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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Do or Don't: Sweatshirts

My brother brought his French girlfriend on our family vacation last week. She was fun and beautiful with shiny brown hair and thick bangs, and she taught us French phrases, like the term of endearment "mon petit chou," or "my little cabbage."

But what stood out to me was that, during the trip, her uniform was skinny jeans, brown flat sandals and...a grey sweatshirt. She looked effortlessly cool. I had always categorized sweatshirts as workout clothes, but hers was fitted, cropped and flattering. Naturally, as soon as we got home to New York, I googled said sweatshirts. Here are cool ones from J.Crew, Current Elliott, BP and Everlane.

Thoughts? Would you wear one? Might be the perfect thing to pull on every day this fall.

P.S. England photos are coming right up!

110 comments:

Desiree Fawn said...

I'm wearing one right now -- and I love it! :) Cozy, cute with boyfriend jeans or skinnies, easy to dress up!

Giulia said...

I smiled when I read this as it reminded me of reactions of many to, for instance, lovely Mimi of Manger in jeans, pea coat, blue scarf, raffia tote. If you look at that list, there's nothing particularly exotic about these items either. It is perhaps the sleeker design of some of these things or really it is the person wearing it. Making sure that items are the nicest possible for the money, taking care of them, and other things such as hair, light make up, posture. I'm sure someone else can be more eloquent as I have only had 1 espresso + 3 hours sleep last night. :)

And I don't usually wear sweatshirts but I have a few that others have given me & I shall give it a go this autumn.

xo

Susan

Kiri Cragin Folwell said...

I think sweatshirts are all about the fit. The Everlane one you posted looks super stylish. How is it the French are always able to pull this kinda stuff off?

www.stateofsunshineblog.com

Heather said...

A definite do! I stocked up on a few J. Crew ones last year (especially when they started going on 40% sale) and they quickly became my cold weather staple from fall through spring. nice to know I'm on up to date with my french trends :)

Breanna said...

I am literally pulling on a sweatshirt like this and some skinny jeans for a plane ride this evening. Good to know I'll be stylish (and maybe look like I am actually French?). :)

Joanna Goddard said...

breanna, that sounds perfect! :)

Isa said...

Oh yes, sweatshirts can be really nice, it's all about the cut and fabric.
It's quite a trend here in France for women between 12 and 30 i'd say.

Kristin said...

sounds like a great way to transition into fall. what kind of brown sandals did she wear?

efd said...

I've got the Everlane sweatshirt and I adore it. I wear it with skinny or boyfriend jeans on weekends and feel fabulous, until I realize that my style somehow also models my pre-teen style of a Champion sweatshirt and colored jeans in the 90's!

Still a fun look though :)

Joanna Goddard said...

how interesting, isa!

Krysta said...

I LOVE sweatshirts. I have a bunch that are cut a little more fitted and have thrown one on of leather skinnies and heal for a night out.
Target actually has some really cute ones!

Mindy Lee said...

Sweatshirts remind me of summer nights at the beach on Cape Cod. I love wearing a sweatshirt and shorts when it gets cold in the summer. If they fit well and are comfy, nothing can feel sexier.

hellokorin said...

I own SO many fitted sweatshirts! They're the easiest thing to wear, both casually with sneakers or dressed up a bit with a chunky necklace and some sandals. My favorite thing recently has been layering one under a green military vest.

karin3881 said...

the Everlane ones are great; I have a short sleeve one in grey, they're priced right & made in the USA. I also have a couple from James Perse which fit closer to the body & come in their interesting colours

Lauren E. said...

I am ALSO wearing one right now since it was 65 when I left my apartment this morning! I had to stop myself from buying multiples last winter because they are so dang comfortable and I feel like they're casual-work appropriate with trousers or a pencil skirt and heels.

Erin said...

I would live in sweatshirts if I could! My job requires me to dress a little more business casual, but I have been known to dress up a sweatshirt to make it work appropriate ;).

stylemeetsart.com said...

French people are able to pull this off because they pay attention to the cut. Wearing any old bulky sweatshirt isn't flattering.

Amanda said...

I thought the same thing- a sweatshirt is "giving up" clothes. BUT I saw the everlane sweatshirts enough times that I couldn't resist anymore and got a black short-sleeved one. It is so cute and looks really stylish and polished. I LOVE it.

The Wh0le Story said...

Give me all the sweatshirts! I love mine -cropped, fitted, loose - you can style them so many ways.

Erin Bassett said...

Fantastic! I'm traveling to Europe in October and want to pack comfortable, versatile pieces and also not look too touristy. I'm thrilled to see that french chic is so comfortable and cool!

Christine Brown said...

I ordered a grey sweatshirt from the Gap last week. It looks just like the JCrew version but even less expensive. Great option! Always flattering.

wainscott amor said...

My husband and I saw a comedy show in Paris on our recent trip, and he pointed out that Parisian girls dress like men- and it's so true! I happen to love the look- simple, fitted menswear, throw on some pearls & a scarf, and voila- you're in the Parisian fashion! :)(But seriously, don't forget the scarf, no matter the season)

tara said...

TOTALLY a fan of cute sweatshirts! Also, that's hilarious, my SIL calls my BIL "mon petit chou!"

Taylor Morgan said...

My family always went on vacation to Newport Beach in Rhode Island when I was growing up, so there are tons of photos of me in sweatshirts with bare legs running around as the sun set. I guess it's always been my style :).

I LOVE pairing a well-cut sweatshirt with denim shorts and sandals; there's something kind of girl-next-door sexy about the look. You're right...it looks so effortless!

There's something about borrowing my husband's sweatshirts that makes me feel like I'm in high school again, stealing clothes from my boyfriend.

Madewell also has some great options.

Hemingway said...

But of COURSE! It never occurred to me that sweatshirts could NOT be chic...they just have to be the right sweatshirt. I have a few and they are fall staples. Criteria for a chic sweatshirt: flattering fit, neutral colors, soft and well made. :)

kendra said...

Yes! I have 2 that i wore all last winter. One was a basic gray and the other was more "dressy" (as dressy as a sweatshirt can be). It was black with gold dinosaur skeletons on it. I wore it everywhere

Jessica Adam said...

I love sweatshirts for when weather is too warm for sweaters but too cool just a tee. I like pairing them with skinnies and Uggs, but I can see that if the weather is too warm for the boots flats or sandals would look just as nice.

Jasmine_W said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelley said...

I'm pro sweatshirt, for sure! They're cute with white shorts and summer sandals, and I've seen a few stylish New York City gals wearing a sweatshirt with a maxi skirt, which is really cute!

The City and Us

Jasmine_W said...

Ha- this is hilarious as i just took my first trip to France a few weeks ago and inadvertently wore the same outfit you described. Before leaving,I purchased a small fitted men's grey sweatshirt from Uniqlo and fell in love. The look i was going for was structured yet comfortable. Nice to know i'm on trend.

LK said...

I have a very similar gray sweatshirt that is one of my favorite things to wear in the winter (I live in Phoenix so I don't get to wear it for very long). I wear it with skinny jeans and usually black flats. I'm always comfy and I feel put together.

Joy said...

Huh. So interesting.
I'm a fan of cardies myself.

bb said...

Sweet! I'm a big fan of cute, comfy sweatshirts. (Especially my vintage Midwest Airlines one. RIP, Midwest.)

megan bachmann said...

i love a good sweatshirt! but yes, its all about the fit and quality. and you have to dress it up with skinny jeans and cute flats (i avoid wearing a sweatshirt on a no-makeup day otherwise it looks like i am going to the gym!)

Marta García said...

It made me smile. My French friends wear grey garments all the time. I used to think grey was boring but now I think it's chic and cool. Ha, ha, the French influence!
Marta
A Bilingual Baby

Jaime said...

A gray sweatshirt is one of my go-to fall staples! Love them. I'm pregnant, so I've actually been on the hunt for a gray maternity sweatshirt, because I wear them so often...the ones in my closet are not going to fit over my belly this fall!

AVY said...

My man is insanely proud of his Givenchy sweatshirt, the one with the flames from this spring's collection. He lets me borrow it as long as it's all I wear.

/ Avy
http://MyMotherFuckedMickJagger.blogspot.com




theaccidentalmama.com said...

Sweatshirts are IN IN IN! I am dying for fall so I can wear some adorable printed sweatshirts! Plus, don't feel bad, the french make everything look cool.
xoxo
The Accidental Mama
http://theaccidentalmama.com

Meredith said...

I love updated sweatshirts like these! They're so perfect to throw on and look put together, yet comfy :)

Katie said...

I got one when the trend hit last year... I like it, but I think it looks cuter on tall skinny girls. But I think it looks cute with skinny jeans or black ankle-length pants, cute ballet flats, and a dramatic necklace.

Katie said...

Also, I think I got mine at the Gap on sale for $15, so that was a win and not much of an investment if I regretted it horribly later on :)

Melissa Campbell said...

LOVE IT! i feel like they are the modern version of the hoodie that used to be cool in the 80's. They are everywhere too! I do think it being fitted make it more "cool". Layered with print top or complimentary solid shirt under peeking out looks cute too! paired with ankle booties/rainboots/ets. Win-win.

Patricia said...

Sweatshirts are going to be my daily uniform come fall. My boyfriend is already pulling off the look. He has this super cute margiela gray sweatshirt with gray leather elbow patches that i just want to steal!

it might be time to finally pull the trigger on ordering an everlane sweater!

Alison said...

I would definitely wear one. I got one last winter from Reiss 1970 range. So cosy, goes well over a dress too. Alison www.gorseandcoconuts.com

Leah said...

I love wearing plain sweatshirts with a pair of skinnies or a great pair of distressed denim shorts. Also love to pair them with a pretty striped scarf and my Minnetonka moccasins.

morestomach.com said...

i hate to be that person, cus i have zero imagination, but, PICS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN.

i'm trying to envision this ensemble and i can't. sweatshirts are something that i equate with uber casual attire, to wear to work out, to get your oil changed or to layer up at home cus you're too cheap to turn on the heat.

Sarah Carlson said...

Joanna, I just bought two(!!) colors of the same sweatshirt from Gap and love them. They're a shrunken sweater so they're still feminine, but have an athletic, laid-back vibe. They were my uniform during a vacation to San Francisco and I felt effortlessly chic in it with skinnies, and oversized leather tote, and Superga sneakers.

Kate Harrop said...

I love the effortless sweatshirt look. perfection.

Becca Gilgan said...

I've been into the sweatshirt look since the Spring! I think it looks really cute to mix a collared shirt underneath one as well. I just picked up this more fitted, cropped one from Gap, which comes in a few lovely colours! http://www.gapcanada.ca/browse/product.do?cid=1009026&vid=1&pid=981822003

Joanna Goddard said...

oooh, thanks for the GAP recommendation! it looks great!

Jillian said...

Been my favourite for years! My husband bugs me that I always buy black or grey sweaters.

Jessica said...

I LOVE sweatshirts! I have several or what I refer to as "fancy sweatshirts"....they look nice, but are still, thankfully, sweatshirts. I know one is Banana, and one is Tommy Hilfiger.

abroadathome said...

YES! Sweatshirts. I love them when they are done right. I have the Everlane terry sweatshirt and I live in it in the fall and winter. It is so comfortable and actually makes me look pulled together with skinny black jeans and loafers. I say it is a definite DO! : )

Erin Oliver said...

I love the term "mon petit chou". I learned it in middle school French and found it completely ridiculous and figured not many people used it, but low and behold my friend's mother who was from Belgium called her and her brother that growing up! ;)

As far as the sweatshirt... I would. At least on a weekend in the fall or something. I'm always surprised how comfortable sweatshirts are each time I put one on!

Jane @ anothermommablog.blogspot.com said...

definitely, I love sweatshirts, especially heather gray ones.

Christie. said...

Just yesterday I was out shopping and noticed all the stores are doing sweat shirts at the moment. I am really fussy about the fit, it needs to be fitted and not too boxy in the shoulders.

machella said...

Pair it with a chunky necklace or layer with a collared top and Voila! C'est magnifique!

Linh Vo said...

I LOVE sweaters and sweats so this is a MUST. You can pair it with so many things and I think the shoes sway the outfit from casual to dressy :)
Linh
http://abeautifulrawr.com

Lisa Thomas said...

How funny! I was just wondering about that this week- I finally bought this one:
http://www.express.com/clothing/crepe+and+chiffon+sweatshirt/pro/8651181/cat430028

because its the perfect blend of comfy and laid back but its also feminine and just a little fancier :) .. so i don't feel like I'm wearing my pjs in public!

Lisa Thomas said...

How funny! I was just debating whether to get one this week. I ended up purchasing this one:
http://www.express.com/clothing/crepe+and+chiffon+sweatshirt/pro/8651181/cat430028
because I thought it was the perfect blend of comfy and laid back while still being a little dressier and feminine :) so I don't feel like I'm wearing my pjs in public..

Liesi151 said...

Total do! I just got one by LNA. They showcase some very cool cut out details in their options. I plan on wearing it with leather leggings and slip-ons in the fall!

Jessica said...

It looks good on her because she's french. Seriously, I'm married to a french man and his mom/sister/aunts/etc. put on jeans and a white shirt and look amazing. I just look like a girl who couldn't think of what to wear. Oh well!

netanya said...

I have a sweatshirt similar to the one in the photo, and when I bought it I pictures myself looking the way you described your brother's French girlfriend--I even have the dark brown hair and thick bangs! :)

But when I wear my skinnies and my sweatshirt, I end up feeling frumpy and not at all chic. I guess I need to ask someone honest.

Kate said...

I love them! J.Crew and Madewell make great ones.

Grey sweatshirt + denim shirt + skinnies + cute flats = weekend uniform in New England!

When it gets cooler I love layering them over a button down just like you would with a crewneck sweater. Just add a scarf and tall boots and out the door you go.

And they are machine washable!

Candy said...

My mom always says "au revoir mon petit chou chou". I love it!

Emilia said...

I lived in France for a little while, and I was amazed at how amazing French women can look in the simplest outfits! They have a gift!

This is a great resource though ... I love the idea of sporting a comfy yet chic sweatshirt during the rainy Seattle fall!

Kirby Todd said...

I recently got a black leather-and-cotton sweatshirt and have to admit, I feel pretty cool when wearing it!

brittany said...

oooh it was the french girlfriends sweatshirt!! okay got it ;) yes! i think it's adorable!! i actually have a highlighter pink one that is very similar that was actually from target! but it looks cute rather than... workout-y, you know?! i am all about it, especially if the Europeans approve! ha!

Alexa said...

Definite do! I have an old favorite grey striped one (with elbow patches!) from Urban Outfitters years and years ago, and I love to pair it with skinny jeans and flats.

J. said...

DO - best uniform ever!!

XO,
Jackie

Kate said...

Do! I like to wear mine with a pencil skirt or under a blazer in the winter. I just got a good navy blue one Gap.

Cristina said...

Joanne, I've been reading for a few years now and I must say on a side note, I appreciate so much the way you write about other women. Whether it be this effortlessly stylish French girl or women you notice while people watching in the city, you always write from a place of appreciation and respect. Your healthy self esteem and confidence really beam when you don't hesitate to give props to another woman. Just thought I'd mention that. The 'cheerleaders' and bold complimentors of this world should be applauded. It's refreshing and makes me feel like your readers all belong to this really cool club of women who cheer each other on. Thank you! Also, yes I totally dig a fitted, gray sweatshirt with some skinny jeans and bright flats...yes indeed!

Cristina

Lucy Browning said...

My uniform... :) I think I own 5 different gray sweatshirts. I don't have a huge closet, literally it's about all I own ha!

Lucy
x

nadine said...

Like the idea of them, but won't be surprised if I never get one.

Cynthia Schoonover said...

Definitely. It's all about the style and fit. I bought one in a deep teal color with a sequin accent last winter. It's made of French terry, so it doesn't really look or fit like the typical sweatshirt. I can even wear it to work! Plus I got a great deal on it. I am trying to think outside the box when I am upgrading
my wardrobe.

Kaitlyn S said...

I'm in law school and I LIVE in sweatshirts - so glad I'm "effortlessly cool" (I've always thought it was more like "slobbishly lazy") :)

Carlene said...

The key to less frumpage is to stay away from sweatshirts that have that band at the bottom that causes the fabric to gather and pull in. You can just cut that off (I do the same with elastic ankle sweatpants, no hemming needed).

emily0717 said...

Yes - J Crew always makes several versions. I love the little "v" in front - that's a must.

Brigette Olmos-Arreola said...

I've loved this look, great with brown boots in the autumn too. American Apparel has some great sweatshirts too.

Meadow said...

They're ok, but pretty casual in my opinion. Lol, my BFF and I are not French, but waaay back when in high school we used to call each other "mon petite chou" and "mon petite chou-fleur" (cauliflower) as a joke... we still call each other those terms of endearment many years later.

danielle said...

Sweatshirts are my favorite. (Has to be the right sweatshirt though!)

Melissa said...

I am a bit in love with this look. I was just in San Francisco on holiday (I'm Australian) and I wore this J Crew embellished sweat shirt pretty much everywhere: https://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/knitstees/sweatshirtssweatpants/PRD~A9304/A9304.jsp?N=21+17&Nbrd=J&Nloc=en_AU&Nrpp=48&Npge=5&Nsrt=3&isSaleItem=true&color_name=HTHR%20STEEL&isFromSale=true&isNewSearch=true&hash=row4 (the embellishments and slim fit made it feel acceptable at casual restaurants for lunch). It is also *super* cozy. Madewell have a couple of great ones at the moment too. So easy with jeans and ballet flats / bensimons / vans.

Unknown said...

I have the same J. Crew one and I love wearing it with skinny jeans and flats. I didn't know that was a such a chic outfit, but I feel pretty cool right now!

Allegra LaViola said...

guess I have to pipe up and be the lone voice of reason here:

NO.

Do not go down this road. For the 10% of the time that anyone looks good in a sweatshirt (the name alone is HORRIBLE) the other 90% of the time they look terrible.

Yes-- likely including almost everyone who posted "do!" here because...they look like gym rags.

Madeleine Holmes said...

I'm wearing one now! I've paired it with denim shorts and plain white Chuck Taylor's. It's from Madewell and it's so cozy. There are a few tiny details on it that make it less frumpy and more casual, so I don't feel like a slob when I'm wearing it.

Bethany said...

It's funny how something as random as a blog post can remind you of something you hadn't remembered in a very long time. "Mon petit chou" is something my mom and I would always say to each other whenever we hugged. She died nearly three years ago and was sick for a long time before that - I had almost forgotten that lovely little term of endearment. Thank you.

Susan DeBourcy said...

I love my Everlane sweatshirt! I got the boatneck and I wear it like crazy.

https://www.everlane.com/collections/womens-sweaters/products/womens-french-terry-cropped-ltgrey

Jenny@preservegoods said...

Zara had a great line of sweatshirts in the kids department with larger sizes that would fit adults--french phrases on them to boot.

Eliza Jane said...

I wear them all the time. I also add a scarf.

Sammi Egan said...

No, big boobs + round neck sweaters make me look faaaat! I live in hoodies tho' ;)

Katie said...

Ha! That was pretty much my uniform this past winter. I actually looked longingly at my grey sweatshirt hanging in my closet just this morning! Can't wait for fall :)

Hannah B. Slaughter said...

I have this "Y'all" sweatshirt from Kentucky for Kentucky that I often dress up. It's comfy and cute but not oversized and holey- so I think it works :) http://instagram.com/p/mbDeJmpZH0/?modal=true

alyce said...

I dress sweats and "sweaters" the same way (see what I did there ;))
I think the trick is to get one made of a stiffer material which gives more structure.

The Experimental Cook said...

I'm half French and the same outfit is my go-to mom uniform - I change up the foot wear and add a scarf if it's colder!

Kimberly Olsen said...

DO! Love a chic sweatshirt especially if you "dress it up"!

Victoria said...

I'm wearing one tonight! It is lighter gray with some very subtle silver threads. Bought it at Joe Fresh a year or two back. I put it on over some dressy dark gray tailored shorts as tonight's Brooklyn weather is unexpectedly chill.

Wendy Rentz said...

Love a comfy sweatshirt for F/W. Target has a super soft option for $15.

http://www.target.com/p/gom-mh-cozy-top/-/A-15361352#prodSlot=medium_3_46&term=gilligan+%26+o%27malley

Kimberly said...

I have been eyeing the everlane one forever, but I was walking past uniqlo and saw a very similar (and cheaper!) version in the window. I have been loving it!

vmcarnevale said...

Joanna, which brand is the sweatshirt pictured? I can't tell and I'm looking for one JUST like it!

Joanna Goddard said...

The one in the photo is jcrew xo

*** KITSCH *** said...

Of course!
I love sweatshirts!

i told about them in my little blog

http://mykitschworld.blogspot.com.es/2014/07/sweatshirt.html

Donna W said...

Hi Joanna! Love love love this post. I've got a soft spot for the sweatshirt. Love pairing mine with skinny jeans and boots. The perfect mix of comfy and chic. Here's a post I did a while back on them:

http://donzwebb.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/currently-loving-statement-sweatshirts/

xo

Donna

Julie said...

Now I get it! I was wondering why someone linked to you in my instagram feed when I posted a pic of the Gap sweatshirt that I'm currently loving! I have a few from Gap and I'm completely obsessed! I so on board, I think they are super fashionable too! Cheers!

renée [crossed and dotted] said...

Upon turning 30 earlier this year, I heaved all of my tired, holey, and ripped hoodies from college (and earlier!) in favor of three new versions from J.Crew, Madewell, and MaxStudio (via TJ Maxx). Since then, I feel effortlessly pulled together for weekend/evening/travel wearing them and I always get compliments! I like to toss on a scarf or a piece of statement jewelry to dress it up :-)

Cam & Sarah said...

In Northern California, sweatshirts are nothing new. Need them in the summers on the coast and in the valley in the winters. Can't live without them, honestly.

Nabi said...

I've thought about getting a sweatshirt for a while and this made me pull the trigger! The shrunken sweatshirt at Gap that another poster mentioned is on sale so I ordered it and I can't wait to try it on with dark skinny jeans.

Caesar said...

I ordered a grey sweatshirt from the Gap last week. ... agreysweater.blogspot.com

Karl said...

I had always categorized sweatshirts as workout clothes, but hers was fitted, ... leatherjacketwithhoodie.blogspot.com

Hendrik said...

I am literally pulling on a sweatshirt like this and some skinny jeans ... jeanjacketwithhoodie.blogspot.com

Xaver said...

I am literally pulling on a sweatshirt like this and some skinny jeans for a plane ... denimhoodiejackets.blogspot.com

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