Kevlar Is the New Cotton

Body armor isn't just for rappers and security-obsessed paranoiacs. Thanks to the trend in all things militaristic, more and more people are picking up bulletproof vests, or jackets, shirts, and coats lined with bullet resistant kevlar. Even faux bulletproof vests are in, apparently:

"The trend to protective gear is pretty strong right now," said Richard Geist, the founder of Uncle Sam's Army Navy Outfitters in downtown Manhattan. "It's big with rappers, alternative types and even some women." Uncle Sam's sells protective gear to the military. But most of its clients are civilians who snap up authentic bulletproof vests for as much as $1,000 or trade down to look-alike versions stripped of their armored lining ($24). Real or fake, "the look is tough," Mr. Geist said, "and customers love it."

For people who want to project a bad-ass image, but don't want to be seen wearing a vest—real or otherwise—there are other options, don't you worry. Terrence Kelleman, the owner of a company called Dynomighty Design, sells T-shirts printed with a picture of a bulletproof vest, since "aggressive imagery has become a part of our urban environment."

A Look That's Bulletproof [NYT]