Tory leader David Cameron is to call for greater understanding for teenage "hoodies".
In another piece of political re-positioning, he will use a speech on social justice today to suggest that teenagers who hid under hooded tops were trying to "blend in" rather than appear threatening.
"The hoodie is a response to a problem, not a problem in itself," he will says.
"We - the people in suits - often see hoodies as aggressive, the uniform of a rebel army of young gangsters.
"But hoodies are more defensive than offensive. They're a way to stay invisible in the street. In a dangerous environment the best thing to do is keep your head down, blend in.
"For some the hoodie represents all that's wrong about youth culture in Britain today. For me, adult society's response to the hoodie shows how far we are from finding the long-term answers to put things right."
In the past, Mr Cameron has criticised Radio 1 for playing violent rap records.
However, in his speech, he will draw on the film Kidulthood , which has attracted controversy for its violent portrayal of teenage life in west London, to illustrate the dilemmas young people are confronted with.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell also expressed his support for the right of youngsters to wear hooded tops.
"If they want to express themselves wearing a particular form of clothing, then frankly, I don't think it's a matter for Government," he said. ..SUPL: