The scourge of polite society, and a garment guaranteed to strike fear into the hearts of houseproud folk across London, the hoodie is nothing if not an adaptable form of clothing. In the wake of the bulletproof edition sold by a Romford firm, another variant ready for urban warfare has arrived: gas mask hoodies are now available at Walthamstow Market.
Costing twenty quid, the nylon jacket is available in brown and grey camoflauge, and like a chilling relic from The Atomic Cafe, features a zipped mask that can cover the entire head, with two eye windows and a thin breathing membrane. Originally designed for snowboarders, the lightweight version has found a natural home (and another kind of powder) on the slopes of London.
It has been available in adult size since Christmas, and plans to release children's sizes - including ones for five-year olds - have alarmed local residents, who see them as nothing but a formal uniform for teenage muggers and malcontents. A local woman said that they "will only intimidate more people."
Yet one stallholder who sells the hoodies defended them, summoning his inner Charlton Heston with the retort: "it's the people that commit the crime, not the clothes". Less convincingly, he added: "you get hoods on the cardigans I sell to grannies". While geriatric crime is rising (a phenomenon we've been keeping tabs on), we've yet to see a hooded-up pensioner blasting Lethal Bizzle out of a tinny-speakered phone while sticking up the local Spar.
Image from the author's Filckrstream