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Pique N' Your Interest

Save our hoodies



"I like to rest my hands in your kangaroo pouch,

it makes them feel comfy like a big soft couch.

And I don’t care if the weather’s no good,

I say "See you later rain" as I pull up my hood."

Adam Sandler knows. He immortalized the hooded sweatshirt on Saturday Night Live with his aptly titled ditty ‘Red Hooded Sweatshirt’. He knows there’s nothing better than wearing your favourite hoodie.

Leave the kilts to the Scots, the boardies to the Aussies. In Whistler our national dress is the hoodie – the comfiest of all tops, the most reliable piece of clothing in your closet. It never lets you down. It always fits just right. It never needs to be ironed. And if it gets a little dirty, it never really shows it. Where would we be without our favourite hooded sweatshirt?

That’s why it’s all the more shocking to read a news report out of Great Britain recently linking hoodies, of all things, to bad behaviour, and, dare I say it, sometimes even criminal actions.

It’s an absolute affront to my sense of style.

According to a May 31 report from the Globe and Mail, a mall in eastern England has taken a stand against the hoodie, banning it from inside its walls. The ban also extends to baseball caps and "other headgear that obscure the face."

Other public places have jumped aboard the bandwagon and banned hoods too. And Prime Minister Tony Blair is backing it all the way as he worries about rowdy public drunkenness, petty street crime and vandalism among other things.

According to the Globe report, Mr. Blair told the House of Commons,

"It is time to reclaim the streets for the decent majority… People are rightly fed up with street-corner and shopping-centre thugs…"

It goes on to say:

"A few teens in a group hanging out at the south London mall had hooded shirts but kept their heads uncovered. They said they knew the hoods scared some people, but they insisted they meant no harm and wore them only to keep warm or in style."

Scare people? How could a hoodie scare people, hood up or hood down? It’s not the hoodie people are scared of but the hoodlums underneath it. Just as English hoodlums gave football (that’s soccer to North Americans) fans a bad name, they’re now giving hoodies a bad rap. I’m not happy about it.

The hoodie has become the poster child for bad behaviour, vilified across the land as the root cause of evil. This is the same piece of clothing that made Sandler croon,

"Oh what is it about you that makes me so jolly?

Is it your fifty cotton or your fifty poly?"

Hoodies have come a long way from Sandler’s red hooded sweatshirt days.

Now we have zippers, we have different fabrics, and a range of colours from which to choose.

I’m writing this column in a navy blue velour-type hoodie. It’s not too big, or too small. It’s not too bulky, or too thin. It’s just right.

Is it my favourite hooded sweatshirt? That’s a tough one.

I’ve got a really cozy pink hoodie. I have a nice crisp white one too. And of course, I’ve got a handful of the traditional sweatshirt hoodies and feel the same way about them as Sandler does out his red hooded sweatshirt. I love them. Hard to pick a favourite and even harder to imagine a country would want to ban this wardrobe staple.

My boyfriend has a grey hooded sweatshirt that he rarely takes off. He wears it to work where it gets dusty and sometimes dirty. With a little shake, the hoodie is good to go for dinner and drinks. He wears it reno-ing in the house. He wears it walking the dog. He wears it camping. He wears it in the rain. He sometimes wears it skiing.

He gets mad when I dare ask if I can wash the hoodie – that’s how much he loves his grey hooded sweatshirt. It just doesn’t feel right when it’s fresh out of the laundry.

"My mom bought you when I was just 13,

the brightest red sweatshirt I ever seen.

She got an extra large so I wouldn’t grow out,

"That’s too big for you!" the other kids would shout.

But we stuck together, we didn’t quit,

and now the children say, "What a perfect fit."

It’s only when we go to Vancouver that we realize not everyone feels the way about the hoodie as we in Whistler do. I don’t care. Let them have their designer shirts and savvy button down silks.

We know there’s a certain unique beauty to the hooded sweatshirt and that is its versatility. You can wear a hoodie anywhere – except shopping in England apparently.

Well the English can keep their malls hoodie-free I say as long as we don’t get so heavy handed here in Whistler, blaming the hoodie for our social ills. Long live the hoodie.

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