Why Do We Love Hoodies?

The hoodie is a staple of contemporary dress, hyped as a trend and a must-have item; but elsewhere it is also a topic of moral panic, banned by certain institutions and dissected by the media as an emblem of inequality, crime or deviancy. While the hoodie provides safety and comfort for some wearers, others will face prejudice and discrimination, preferring to put the hood down in public. This inequality can be traced back to the question of who can wear a hoodie without hindrance, which is once again reconstituted by Covid-19 – the same applies to any form of head or face covering, even if it is 'acceptable' from a medical point of view.

Just Because the hoodie sparks a range of emotions, communicating all manner of social and cultural ideas and nuances depending on the gender, geography, age, conduct and ethnicity of the wearer and, in turn, the prejudices and politics of the viewer. To some it is a clothing solution and nothing more. To others, its complexities are unavoidable. Based on the particular context, the hoodie can be both boring or iconic, bourgeois or rebellious, provide a safe shelter or trigger aggression, generate invisibility or privacy or make an explicit statement; you will find it on the streets, on sports tracks, on the catwalk and in the office.

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