Hating the Hoodie?




Hating the Hoodie?

Until the recently, I was a supporter of the sensible piece of clothing known as the hoodie. A cross between sweatshirt and a jacket, for me it conjured up images of  boxers jogging along the road punching the air with purpose, more Ali than Rocky.

I first became aware of some negative associations with the garment, this winter in London. Wearing one I popped my head round the door and asked my hosts if anyone wanted anything from the shop an action that  usually elicits an enthusiastic response. There’s always something you want from the shop especially when the weather is a bad and someone else offers to go.  Instead silence and odd looks. I ask what? That what that says, more than what, it says what’s up, what’s wrong, and do you want to let me in on something?  Finally I hear   “we don’t like hoodies or rather people wearing them, they do things like a bit of vandalism, like harass people, and we don’t like the hoodie.”

The hoodie came into ubiquitous infamy on the streets of London and other major cities troubled by riots and looting in England recently. Watching the images of those on the streets wearing it, while up to no good has forced me to reevaluate, the hoodie.

Now acclimatized to the tropics, I would be the first to admit the English summer leaves a lot to be desired, but we know that most of those pulling their hoods close to  their faces in video footage of the disturbances were trying to obscure identities and not control body temperature.

Can the hoodie recover from this negative image or should it even try? Perhaps it will be better for the garment to fall out of fashion favour? It could then eventually reemerge as a sports garment and not something that may put innocent wearers in danger of being arrested for looting, whether or not they are also carrying a sledge hammer and a 40 inch TV without a receipt.


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