In the past several years, hoodies have become much more of an outlet for creative expression than ever before. We’ve seen all sorts of cool hoodies use the hood to enhance the design — as a helmet, for instance. Until now, though we haven’t seen anyone use the sleeves for much, and certainly not for as awesome an effect as the ones from Mouth Man do.
Mouth Man hoodies came from an idea by Ross Valory, the bass player for the band Journey, which is why “Don’t Stop Believin'” auto-plays when you go to their website, so be forewarned. It’s one of those ideas that seems incredibly obvious once you see it: Each hoodie has a picture of an animal on the torso (most with a picture of the animal’s back on the back of the hoodie), and the sleeves are decorated such that if you hug yourself, you create the animal’s mouth in a different pose. If that sounds confusing, it really isn’t — pictures explain it way better than words can.
They have all sorts of animals, from peaceful ones like geckos, frogs and dogs to predators like sharks, gators, tigers and raptors. They even have a few not sold by Discovery Channel Store, including one that makes a kiss and a set of Simpsons 20th Anniversary hoodies. But really, the animal ones are the stars. And what’s more, they’re even making them in adult sizes now!
Every geek child who’s worn one of these has not wanted to take it off for the rest of that day, because they’re just that awesome. And, as a parent, I have to say it is really fun to watch your kids chase each other around the house, each hugging him/herself, attempting to “eat” each other.
The Mouth Man hoodies retail for $24.95. They are 100% polyester, which makes cleaning easy even if it may not “breathe” that well. They are fairly warm, but not so thick they couldn’t be worn on a warm-but-not-hot day (since, obviously, they are all long-sleeve). They are not at all scratchy, though, so can easily be worn over a t-shirt.
Wired: Just a brilliant idea that makes you slap yourself in the forehead, unable to believe it never occurred to you. I only wish they’d sent one big enough for me when they sent me some samples.
Tired: The price is a bit steep for a hoodie, though not exorbitantly so. And of course I could wish they were cotton instead of polyester, but I’m sure the price would be even higher if they were.
Summary: Highly recommended. I can’t imagine a child who wouldn’t love one of these as a holiday or birthday present, though probably not if they have a summer birthday and live someplace where it gets hot.
(Full disclosure: Discovery Channel Store gave me several hoodies for review purposes.)