We’ve covered many of the essential wardrobe items for men over the last few posts but I want to make this a bit more personal. Sweatshirts happen to be a current trend with designers like Givenchy and Balmain charging more for a sweatshirt than most people do for cashmere knitwear, but they have been a staple of mine for years now. My obsession with sweatshirts dates back to the late 90’s when I started buying Raf Simons oversized sweats, printed with obtuse latin phrases. There is a practicality to a sweatshirt that has always made them preferable to jumpers for me. Unlike knitwear you can throw them in the washing machine, iron them and stretch any way you like knowing that they’ll return to their original shape. Also – moths don’t seem to want to eat sweatshirts. If you’ve ever paid £££ for designer knitwear only to have a moth eat a hole in it you’ll share my rage here. There is a relaxed and understated chicness to a classic grey sweatshirt. In the late 1940’s ‘Ivy League’ style crossed over from the campus to the world of fashion championed by beat poets like Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady and the photography of Teruyoshi Hayashida who chronicled the dapper students of Harvard and Yale.
Classically speaking a sweatshirt should always have raglan sleeves. There are a few core fabrics that sweatshirts come in – melange is a weaving process that gives the fabric a hatched ‘salt and pepper’ effect. Slub means the fabric has a worn in ‘knobbly’ feel and Loopback is a special kind of jersey which is especially soft to the touch. Broadly speaking these fabrics are cheap and for that reason you shouldn’t have to pay too much. Let’s have a look at the best options from the stores in Westfield.
First choice is Cos. I’m a bit obsessed with Cos – despite my predilection for all things OTT Cos have nailed the minimal high-end designer aesthetics of Jil Sander, Helmut Lang and Calvin Klein; offering those looks at high street prices. It’s the perfect place to find a quality basic such as the sweatshirt. There’s something about the placement of the zip – I love it when an unnecessary and usually functional detail becomes more like an embellishment.
My second choice is Topman. My choice from their selection is a long line version. If the standard grey sweatshirt is too plain for your tastes this subtle difference in cut makes this choice edgier and more modern. Be careful when you start playing around with proportions as a perfect outfit must be balanced. Anything cut on the long side needs to be accounted for with the rest of your outfit otherwise you’ll end up looking like a little boy playing dress up in his Father’s clothes.
The failsafe option comes from Uniqlo – they do a fantastic grey sweatshirt for under £20 (it comes in plenty of other colours too). I like it so much I buy them in bulk; just in case they stop making them. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?
This is a collaboration with Westfield
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