A Mexican Baja Hoodie (AKA the Drug Rug) is the Modern Hippie’s Fashion of Choice
Someone walks by and shouts at the jacket wearer, in a very prominent stoner voice, “Hey, dope drug rug!”
Picture this. You just walked through the gates of a music festival you have been dying to attend for years. The weather outside is beautiful- not too hot, not too cold. Everyone is dressed in their favourite rave gear or baggy, bohemian outfit. You see a fellow festival-goer wearing a long-sleeved hoodie that is patterned with cotton-candy coloured rectangles and lines. Someone walks by and shouts at the jacket wearer, in a very prominent stoner voice, “Hey, dope drug rug!” You think to yourself, “What did he just say?”
OK, maybe you are not at a festival, but you have likely seen a Mexican Baja hoodie (aka the drug rug) plenty of times without even realising it. Unless it is your favourite, go-to attire, then you will definitely recognise the vibe. Wearing a drug rug instantly classifies you as a “chill” or “free-spirited” person among most generations- the best part of being a hippy. It represents a past (but not forgotten) piece of a subculture's history, having been nicknamed the “drug rug” because of its loving association with cannabis culture. Now in the 2000s, these woven hoodies serve as an iconic reminder of the 1960s and 1970s by being the modern-day hippie’s favourite fashion of choice.
As popular as this design is in North America and the UK, did you know the Mexican Baja hoodie actually originated from Mexico? Shocker, I know. Somewhere deep within the 1970s, surfer guys and gals went down to Baja California, Mexico, to get a break from- the real- California’s overcrowded surfing waters. They saw locals wearing the woven hoodies and fell in love. They loved the Mesoamerican, Aztec-like design so much they decided to take it back with them. Surfers started throwing it on after a long day at the beach since its material is warm and absorbent. Quickly, the design became so popular that it swept the “peace, love, and drugs" culture by storm. Everyone from famous musicians to your local skater-boys has taken a liking to the infamous design.
In our modern culture, most people associate Baja hoodies with hippies, free spirits, stoners, and spiritual souls. Contrary to popular belief, this style of clothing is worn by more than just your modern hippy. In fact, it is becoming a popular- and wildly appreciated- fashion statement piece. It screams “aesthetic” but is also comfortable and cozy at the same time. Several indie, luxury designers have begun creating their own Baja inspired pieces, re-imagining the classic design into high-fashion.
A key aspect of why the Baja hoodie is known for comfort is its fabric. The material used for the Mexican Baja hoodie is very, very important. While its nickname does have the word “rug” in it, no one wants to feel like they are wearing an actual rug- rough, stiff, scratchy, and plain uncomfortable. Look for a soft texture and fabric. Most hoodies are woven out of a combination of cotton, acrylic, or recycled fibres to give it that timeless look. No matter your personal style, you can find a Baja hoodie that reflects your personality. Most colour patterns tend to lean towards earthy, darker tones (like this one) or muted tones (like this one), but you can still find colourful options like the sought-after cotton-candy coloured style.
Overall, it does not seem like this fashion of choice will be going away anytime soon. Mainstream culture has ignited a craze around Baja hoodies, viewing the design as trendy and influential. People love these drug rugs for not only their comfort and aesthetic but also for their connection to a specific mindset. It almost feels like you are part of a large family that spans continents when robed in a Baja design. As cannabis culture and modern hippies dominate throughout younger generations, the hoodie will continue to live on as a music festival going, trailblazing, anti-establishment, spiritualist, psychedelic tradition.