Carola Long: 'The hooded embellished sweatshirt is a slice of fashion forwardness that is as comfy as it is chic'

Christopher Kane's cool new collection for Topshop Boutique is likely to be a London Fashion Week essential, but not everyone will have the guts to wear certain pieces. The gauze eyelet leggings, and the croc print T-shirt, say, will take a certain chutzpah. Not so the grey, hooded sweatshirt (pictured below) embellished with tiny rivets, and sari-style mirrors, however. Here is a slice of fashion-forwardness that is as comfy as it is chic.

In fact, sweatshirts are having a moment, particularly on the high street. Of course they never really went away for the gym or hungover TV marathons, where wearing one's hood up indoors signifies a withdrawal from the world that can only come after one glass/bottle of red wine too many. Now, however, as well as the trend for hoods, we have the emergence of a top best described as the embellished or even disco "sweat" (the shirt part has been dropped for 2009).

One of the fashion team's NBFs, in clothing terms at least, is her grey marl "sweat" with sequinned shoulders. Thank you, Topshop. In fact, Topshop are really championing the glam sweat trend revving up on the high street. A glance at its website reveals a cropped black sweat with eyelet studs, a long, black version with gold, Egyptian decoration, and a grey marl style with appliquéd lace, among others. Up a few price levels, Acne have created cropped and long-line sloppy fleeces, dresser-of-off-duty models Alexander Wang has a cropped batwing style with a low back, while Ashish adorned his grey version with fringed shoulders.

The return, and reinvention of the "sweat" coincides with the elevation of leggings to high fashion item. It's about taking something functional and sloppy and souping it up. Wear a fitted or medium-sized style with a little skirt and tough heels, or the skinniest of jeans, and team a roomier style with jeggings. The key is to keep the rest of your look streamlined and edgy, so forget about that preppy, university campus look. Pairing a sweatshirt with boyfriend jeans and trainers will look as if you are in the throes of an essay – and possibly fashion – crisis.

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