Hoodies can be traced back to Medieval Europe – well, when it comes to monks anyway. Fast forward a few hundred years to the 1930s and the first hooded sweatshirt was born in the United States. They were marketed to labourers at that time, who endured freezing temperatures. It was only 40 years later in the 1970s, that the hoodie started really taking off, largely thanks to hip hop culture and high fashion embracing the new clothing – not to mention its famous appearance in the Rocky movie.
By the 1990s, the hoodie had become a symbol of youth, active living and free thinking and although it has since survived a few knocks (associations with chavs and David Cameron’s misguided Hug A Hoodie campaign, among them), today people of all ages and walks of life proudly sport them, ranging from plain zip-ups such as Fat Face’s Orcombe Block Hoodie to White Stuff’s more feminine and detailed Twinkle Twinkle Hoodie.
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Layer up: 9 best hoodies
Layer up: 9 best hoodies
1/9 Superdry High Neck Zip Hoodie
The British appetite for faux-sporty, discreetly logo-ed clothes seems to be growing week by week. No wonder Superdry’s hoodies, many of which tick both these boxes and are well-made and designed, have become ubiquitous. There are hundreds of them online, our favourite of which is this high neck one from the Orange Label range £54.99, superdry.com
2/9 Next Surf Beetle Hoodie
Available from three months to six years, this fun and cheerful top makes you think of summer just by looking at the design, despite it being warm enough to beat off the chills on windy days. Young kids will love the supersoft feel of the fabric and it washes really well too, making it a good hand-me-down. £13, next.co.uk
3/9 Diesel Button Up Hoodie
Hoodies are usually associated with sweaters or zip-ups, but this dark grey cotton fitted top means anyone with a penchant for hoods doesn’t have to miss out on the fun just because it’s warmer. Made by one of Britain’s favourite brands, it’s long sleeved and machine washable. £13, next.co.uk"target="_blank">£70, houseoffraser.co.uk
4/9 Helly Hansen W Skagen Hoodie
Here’s one to see active women through to the summer, thanks to the brushed French terry fabric that isn’t too thick. Available in soft pink, blue or eggshell – each with contrasting hem, cuffs, neckline and hood – this hoodie has a feminine fit and the fabric is nicely draping with ribbed cuffs and hem. £13, next.co.uk
5/9 Fat Face Orcombe Block Hoodie
This “chuck it on and get outside” zip-through hoodie is one of FatFace’s bestselling products and has all the usual trimmings. Made from supersoft marl jersey and available in several colours, it also shows that elbow reinforcements aren’t just for granddads. £42, fatface.com
6/9 GAP Arch Logo Hoodie
No round-up of hoodies would be complete without an offering for prepubescent and pubescent boys who, let’s face it, tend to wear them more than most. Equally, no round-up of hoodies would seem quite right without an offering from GAP, the UK’s favourite brand of active wear and which offers some of the most iconic hoodies around. £16, gap.co.uk
7/9 Crew GBR Reversible Hoodie
You get two hoodies for the price of one with this snug number from this casual outdoor clothing store. With a stylish contrast design, signature branding, kangaroo pocket and a cosy finish, this is a versatile hoodie that will do for the gym, with jeans when you’re out and about or with PJ bottoms at home. £70, crewclothing.co.uk
8/9 White Stuff Twinkle Twinkle Hoodie
Describing anything as the colour “avocado” is risky as it can conjure up images of 1970s bathrooms. In reality, this is a pretty spring-like green and it’s a good flattering length and shape for most body shapes. Made from a flecked thread, it features an embroidered star and a woven border inside the hood. £37, whitestuff.com
9/9 Johnnie B Zoe Zip Through
Aimed at nine to 16 year-old girls, this classic sweatshirt style hoodie boasts excellent quality jersey cotton that washes really well and feels soft against the skin. There are three different colour combos to choose from and they provide a nice change from the candyfloss pink hoodies more commonly aimed at girls. From £30, boden.co.uk
For kids, the GAP Arch Logo Hoodie is iconic, good value and washes like a dream. For men, it’s hard to beat the quality and all-age appeal of Superdry’s High Neck Zip Hoodie. Meanwhile, Crew’s GBR Reversible Hoodie is a great option for women, literally providing two for the price of one.