The hoodie as we know it originated in the 1930s. Athletic clothier Russell Manufacturing Company began creating what would become modern-day sweatshirt in the 1920s to provide a shirt for collegiate football that wouldn’t chafe the neck.
The comfortable cotton shirt quickly caught on. It wasn’t long before athletes and cold-natured people alike were buying the new sweatshirts.
But necessity is the mother of invention. In New York, the company Champion was creating its own cotton-based sweatshirts and sweatpants to sell to blue-collar laborers who worked during the region’s cold winters.
While the outfits kept workers’ bodies warm, their heads remained chilly. So, someone at Champion decided to sew a hood directly onto a sweatshirt and — voila! — the hoodie was born.
Hoodies in the 60s
The first hooded sweatshirt was completely practical. They were clothing designed to keep people cozy. But, as decades wore on, the modern notions of advertising and style began to re-think the hoodie.
It began with universities. Hoodies were already associated with college athletics, so it made sense to print a big splashy university logo directly onto the material. The idea was inexpensive and grew in popularity as students and supporters flocked to support their teams by wearing warm, comfortable clothing.
By the 1960s, college and universities across the U.S. were stamping their logos on hooded sweatshirts and T-shirts galore. But the style didn’t become iconic until a decade and a half later, thanks to a blockbuster movie and the rise of an underground music genre.
The Rocky Effect
Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky” surged into theatres to become the No. 1 film of 1976. It brought fame to everything it touched, taking home three Oscars and rocketing Stallone to A-list status. Even the film’s theme, “Gonna Fly Now” spent a week at the top of the Billboard charts.
But the film’s biggest winner may have been the hoodie.
In a famous sequence, Rocky runs through the streets of Philadelphia and up a staircase while wearing a hooded gray sweatshirt. The scene captured the imagination of millions, who rushed out to buy similar-looking shirts and emulate their hero.
Hoodies began to fly off the shelves. It was a fashion movement that everyone can participate in — and nearly everyone did.
Hip Hop and Hoodies
The next milestone moment in the history of hoodies came from hip hop culture. The new music genre was building momentum in the late 70s and early 80s with high production values and a brand new aesthetic.
Hip hop pioneers favored streetwear fashions that showed off their roots and suggested the bravado and swagger of athletes. Posing with boom boxes in front of graffiti, the first MCs launched a style and music genre that the sights and sounds of the streets to high art.
The hoodies worn by rappers soon became iconic — and stayed that way. The mix of high fashion and streetwear they pioneered exists to this day, with serious designers regularly releasing new versions every year. Today, just as then, hoodies are worn as both a style and a statement
The clothing item quickly became a status symbol among college students and Silicon Valley workers. It implied a more laidback approach to work, one that suggested a digital meritocracy championed by the youth.
Work was no longer about conforming to the stiff clothing standards of suits and ties. As digital media started to change the world, clothing norms shifted with it. The hoodie became a sign of the times.
It implied the office culture of the next generation would concern itself with being comfortable, interesting, and fun.
A Hoodie Controversy
Following the tech boom, the history of the hoodie took a dark turn. In 2012, a young Black man named Trayvon Martin was shot and killed while wearing a hoodie.
The cultural uproar around his death began to include comments on Martin’s clothing, which some commentators claimed was associated with gangs.
Soon, conservative pundits and politicians were denouncing hoodies. In response, Martin’s supporters took to the streets in protest with the “Million Hoodie March” and progressive politicians and celebrities began to wear the garment as a political statement.
Miracles Manifester and Hoodies in 2021
Today, the hoodie lives on. Having moved past its high and low points, the garment is now considered a classic American shirt that is both stylish and comfortable.
The French terry fabric that Miracles Manifester uses in all of its hoodies has come a long way as well. It’s created by state-of-the-art sewing techniques. The result is a soft and moisture-wicking, material that is comfortable on the inside and stylishly smooth on the outside.
Perfect for Instagram, a day at the gym, cold weather, or when you want a little bit of privacy, the hoodie has become the go-to
It may be a far cry from what New York factory workers wore in the 1930s — but it has the same can-do spirit the hoodie exemplifies. The hoodies of 2021 do more than keep the body warm.
Miracles Manifester’s garments invoke the Law of Attraction while they’re worn, helping bring love, luck, or prosperity to their wearers by keeping their goals centered in their minds.