Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: In tha Hoodie

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  • Tim Croft,

    Cry TV?

    Tuscaloosa • Since May 2008 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    A few of us at Public Address will be wearing hoodies for Hoodie Day, Friday May 30, which is one of the events for Youth Week, May 26 to June 1. The choice of garment isn't accidental: hoodies are a sort of sartorial shorthand for stigmatisation of youth ...

    .

    That's well and good, but doesn't this, in a strange way, sort of add to the stigmatization? Rather than allowing the hoodie to be merely a piece of early-00s fashion that youth are free to adopt, or discard, as they see fit, doesn't a 'Hoodie Day' now essentialize it as part of youth identity?

    There's been a weird ethnologizing of markets and consumer groups in the last ten or so years. (I blame the phenomenon of anthropology Ph.D.s getting jobs in marketing firms.) Now consumers are viewed as 'tribes' with their own customs and costumes, which it is the marketer's job to understand, co-opt, and appropriate. These poses and outfits then get packaged and sold as 'authentic' culture -- part of what Thomas Frank calls the 'conquest of cool'.

    I have real problems with this whole 'hug a hoodie' movement, because of the element of covert control involved. In a way, the hoodie becomes mandatory -- a uniform. It's imposed from above (by the fashion and music industries), and then it gets taken as some kind of authentic cultural expression. It's not. It's just a piece of fashion, part of the larger phenomenon of the American cultural hegemony that we're all subject to. Why do we have to imbue it with a significance and authenticity it just doesn't have?

    East Greenwich • Since Mar 2008 • 430 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    Damn that shift button!

    East Greenwich • Since Mar 2008 • 430 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    My mum wears a hoodie. Keeps her head warm, she sez. I rekon it's 'cause she wants to look like shez down wif us PA kids...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1615 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Rather than allowing the hoodie to be merely a piece of early-00s fashion that youth are free to adopt, or discard, as they see fit, doesn't a 'Hoodie Day' now essentialize it as part of youth identity?

    I think the boat might have sailed on that one.

    Why do we have to imbue it with a significance and authenticity it just doesn't have?

    So 30 years from now, instead of having 70s parties with flares, we can have 00 parties with hoodies and jeans hanging off your thighs rather than hips.

    And someone will come along with a plastic knife and stab anyone carrying a spray can/marker pen, because by then it will no longer be 'too soon'.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6165 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    American? In my mind the identification of the hoodie with delinquent youth is mostly a UK thing.

    (This 38 year old is wearing a hoodie at work right now, as are 2 of the other 9 people I can see.)

    Equally, when you see that hoodies are a rational response to the rise of the surveillance society - one where we police our own behaviour just in case we might be seen by a CCTV camera - you can argue that every dedicated advocate of civil liberties ought to wear one. I'm sure Foucault would be wearing one right now, if he weren't dead.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2950 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    Nose!!1!1 Don't want! Anyone over the age of 30 wearing a hoodie looks like a sad douchebag - unless perhaps if warn under a nice blazer or sportscoat - but Nooooooooooooooooooose!!1!1! Embrace adult life - we can drink in bars and own property, yay!

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • dubmugga,

    If you're gonna wear one, wear one that is limited edition. The pinnacle of cool is exclusivity. No one want a hoodie that everyone else has.

    In line with that...

    http://img74.imageshack.us/my.php?image=hellsdtshirts08003iq3.jpg

    ...buy one of me ;P

    the back of your mind • Since Nov 2006 • 257 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    I was taken with a nicely done suit-type jacket with a hood on I saw in a shop recently.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1095 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    American? In my mind the identification of the hoodie with delinquent youth is mostly a UK thing.

    Well, yeah, but the UK's been subject to wave-upon-wave of Americanization since the end of World War II. Hip-hop street culture is only one aspect of that one-way cultural exchange. But, yes, the 'hug a hoodie' movement is an English thing.

    I'm sure Foucault would be wearing one right now, if he weren't dead.

    Thanks for that image!

    East Greenwich • Since Mar 2008 • 430 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    Given Foucault was also into titclamps, that's not saying much.

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Nick D'Angelo,

    It includes chats with Kevin Black, Mikey Havoc, Nick D and

    Damn that young Nick Dwyer for ursurping my title! (Done more than I did, mind)

    A few of us at Public Address will be wearing hoodies for Hoodie Day, Friday May 30

    I didn't realise there was an office - I presumed you ran this empire from home! (unless you mean you, the wife, and the kids). I'm wearing a Kangol Hoodie now, actually.

    a piece of early-00s fashion

    Some of us early adopters were wearing them in the mid 80's.

    Anyone over the age of 30 wearing a hoodie looks like a sad douchebag - ... - we can drink in bars and own property, yay!

    Careful who you're calling douchebag, spermbucket. I'm over 40, wear a hoodie, AND own property!__ (and I've a good mind to come down to ChCh, buy your house, and kick you out on the street)__ :)

    Simon Laan • Since May 2008 • 157 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    "pedophobia"

    Or perhaps something like "ephebephobia", since it's fear of youthe rather than children. I think I suffer from pedophobia, as the sight (or especially sound) of rugrats is enough to send me diving for cover.

    I was taken with a nicely done suit-type jacket with a hood on I saw in a shop recently.

    That "tailoring with streetwear" thing seems to be making a comeback: I associate it with the early 90s, when Paul Smith & Katherine Hammnet were mixing up hoodies with suits all the time. By the time I attempted it, I'd already missed the minuscule cultural trend.

    But I'm with Andrew on this: I don't wear trainers, and hardly ever wear proper jeans, so I'm hardly likely to wear a hoodie. I didn't dress like "yoof" when I was one, so I've no intention of doing so now.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    In principle, I would like to dress in the stylish and mature fashion of the dapper Mr Beard.

    In practise, this requires more labour, thought and expense than I am prepared to put into the enterprise of dressing, except on special occasions. My sartorial-foo manifests only in my extensive collection of novelty t-shirts.

    Every now and then I think about getting two or three good suits, since then dressing would merely be a matter of changing underwear and picking a shirt. But nice suits are expensive, and hoodies are warm and practical for the balding.

    APW: surely wearing a hoodie under a "nice sports coat" combines the worst fashion-crime elements of both garments.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2950 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    American? In my mind the identification of the hoodie with delinquent youth is mostly a UK thing.

    nope in nz wearing a hoodie is very much one of those things that stigmatise youth in NZ. Just ask some teenage boys and they'll be able to confirm that one.

    some places don't even let kids enter if they wear their hoodies up.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 473 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    The only hoodie I've worn was at Uni Graduation or on my raincoat.

    So silk & nylon/gortex are ok, but cotton is not.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    nope in nz wearing a hoodie is very much one of those things that stigmatise youth in NZ. Just ask some teenage boys and they'll be able to confirm that one.

    Don't teenage boys want to be stigmatised? Isn't being misunderstood the whole point of teeangership?

    At least Jimmy donn't drag race or drive fast on the highway neither.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1615 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    some places don't even let kids enter if they wear their hoodies up.

    That's so they can identify the thieving little ratbags to the police.

    And Stephen, the blazer is one of the few garments that is both chic and ironic. Did you never watch Brideshead Revisited?

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Why yes, but I don't recall that scene where Sebastion languidly dons a blazer over his hoodie.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2950 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    SebastiAn. *argh*

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2950 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    It keps your ears warm and rakishly resembles a Fautus hood when declaiming Eliot from the roof through a megaphone.

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    That "tailoring with streetwear" thing seems to be making a comeback: I associate it with the early 90s, when Paul Smith & Katherine Hammnet were mixing up hoodies with suits all the time.

    And now Paul Smith is doing cardies and vaguely 'Brideshead'-ish foppery and the kind of suits that helped James Bond save Pussy Galore from a life of lesbotic criminality. (We shall pass over the shirts that look like they were made from Great-Granny Webster's slip covers in silence.)

    I guess 'Pullovers for Yooth' doesn't quite have that shwing. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11933 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    It's not as great a crime as the bow tie on anyone who is not a surgeon or consultant. Which are you Mr Ranapia with your big photo in Metro?

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Paul Wood,

    And why do the Ten Years Younger people feel the need to dres everyone with a penis as Mr Humphries from Are You Being Served?

    Christchurch • Since Jan 2007 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    I like that Juha linked to the Homepage Hall of Shame from his blog on ... Stuff.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 689 posts Report Reply

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