December 07 2012
I love a chic sweatshirt. It has excellent go-anywhere credentials and is the epitome of casual glamour. For those who are wondering what I mean by casual glamour, it’s the clever combination of easy-to-wear, everyday basics with look-at-me standout pieces, such as the chic sweatshirt – a multitasking item that works both day and evening, indoors and out. My goal is to embrace a style that works 24-hours and cultivate a series of outfits that will take me anywhere. The desired effect is to look modern, stylish and lively – without seeming to have tried too hard.
The latest addition to my sweatshirt collection is a gorgeous midnight velvet number by Les Chiffoniers at Net-a-Porter (second picture, £210). Beautiful isn’t it? I never thought I’d see myself in textured separates (it seemed impossible after the Juicy Couture velour tracksuit abomination) but fashion moves in mysterious ways. And this top is so sumptuous and slinky. It’s fabulous with a pair of slim black pants – Acne’s Rocca jeans, for example (£160) – and a pair of Liberty print Nike Air Max (£105). Yes – I sometimes wear a sweatshirt with jeans and trainers. But, as Phoebe Philo has shown, elegant, modern sports-influenced fashion does have a place in the grown-up woman’s wardrobe – the Céline designer lives in beautiful, sleek separates and Nike Air Max.
I’ve learnt, however, that there are ways and there are ways to wear a chic sweatshirt, primarily to avoid straying into the territory of an overgrown teenager…
In the wrong hands, a sweatshirt can appear all casual, no glamour. So with a pared-down version it’s best to crank up the wow-factor with a pair of fabulous Liz Taylor earrings or a top-notch party necklace.
I embrace proportion control by balancing an oversized top with more streamlined bottoms. A pair of slim trousers or not-quite-skinny jeans should do the trick.
Luxurious fabrics such as velvet, leather and sequins are key. Case in point is this example by 3.1 Phillip Lim (first picture, £890 from Liberty). A pair of heels are the perfect finishing touch – a quick and easy way to avoid looking too dressed down. I smarten up the sweatshirt, jeans and trainers option by throwing on a really slick tailored jacket. Lastly, a chic sweatshirt shouldn’t be saved for the weekend. One can bring some unusual glamour to the office by teaming it with a neat pencil skirt, pair of Kat Maconie metallic shoes (£195) and a leather envelope clutch.