A Baja jacket (also known as a "Mexican threads hoodie", Baja hoodie, Baja sweatshirt or drug rug) is a type of jacket with a single large pocket on the front, and vents on the side. They are often decorated with patterns consisting of horizontal stripes on the sleeves and hood, and vertical stripes down the rest of the jacket. The drawstrings are often flatter and more rectangular than most jacket drawstrings, and always made of the same material as the rest of the jacket. The jackets are often associated with the cannabis and surf cultures.
They are known primarily as a "baja hoodie" or "drug rug" because of the subculture in which they are popular.
In the 1970s, Californian surfers brought these hooded shirts back from surf trips to Baja California in Mexico. They became associated with surfers and surfing in Mexican coastal towns and were worn as beachwear in cool weather. The shirts, called "sudadera de jerga" in Mexico, are also traditionally worn by Mexican-American and Mexican youth, especially young men, and can be considered a part of cholo style.
Baja jackets are made with a variety of different materials, often cotton, acrylic and polyester. The fabric can be made from recycled fibers, such as recycled T-shirts. The jackets tend to be somewhat waterproof and fast-drying, making them more suitable for the elements. Some jackets have a soft lining for extra comfort and warmth.
In recent years, they have been adapted to simply become hoodies with some alterations like a zipper running up the middle. Because the striped pattern resembles a Mexican serape, the Baja jacket is sometimes referred to as a poncho, but the two should not be confused. A poncho is a single piece of fabric with a head opening and sometimes arm openings. However, a poncho does not have sleeves, whereas the Baja jacket does.
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