Are there certain types of clothing you look at, but never actually buy? For me, the hoodie is definitely one of them. Even during my university years, usually the apex of a person’s hoodie usage, I opted for a collegiate sweatshirt instead. Maybe it was the inevitable hair mussing, maybe it was the restricted neck turning, they just never appealed to me. I still consider and then reject beautiful cashmere hoodies as too casual. But as the line between sportswear and luxury continues to blur, hoodies seem to be only growing in popularity and variety. I need to understand their enduring allure. The hoodie – a sweatshirt with a hood, often with a drawstring and usually a marsupial or muff pocket at the front – came onto the scene around the 1930s. As eloquently explained in a 2018 TED talk by Paola Antonelli, a senior curator of architecture and design at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, hooded attire can be traced back to ancient Greece and ancient Rome. In the Middle Ages, monks wore hooded robes. There is also a romantic notion that 17th century women hid themselves under hoods on their way to meet secret lovers. In the 1930s, the hoodie as we know it was introduced to keep athletes warm by Knickerbocker Knitting, the company now known as Champion. It was quickly adopted by labourers. However, it was not until the 70s that hoodies took off in the fashion sense. In popular culture, the 1976 film Rocky brought them new cachet, and at around the same time designers such as Halston and Norma Kamali took them into the luxury sphere. Think Bianca Jagger at Studio 54. Over the next few decades, the hoodie was adopted by hip hop artists, skateboarders and surfers, cementing it as the look of youth and street culture. High fashion and streetwear became friends years ago, so it is no surprise that brands such as Vetements, Off-White, Kenzo and Acne all offer amazing hoodies. In fact, it’s hard to think of an haute fashion house that doesn’t make a hoodie these days. Givenchy, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Loewe, Gucci and Valentino all do them. It would be perfectly fashionable to mix basic brands such as Champion or Hanes with couture right now. There are, of course, potentially negative connotations in fiction and real life. None of us wants to be mistaken for the grim reaper or the Unabomber. At least, I hope not. Perhaps this humble piece of clothing also has the potential to empower. The now famous 2012 image of murdered American teenager Trayvon Martin in a grey hoodie inspired thousands of protesters to don hoodies at the dawn of the Black Lives Matter movement. The hoodie may have even been imbued with power of a different sort in Silicon Valley. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is known for wearing them. Now, the person in the suit is his bodyguard. Celebrities have been wearing hoodies for years, as much for the style as for the supposed anonymity they bring. They have become “meta”. Last month, Rihanna wore a mustard yellow hoodie dress from her own Fenty line, jazzed up with a panel of satin on the skirt and accessorised with stiletto sandals and a python purse. Tom Ford has made hoodie dresses in cashmere and Christopher Kane added chain and crystal details. Last October, actor Timothée Chalamet went to the London premiere of his film The King in a Louis Vuitton hoodie embroidered with more than 3,000 Swarovski crystals and 15,000 sequins. If I am going to buy one, I will be looking for plays on materials or proportions, such as added crochet at Mira Mikati or frills at Needle & Thread. Y/Project has cropped hoodies and Alexander Wang’s are oversized. I should at least try one on, shouldn’t I? After all, if I am honest, I have subconsciously veered towards more casual athleisure along with the rest of the world.