Haute couture to rescue hoodies from the bad boys

But, according to the fashion authority Vogue, the young and hip will be embracing the garment with enthusiasm next year.

The magazine declared the hooded top one of 100 new trends to look out for in 2006, saying: "After a year of bad press it's time to reclaim the hooded top from malevolent scowling youths."

Alexandra Shulman, the editor, added: "Hoodies might be out of favour in shopping malls, but fashion refuses to give them up."

She is not, of course, talking about the large grey or blue sweatshirt versions emblazoned with graffiti-style designs so beloved of surly teenagers.

Rather, the magazine tells upmarket shoppers to pick up Juicy Couture's cashmere hooded top or opt for one designed by Stella McCartney for Adidas. Others could splash out on an haute couture version from Gil Sanders or D&G. According to some commentators, for the truly cool, hoodies have been back for a while. Nicki Bidder, editor-in-chief of Dazed and Confused magazine, said: "We are wearing it knowingly. The hoodie is perhaps more conspicuous since the fuss over them being banned from shopping centres. It has acquired a bit more of a cool factor and become more associated with the disaffected youth."

As in the 1990s when the American gangsta style of white Lycra and heavy gold chains made its way on to the high street, hoodie wearers were enjoying the look without necessarily subscribing to the image it lent them.

"People are wearing it with a smirk, with an acknowledgement that there is nothing wrong with wearing one and perhaps also that teenagers should not be targeted for wearing them."

For the very rich, next season's hoodies will be a distinctly more glamorous affair - appearing in taffeta and silk. According to the fashion writer Iain R Webb, designers are likely to want to use more luxurious fabrics to combine streetwear with the "vogue of volume".

He added that the designers' attraction to the hoodie was not a surprise. "We saw it with the shell-suit tracksuit, which was transformed when Juicy Couture remade it in cashmere. But designers are always looking for something that isn't thought to be fashionable that they can resurrect into something else, and give it new life."

Vogue's backing of the hoodie comes six months after the Bluewater ban. The centre banned the tops following claims that teenagers were causing trouble in the shopping centre but using their tops to avoid being identified on CCTV. Bluewater reported a 23 per cent rise in visitor numbers once the ban was implemented.

The other unlikely garment set for a comeback is leggings. The magazine said of their return: "Granted, this is a tricky one. But try to put to the back of your mind visions of Fame! and Eighties aerobics - rather, think of leggings as warmer alternatives to stockings."

And a word to the wise: it strongly counselled against wearing them with hoodies.

The December issue of 'Vogue' goes on sale today