Like jeans, hoodies have never waned in popularity since they were introduced and they now hold a well-earned space in the fashion Hall of Fame. And just like jeans, hoodies were first created as a practical garment for workers.
It was American sports brand Champion that is credited with the creation of the hooded sweatshirt - which is the original ancestor of the School Leaver's hoodies.
In the early 1930's, there was a need among workers for a warmer sweater with a hood to protect them from the elements - ice warehouse workers and those who worked outside were in need of something warmer than the existing undergarments that were worn.
Athletes spotted the potential and adopted the hooded sweatshirts to wear on the sidelines during colder weather. The athletes' hoodies were then worn by their girlfriends, just like the later varsity jackets, and the hoodie began its journey into student fashion and youth subculture.
From its preppy beginnings, the hoodie travelled through hip-hop, graffiti and skater subcultures, and back to school students with the explosion in popularity of School Leaver's hoodies. A truly full circle journey!
We're confident that School Leaver's hoodies are here to stay and that they'll be bringing back fond (and rose-tinted) memories of school years for decades to come. But to last that long, they've got to be up to the job! That means they've got to be the best quality and feature a design you'd be happy to wear forever.
Here's our guide to getting a School Leaver's hoodie that will still be your BFF when your school reunion comes around.
School Leaver's Hoodies - A Cliche Because It's A Classic
The most popular design by far is to have all of your school leavers' names printed into your graduation year digits. It's popular because it's a really good idea, and instantly puts the message across.
But don't be afraid to look at different options. Test out some different arrangements for your names; incorporate the unique identity of your school - their badge for example.
There's more to hoodies then the back view too - printing, logos, and embroidery can be added to the front to add an extra little something. And our favourite of all - PHOTO PRINTED HOODIE LININGS!
Go For Wow Factor With Photo Printed Hoodie Linings
Photo printed hoods are always impressive. We can take anything you want to supply as an image and have it recreated on the lining of the hood of your school leaver's or sports club hoodie. This could be a montage of school photos, or it could be a picture of your school - this works better if your school is Hogwarts-esque, or a structure of modern beauty; probably not advised for the bruatalistic 60's cement box, surrounded by portacabins that I received my education in!
Hood lining photo printing is also a fab way to sneak in handwritten messages, especially if your class year is very attached to the idea of signing things with Sharpie markers. Simply get everyone to sign or leave a message on a large piece of card, have it photographed, and send us the image. And bingo - the best of both worlds!
If you want some help in adding some stunning design elements, or would like to know how to go about creating a design for your photo printed hood lining, our design team are always on hand to help. They can advise you on design ideas that work, and ones that are best avoided. They can put all of your ideas into practice and help you use the online tools to see what your finished design will look like too - it's definitely worth getting in touch with them.
Be Loyal To Your Colours
Your design doesn't have to end with the printing; you can add other design elements to make sure your leaver's hoodie stand out from the crowd.
Cuffs, zips, contrast stitching, pull toggles . . . they can all be customised. When designing your school leaver's hoodie, you're more than likely going to want to use your school colours, and we think you should! But you can get creative with them too, and create a hoodie that's attractive and wearable for years to come.
For example, if your school colours are a clash of yellow and grey (because some schools are cruel like that), then use the more neutral grey as a base colour and add touches of yellow in the stitching, or cuffs for example.
Don't Get It Signed
The origins of this tradition are unknown but having your school shirt signed by your classmates has been a rite of passage for decades.
School Leaver's Hoodies evolved from this. With the names of the entire year already printed on the customised leavers hoodie, there's no need to magic marker all over your school shirt.
What did everyone ever do with those scribbled on school shirts anyway? I've never seen one framed and hung up anywhere. I'm pretty sure mine got 'lost' in a move ...
A School Leaver's hoodie has the huge advantage of being infinitely more wearable than an old scratchy shirt covered in marker pen. This is the biggest reason you should never run around trying to get your leaver's hoodie signed. It makes it useless. Instead of a garment you can wear for uni days, or for going out for a casual day, you're left with a bulky memento you can't display anywhere, anyway.
Also, with washing, all that marker pen and biro will fade, making it look really rubbish!
So just don't get it signed! You'll regret it, like you'll regret signing your name with hearts over i's or making "TwilightFanXOXO" your email handle.
Wash It Like You Love It
There was a rumour that you never needed to wash jeans - you just put them in the freezer to kill the bacteria. This is gross. And inaccurate. Definitely don't do this with your hoodie either!
Our hoodies are made from the highest quality cotton and can be washed repeatedly without degrading the colours or damaging the fabric and stitching.
It's best to leave your hoodie dry naturally and drying it flat if possible.
Don't Let Your Girlfriend/Boyfriend/New BFF/Dog Borrow Your School Leaver's Hoodie
We offer a really wide range of sizes for our School Leaver's hoodies, and on top of that, we let you choose if you want a looser or a more tailored fit. This way, you can get the perfect fitting hoodie - FOR YOU.
Letting someone else wear it for an extended length of time means your hoodie may be returned to you with extra room for lumps and bumps you don't have. Or with loose cuffs where they've pushed the too-long sleeves up their arms.
So just say no!