Warm and cozy winter gear is pretty much the uniform of Upstate New York this time of year. 

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There’s certain items that are only deemed essential for certain months out of the year; things like winter coats, boots, gloves and hats. It makes sense that they stay shoved in the back of the closet or tucked under the bed during the spring and summer months. 

However, there’s one must-have fall and winter essential that typically stays in our wardrobe all year long - especially here in Western New York. 

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The Hoodie Is An Upstate New York Essential

You’d be hard-pressed to find a warm blooded New Yorker that doesn’t currently have a hooded sweatshirt, or a “hoodie” as it’s been coined for decades) hanging in their closet or crumpled on their bedroom floor.

Although they used to be seen as something only athletes and rebels wore, the hoodie is now an essential article of clothing that can be worn by anyone and everyone. It’s perfect for hanging outside on a breezy summer night, layering under your winter coat when the temps dip below freezing, or throwing on for a lazy Saturday any time of year.

And as it turns out, we have our own freezing weather in the Empire State to thank for its invention.

The Hoodie Was Invented In Rochester, New York

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The first known version of the hoodie was made by clothing brand Champion in the 1930s, to keep the workers in their Rochester manufacturing plant warm during cold Western New York winters. 

(Fun fact: the original Champion plant was located where Wegmans’ flagship Pittsford store currently stands.)

 The original design of the hoodies look a little different, but you can see how their original idea evolved into the sweatshirts we know and love today. 

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So the next time you reach for your go-to hoodie on a cold New York day, you can know that these same freezing temperatures are how one of our favorite clothing items came to be. 

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