The History of Hoods

We’ve been battered with a ridiculous amount of wind and rain for what seems like forever (did someone say we were in a drought?), and it doesn’t look like it’ll be slowing down just yet. With weather like this it’s important to take the necessary precautions, and one piece of headgear that you should never do without is the trusty hood. Whether it’s part of a coat, jacket or hoodie it’s an essential piece of kit for weather like this, and given it’s so important we thought we’d take a light-hearted look at where the hood actually came from.

Once upon a time, hoods either formed part of a cloak or cape or were separate forms of headgear in their own right. They were a common sight in medieval Europe where hoods with short capes were regularly worn, and men often wore soft hoods under their hats. Women had a number of options in those days—they could wear a type of soft, close-fitting headgear such as a snood or stiffened, structured hoods, and they could even opt for elaborate coverings (like a calash) made of material over a frame to protect towering wigs or oversized hairstyles. Since then hoods have evolved into the type we know and love today, normally forming part of the garment to be pulled up when needed and left to hang down when no longer required, and you can even get detachable versions or those that can be folded into a pocket at the neck when not in use.

The hood can be your springtime saviour, ensuring you’ll be ready for even the heaviest of downpours, because we all know how quickly they can appear. It can be sunny one minute and chucking it down the next with those pelting raindrops coming out of nowhere, so make sure you’ve got your hood at the ready (the oversized hood of a duffle coat can be perfect for this kind of weather) and you can be prepared for anything the great British weather can throw at you.