inspiration alley: sparkle in the weathered sweats

I’ve lived in the sweatshirt + ripped jeans combination for more years than I’d like to admit — it was pretty much my uniform during my years as an undergrad, the only differences appearing when I’d wear flip-flops during the summer or change it up with boots in the fall/winter. Yeesh. It really brought together my broke-hobo-college-bookworm look I would be routinely flagged down for. How I managed to get through 100-degree summers in my hoodie and denim regularly without passing out is beyond me.

Now, only a few years out of college, and sweatshirt/hoodies are somehow… cool? Obviously, you can bring some appropriateness to the sweatshirt by slapping on bold graphics, a comic book character, a football team’s mascot, or just an image of something rather random. But why not give the sweatshirt a shot a redemption, a meager chance of returning to the closet from the graveyard of what-the-hell-is-that? If embellishment is the name of the game, its finally the sweatshirt’s turn to play among the rhinestones and jewels. And with the cold weather looking to last — for a few more weeks, at the very least — a sweatshirt is an easy way to get dressed without thinking too much. Or in my case, analyzing and dissecting my closet.
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sincerely jules 2

[1] monotone / sincerely jules

Model and blogger Jules of Sincerely, Jules chose to create a look where the pieces aren’t necessarily matchy-matchy, just close enough in terms of shades/hue variations that the ensemble is monotone without being monotonous. Add in some light-washed denim, and no one piece stands out above the others. The crystal bib necklace is both easy and brings the luxe game to the lazy-wear, without the commitment.

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[2] texture /

Don’t let the tassel-pearl-sequin combination on this Lucas cotton-jersey sweatshirt throw you off — these embellishments are the only 3D portion of the image. While the chandelier graphic print on the sweatshirt would suffice in terms of taking it from pajama-wear to public-wear, it’s the embellishments which create interest and make you do a double-take.

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[3] ornate / afashionloveaffair

Cara of afashionloveaffair takes sweats even further with the mantle of bling cascading down the front of this stone gray top from Weeshop (found here). Granted, the sparkling rhinestones may call for the $85 price tag, but the entirety of the outfit is made with the necklace without needing further attention. Again, the light washed denim jacket works in tune with the sweatshirt, contrasting with the Barbie-fuchsia of the flats and the skirt. A lot of loud elements that are diluted with the soothing lighter hues.

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[4] collared / cupcakes & cashmere

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We know sweatshirts are comfort clothing on the basis of their loose fit, stretch, and ability to allow for the possibility of a food baby to happen (no? just me?), but Emily’s Elizabeth and James structured jersey jacket is the little sweatshirt that grew up. Some dazzling cool-toned rhinestones set along the curve of the collar, and you would have to be hard pressed to say it isn’t made for the office or even drinks after. Her simply chic style works well here, pairing the light stone gray of the jacket with a button-down polka dot shirt, a deep lip and dark flared jeans.

Screen Captures[1] now this is a bit more along the lines of something I’d wear — BEETLE embellished sparkles lining the collar of this Marco Bologna sweatshirt, found here. (Um, but pay $630 for it?! No… thank you?) I love creepy and crawly, but for a more sensible price. Even though it’s no longer Halloween, a sweatshirt with chromed bugs wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.

[2] here J. Crew did the collar-embellishment with more pattern and deliberation, less randomness, with this faux-necklace of jade crystals on the pale mint-green sweatshirt. Of course, it’s deemed as a ‘signature’ look for the brand, which tends to lean towards classically preppy with a touch of glam as for its point-of-view. The turquoise coloration here is an unexpected break from the sea of grays.

[3] an Old Navy version, with just enough sparkle to draw the eye, but not enough to overwhelm the wearer. This ‘jeweled’ crew sweatshirt won’t have you necessarily worried about losing pieces of the sparkle since they’re sewn onto a mesh backing and then attached to the sweatshirt. The darker charcoal gray also provides a clean back-drop for the mixed ‘metal’ beading.

Stay tuned for the inevitable project from The DIY Files… with a quasi-twist, of course!



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