Despite all the talk you hear about obsessions with youth, nobody wants to look like a teenager. Oh, you might want your long virgin hair, racing metabolism, and eff-it attitude back (so fun when school was something you were trying to get out of, not so much when offices are something you’re trying to get into).
And, even if it was exciting and experimental at the time, nobody’s style was at its peak in high school (remember when pink and brown was a thing?). But, totally unbeknownst to you, High School You was steady rocking one of the hottest trends of 2016 (so far): the sweatshirt.
Yes, the sweatshirt is cool again. Cool in a way that you wished it was back in high school when you wore one every day (maybe just through the first few periods, shoving it in your locker after lunch). All the times you wanted to mentally check out of calculus, you just pulled the hood up, tightened up the drawstrings and chewed on those little tied-off ends. You were in your own little cotton-poly blend world.
It’s easy to see why you’ve left it behind in the intervening time. We’ve all done some growing up, or at least made some solid attempts, and that requires a fair amount of sartorial cleaning up, where the goal is to look more “polished” than “trendy.” If you’re still figuring your life out, you can fall into the uncanny valley of trying to look “professional” even if you don’t know exactly what you’re supposed to be professing yet.
On top of all this, there’s the growing pressure to try to develop your very own personal style. This usually means picking a tribe and staying relatively faithful (even if you put your own spin on things). If you’re looking to the runway or Instagram or snaps of celebrities at the airport for inspiration (and really, they’re close to all being the same thing these days), you’ve got more than a few vying for your membership.. On one hand, there’s a lot of flowy ladylikeness going around, a lot of chic tomboy denim vibes out there, and that uptown boho thing that Jessica Alba and Nicole Richie made a thing ten years ago. There’s whatever’s left over from all that effort you put into perfect your apres-gym wardrobe, known in the trade as Athleisure or Health Goth, depending on your chosen color palette. Then there’s French girl swag, which is considerable.
What’s the one thing that all of these style tribes don’t have in common?
That old homeroom staple—a sweatshirt.
You might be surprised to realize you don’t have one. Even for working out, you probably traded up for some melange techno jersey separates that, in all likelihood, you ended up mixing and matching with office wear, because they were chic (and expensive) enough for you to take them seriously.
But no, we’re talking about big, thick, huge, and hooded. The classic sweatshirt.
Well, classic with a twist.
The one that has us all even talking about this is the perfectly re-imagined example from. Vetements, who’s built their buzz on re-establishing staples. There’s a surprising number of things coming together here. It seems like a simple, obvious garment, something whose very existence you take for granted. But its resurgence comes at a crossroads of trends. For one, it’s not the athleisure type. Neither is it vintage. But it is throwback in a way, but reimagined and re-presented for evaluation. The whole nineties/aughts nostalgia moment is at play too, hearkening back to high school slackerdom and afternoons slouching into 7/11.
It’s a game-changer for everybody. Once a cloak of anonymity is now a statement-maker. It affects a girl of any style stripe, mostly because it’s so many cultural (and literal) threads coming together at a single point. For everyone from the blog-reader to the off-duty celebrity (if there is such a thing anymore), it’s a way to take a casual, stylish turn without going through all the trouble of “making a statement.” It avoids street-style peacocking while still being downright photogenic—see Selena Gomez at LAX in her Vetements hoodie. Same goes for Kendall (and hey, if she dropped her last name on her comp card, who are we to argue?)
So if you can find it, break out your own throwback hoodie again. Or at least bring back the old hoodie-wearing swag you had back in the day, but bring it to a new sweatshirt—maybe something a little crisper and cleaner. And get confident, because it’s the get of the moment, and you rocked it for years, waaay before it was even a thing. Hey, you never even knew how cool you were.