A Survey of Hoodies in Popular Culture

The humble hoodie has been in the news over the last couple of months — largely because of its sad association with the tragic death of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, but also this week because of a rather silly controversy about the fact that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wore one to a meeting with prospective investors in New York. That particular hullabaloo led to an article in Forbes proposing a “hooded blazer” as a sort of trans-generational compromise on business attire. We’re not sure if this was serious or not — although by God we hope not — but either way, the whole thing got us thinking about hoodies in popular culture, and we thought we’d take a brief look at how the hooded sweatshirt has evolved from a simple and practical garment into something that apparently both the scourge of society and the thing for young CEOs to be seen in.


Apparently hoodies were first conceived in the 1930s as clothing for construction workers in upstate New York, but a large part of their entrance into popular culture is down to one man — Sylvester Stallone, who is to hoodies what Pamela Anderson is to Ugg boots. Stallone’s famous dash up the Philadelphia Museum of Art in a hoodie is one of the most iconic cinematic scenes of the 1980s, and started a long association between hoodies and sporting/athletic types.