The hoodie is a lot more than just a comfy sweatshirt. Design curator Paola Antonelli takes us through its history.







  • hoodie – a sweatshirt that has a hood to cover the head
  • comfy – (informal) comfortable
  • humble – not proud; modest
  • monk – a member of a male religious community that is usually separated from the outside world
  • garment – an item of clothing
  • cape – a long loose piece of clothing without sleeves that you fasten around your neck and that hangs from your shoulders
  • Grim Reaper – an imaginary character who represents death
  • marsupial – an animal such as a kangaroo
  • rapidly – very quickly
  • B-boy – a young man who adopts hip-hop style
  • to defy – to refuse to obey
  • attire – the clothes you are wearing
  • to don – to put on a piece of clothing
  • vigilante – a member of a self-appointed group of citizens who in an unofficial way try to prevent crime, or to catch and punish criminals, especially because they think the legal agencies are inadequate
  • to encompass – to include different types of things
  • utilitarian – designed to be useful rather than decorative


Answer the questions:

Why can a hoodie be called a humble masterpiece?

What`s the origin of its name?

Why did ladies wear hoodies in the 17th century?

What`s the dark side of the hoodie?

Why is Mark Zuckerberg mentioned in the video?

How does wearing a hood up make you feel?

What does the speaker say about the hoodie and a change of power?


Discuss in pairs, small groups, or with your teacher:

Do you consider yourself a trendsetter or a fashion victim?

What`s your opinion of the fashion industry?

Do you think fashion affects our lives?


Practice Makes Perfect

Fill in the gaps in the text below with the words from Glossary. Go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq to check your answers.

The hoodie has been – even if it was not called so –  an icon throughout history (…). In the Middle Ages you see a lot of (1) …….. that were wearing (2) ………… that were (3) ………… – like, with hoods attached, so therefore (4) “…………. s.”

(…) The modern incarnation of the hoodie – a garment that`s made usually of cotton jersey, that has a hood attached with a drawstring; sometimes it has a (5) …………… pocket – was introduced in 1930s by Knickerbocker Knitting Company.

(…) it was such a functional, comfortable garment that it was very (6) ………… adopted by workmen everywhere. And then, around the 1980s it also gets adopted by hip-hop and (7) … – …….., skateboarders and it takes on this kind of youth street culture.

(…) And then we have Mark Zuckerberg, who (8) ……….s convention of respectable attire for businesspeople. Interestingly, it`s also a way to show how power has changed.


ANSWERS: 1. monks; 2. garments; 3. cape; 4. hoodies; 5. marsupial; 6. rapidly; 7. B-boys; 8. defies



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