The Origins Of The Hoodie

With the release of our new Henshaw Hoodie for Autumn / Winter 2023 we thought we’d look into the intriguing past of the hooded top, which spans centuries and reflects cultural shifts and fashion trends. What began as a practical garment for labourers evolved into an essential sporting item and a staple in the modern wardrobe.

The Admiral Sports Henshaw Hoodie

Let's delve into the origins of the beloved garment we all have an affinity for. According to numerous accounts, this contemporary piece of attire had its humble beginnings in the frigid landscapes of the USA. It was in the heart of freezing New York warehouses that the garment found its initial purpose, providing essential warmth and protection.

This was during the era of the 1930s, when the conventional long underwear worn by labourers in sub-zero temperatures was surpassed by the hoodie's enhanced insulation against the elements. Yet, the early renditions of this distinctive garment diverged from what we recognise today. Inception saw hoods being stitched directly onto crew neck sweatshirts as an additional feature. This ingenuity birthed what collectors now affectionately term the 'after hood'. As an extra touch, a kangaroo pocket was incorporated onto the front, not merely as a design element, but to serve as a functional hand-warmer. This ingenious combination marked the birth of the hoodie as we know it.

It wasn’t just the labourers of New York that needed to stay warm. In the world of sports, athletes needed to contend with the harsh realities of varying weather. The 1930s saw the introduction of the hoodie as a response to these challenges. The practicality of the hoodie quickly gained attention around the world, especially in sports like track and field and other outdoor disciplines. Athletes required functional clothing that could keep them warm without hindering their range of motion. The hoodie’s unique feature addressed this need by offering extra coverage for the head and neck, effectively helping athletes maintain body heat in adverse conditions.

1977 FA Cup Final: Man Utd 2 Liverpool 1 Football - 1977 FA Cup Final .Wembley Manchester United v Liverpool.  Tommy Docherty (Manager) and Tommy Cavanagh Coach / trainer with the trophy. Stuart Pearson (left). Lou Macari - right.

The first appearance of the hooded top within Admiral's sporting domain can be traced back the 1970s with collaborative ventures into manufacturing training kits for elite football clubs and the Great Britain Olympic team.

Around this period the hoodie entered a new chapter, as it gained traction within the realms of sport, it was also emerging as a central element in fashion. Fuelled by the rise of hip-hop culture, the hoodie evolved into a symbol of self-expression, embodying a fusion of athletic functionality and streetwise style.

In the 1990s, the attire gained increased prominence within the sports arena, with the rise of action sports such as skateboarding and a heightened focus on training regimens and the unveiling of behind-the-scenes footage consequently amplified the hoodie’s visibility to the broader external audience.

Admiral Henshaw Hoodie in Blue and Green

The hoodie's trajectory has been punctuated by innovation and progression. With the introduction of the new Admiral Henshaw hoodie, we have reimagined conventional features commonly associated with this traditional garment and coupled this with the relaxed fit and dropped shoulder seams directly referencing the early 70s sportswear era.

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