken for granted. Perhaps it’s because I always had at least one that I liked. Until recently, that is. It has been a few years since I had a hoodie. Now I am sorting out my preferences in order to pick a winner.
Wikipedia says that Champion invented the modern hooded sweatshirt and who am I to argue? They are holding a hoodie design contest at their website through 3/31 and I just submitted my design. On their website is says that they ‘helped pioneer’ the hoodie. (They brag of designing the ‘first’ mesh shorts, so it isn’t that they are humble) My entry is purple with black trim, for the record. They didn’t have an option for it, but I would design my series of hoodies in that crazy scuba-type fabric.
Wikipedia also seems to find nothing but sinister overtones in the tale of the hoodie. Are they really perceived in this dark way by many?
I see them as utilitarian and indicative of an existence in a mild climate. My memories are of running around playing hide and seek at twilight on a summer evening with the white drawstrings of my hood and the white rubber toes of my Chucks flashing as I ran for a dark hiding space. This is an ideal portrait of an American child. Timeless and carefree.
Of course, they have that longshoreman aspect to them as well. They are a critical part of any seriously layered worker’s clothing. Maybe that is wikipedia’s issue. Does wiki fear workers?
The last few hoodies that I have favored have been pullovers, but growing up, I always opted for zippered. I think that it is time for a return to zippered. This will give me more flexibility, both visually and practically.The only way to really mix it up with a pullover would be to muscle the sleeves or wear a vest or shirt over it. I find these solutions unacceptable. Zippered can be up, half-up or undone. Zippered also hangs better when the sleeves are just tied around the waist, although as I near 40 years old, I doubt I will be pulling that move. The zipper-style also dictates the pocket style. I prefer the two side pockets to the more marsupial centered pullover pouch pocket.
Many ignorant people call sweatshirts ‘sweaters’ and do not know the difference. They live in a dreamy world of innocence that is free of actual sweaters, most likely. A cold, dreamy world of innocence. This is random but just occurred to me. Here’s an exception…
In summary, many climates and seasons are suitable for the hoodie. They are simply designed, and when manufactured with care, are a flexible and helpful component in any person’s wardrobe.