Couture Cotton Sweatshirts Are Next Big Thing

Sneakers recently received a boost (literally) with a high fashion makeover and now the sweatshirt is undergoing similar sartorial treatment. Just like the hidden wedge sneaker trend, made famous by Isabel Marant, transported casual sports shoes from the field to Fifth Avenue, the sweatshirt is no longer reserved for lazy Sundays or Mark Zuckerberg-types. But these sweats seen on celebrities and shown strutting the runways are no run of the mill mass-market pullovers-and cotton incarnations by couture brands sell their versions for thousands of dollars.

With the skyrocketing popularity of street style and increasing exposure of high-end brands to the everyday consumer, the sweatshirt, with a favorable ratio between cost of production and retail price, easily translates commercially and appeals to many markets. Eye-popping embellishments and innovative cuts combined with the comfort of cotton and versatility of a basic add to the sweatshirt's popularity. Sticker shock may send some shoppers running to their local fast-fashion store for more affordable alternatives but Tomoko Ogura, senior fashion director at Barneys New York, tells Business of Fashion, "For an aspirational customer, it's an accessible way to buy into a brand."

For those uninterested in spending loads of money on something so basic, have no fear because those holey Hanes crewnecks and well-worn collegiate hoodies that are already a staple in your wardrobe work just as well as the new and more glitzy alternatives. -Lauren Tuck, Shine Staff