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The Perfect: Grey Sweatshirt

The Perfect: Grey Sweatshirt

In this series, we unpick what makes an essential piece of clothing perfect, and highlight our favourite styles of the season.

The hunt for the perfect anything can be a long and arduous task, but the payoff is huge when you get there. The first question we’d like to address is the definition of perfection: it is, after all, subjective. One man’s hero chunky knit is another man’s itchy nightmare. However, we are firm believers that there are a few factors that have to come into play to make something perfect, no matter your personal preference. Expert fit, quality materials and attention to detail being the three fundamental cornerstones of perfection. Without those, an item can only ever be mediocre. Here, we chart what makes the perfect grey sweater, regardless of taste.

THE LOW DOWN

A few things are pre-requisites of the grey sweatshirt. Obviously, the colour, whether it be grey marl, iron or charcoal. Secondly, and in fact more importantly, it’s the material that sets it apart. Developed by our American friends sometime in the ‘20s as a comfortable alternative to the itchy woollen sports shirts that were worn at the time, it soon became famous for that one thing in particular – comfort. By definition, the perfect grey sweatshirt must be comfortable, and in fact it’s quite hard to find one that isn’t. It would have to be a pretty shoddy sweat to cause you discomfort.

THE CURRENT SITUATION

From athletic origins the grey sweatshirt has evolved into something stylish and exclusive. Championed by designers such as Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisici and Balmain’s Oliver Rousteing, this humble piece of track apparel has been reborn into something of a favourite amongst the fashion elite. Now, prints, logos and material finishes mean the grey sweat is far from ordinary, and has proven the perfect canvas through which to express your stylish sensibility. The athletic element is what gives it it’s street appeal (add a hood for extra edge), whilst the introduction of a shirt underneath can instantly smarten it up. What other piece of clothing can you wear to dinner, a festival, the club and even the office and feel just as at home in on a hangover?

THE FACTORS FOR PERFECTION

For a grey sweat to be a real contender for perfection, it has to have a number of key attributes. Firstly, the neckline. It has to be a crew neck (under no circumstances a V), and the line has to circle your neck at the perfect height, sitting across your collar bone and beneath your Adam’s apple, neither choking you nor sitting too low. The grey, sometimes ribbed, V insert in the neck is also a favourite of ours – adding that extra element of athleticism. Now, to the cuffs and hem. Both need a decent amount of elasticity – you don’t want the bottom to sag, and you want the cuffs to be able to withstand rolling. Fit is also important – if you’re going for the on-trend oversized look, don’t just buy a size too big – the shoulders won’t sit properly and the length won’t work. Instead, opt for a properly designed oversized sweat. Finally, the colour – here we can’t be quite so prescriptive, but may we recommend a washed-out grey marl for the more hip amongst us, and stone or charcoal grey for smarter occasions.

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