Sweatshirts have been a main stay for most young fashionista’s men & women for a long time, they have been sold by Primemark to Hugo boss, they are a universal piece of clothing, they can be used for casual or sports attire even as dress piece for a night out, they are often used as a way for Apparel companys and college’s or university’s to advertise them selfs, some times people will use them to self express who they follow or how they feel by putting messages on the front, but more and more people are wearing plain sweatshirts in vibrant colours as a stayple piece of there outfit, the key to understanding how to dress up a simple sweatshirt, is first understand where it started from and what it orginal purpose in life was so let’s have a look at its humble begings & how this simple piece of athletic sports wear changed the way we dress and express ourselves today.
In 1926 Benjamin C Russel Jr., quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide Football team, was tired of the constant chafing and itching caused by their wool football uniforms.Russell Jr. worked with his father, who owned a manufacturing company, to come up with a better option. At the time, Russell Manufacturing Company made garments for women’s and children’s knit shirts and undergarments.
Knowing the durability and comfort of cotton they created a new practice jersey that was a modification of a ladies’ union suit top from thick cotton that was produced throughout the factory. These loose, collarless pullovers – produced from women’s undergarments to be used as men’s football jerseys – would go on to become an iconic sweatshirt. Russell went on to create a new division of his factory, focusing solely on the production of sweatshirts in the Russell Athletic mills in 1930. Eventually, Russell Athletic mills became Russell Athletic co.
The Original Russell Athletic Sweat Shirt 1930’s Era
The sweatshirt’s potential as a portable advertising tool was discovered in the 1960s when U.S. universities began printing their names on the medium. For students and parents alike, university names on sweatshirts became the preferred casual attire for exhibiting school pride. The sweatshirt, along with the T-shirt, provided a cheap and effective way of disseminating information on a mass scale. The T-shirt slogan fad of the seventies inevitably translated to sweatshirts. Recognizing the relative simplicity of customization and the power of clever graphics combined with catchphrases, sweatshirts became a vehicle for personal expression for both the designer and the person wearing them.
1940’S College Sweatshirt
Sweatshirts are arguably a type of sweater, but made of a fabric and cut similar to sweatpants. A sweatshirt worn with sweatpants forms a sweatsuit a kind of exercise clothing designed to raise the core body temperature and cause perspiration in order to lose body weight before a weigh in for a weight divided sport. It is fashioned out of a thick, usually cotton jersey material. Sweatshirts are also almost exclusively casual attire and not dressy as some other sweaters may be. Sweatshirts may or may not have a hood, and may or may not have a zipper. A sweatshirt with a hood is now usually referred to as a hoodie, although more formal media still use the term “hooded sweatshirt”.
Russell Athletic is still going today and still making this iconic piece here is a sample of one of there sweatshirts
It’s In the original cotton grey sweat fabric, with comfort stitching for less irritation and soft brushed fabric on the inside for increased warmth and comfort, sporting knit cuffs & waistband for a snug fit, with there name on the front, but on the left sleeve you can see there logo with there trade mark eagle motif.
This the company logo up front, so if your looking for an original piece you know what to look for, Russell Athletic at this time have a deal with the Harlem Globe trotters to supply all there kit.
During the late 70’s early 80’s, music and culture changed the way looked and dressed, out went the glamrock and Saturday night fever wide collar shirts and big flares, in came a less dress down attuide, more functional clothing was worn, most kids in America would of owned a Sweatshirt as there School or college would of issuede to them as part of their sport kit, if you were a young kid and you were in the Schools/ College’s Basketball or Football team, you wanted people to know you were the man, so sporting your teams swearshirt under a denim jacket, was away of getting people to notice you, before we knew it every one was following this simple teenage dress style, soon young hip hop rappers, were hitting the streets and making a name for them selves, these young kids, didn’t have cash so they wore what they had, one of those key pieces was the classic Sweatshirt, this influenced a generation to dress down & express them selves.
Run DMC were a huge influence On sweatshirts
The Beastie boys were another iconic Hip group who sported the Sweatshirt
During the 90’s fashion the perryboys popped up there heads and disappeared the grunge look came and went, the Goths stalked our bus stations, but one thing all these styles sported was the Sweatshirt, in the 2000 era brands like McKenzie or Duffer surfaced one of there key pieces was the Sweatshirt, soon the sweatshirt was something most kids got dressed in as it was a cheap item to buy and its wad robust, during the later part of 2010 to 2012 the Sweatshirt was seen sported by people like David Beckham or actors like Jason Statham, soon brands like H & M were sighning them up todo photo shoots sporting there style of sweatshirts to sell to the masses.
David Beckham in a H & M Advertisement
David Beckham Sporting a plain Blue Sweatshirt with indigo Jeans
David Beckham in simple grey Sweatshirt
David Beckham sporting the Kent & Cerwin Sweatshirt
When it comes to looking for a Sweatshirt this is the amazing thing they are not hard to find, price wise you can pick up a simple undranded one up for around £8.00, if your looking for branded or more stylish you will pay more, If you are wanting something different but stylish, go to H & M, there sweatshirts are a staple of what they sell, they have alot of plain all stylish & printed ones your looking between £18 to £30, not bad prices if you ask me, the orginals are about $30, I think you can get them through Amazon too. My advice is invest into three plain pieces in Burgundy, Navy, Grey, these three pieces are more than enough to make some great outfits and look stylish.
One of the things l like about Sweatshirts, if you want to make a statement you can, by buying pieces with unique designs and colours, the one above is just amazing you have the rich deep burgundy colour, then a simple drawing in bold white, no writing just a great design, if your looking to bold in your approach to your style, look for pieces like this that will show your indervintuality, loads of people have the Nike & the GAP be different be stylish.
When it comes to styling a sweat shirt there alot of ways you can do this, but one of my pet hates is people wearing matching bottoms, People you look like your walking around in a big romper suit, no style points there my homies, get with it, dress in style and have pride, go out there and rock the show, let me giude you a through a couple of looks, to inspire you and get that grey matter in ones head rolling and clicking in these images are not mine, but l found them on the web, one of my favourite points of call, is Pinterest a great app for style ideas, l do alot of research on there
This Outfit is a classic to put together, this guy a has gone for a plain grey sweatshirt with slim fit stone jeans, he’s added a camouflage M65 field Jacket, finished with low top trainers, this is a more sort of popping around the shop look, dressing down on a Sunday afternoon style, but very casual and it has bags of urban chic.
Now if you want to stand out and want to make a bold statement, colour is key, bold pastal colours, this guy wants all the attention to his top half, the bottom half is the blank canvass, he’s gone for retro plain black running shoes, black socks, added slim fit black chinos, then he has a vibrant striped T-shirt untucked, it kind of breaks up the two plain colours, then he finished it of with the pastal pink Sweatshirt, a bold and striking outfit, this is a evening or weekend Outfit, I like the black but the pink is a little to light for me.
Now if you want to be an average Joe, or your just tipping your toe in how to rock a sweatshirt, keep it simple but basic, dont put on sweatshirts with crap art, ie l love husky or Beer helping guys to bonk, they are not stylish, untill you get the basics right keep it simple and work your way up, this guy has basic boat shoes on with some straight fit chinos, then mid blue Sweatshirt with some small logo, he not setting the world on fire but he keeping it basics and looks good.
Now if you can remember this one its from the David Beckham H & M picture above, so here we see an actual av