Inspired by some of the films I have watched and rewatched lately, like Alien (in anticipation of its 40th anniversary – who’s with me?) and Nine 1/2 Weeks (unfortunately there is still no 2019 good film yet to report on – in fact, in the course of a week, I walked out of two newly released and much acclaimed movies, Claire Denis’ High Life and Under the Silver Lake, but that’s another story) and forced by a back injury, I have been all about the most comfortable look possible I can get away with, regardless of occasion. Enter: the sweatshirt (the weather still doesn’t allow for a t-shirt). The good thing is that, along the years, the sweatshirt, which used to be accompanied by an excuse whenever worn in public, has outgrowned its athletic origins and matured into a piece that, when done right, can strike the perfect balance between style and comfort. We are talking about a style staple.
So I set out for the search of the most beautiful slow-fashion (because I like style that matters) sweatshirts. Here are my top five picks, from five favourite brands, accompanied by the words of their respective founders and designers.
The SRF PCF Sweatshirt by Heidi Merrick
Heidi Merrick: The SRF LA crewneck sweatshirt
Made in California, produced responsibly and directly under the designer’s eye in the brand’s studio, with a small team of cutters and sewers.
Heidi Merrick’s beautiful dresses are about the only dresses I would wear every day. And I think it’s because they reflect an elevated Californian style: laid back, easy to wear and minimalist, but carrying a note of refined elegance to them. They are made for my favourite kind of California girl, and, as a matter of fact, for my favourite kind of woman, who is both playful and elegant, and, above all, cool. A woman who knows exactly who she is, but who doesn’t take herself too seriously. Naturally, casual wear is an innate part of Heidi Merrick, not only because of the designer’s and her brand’s birth place, but also because Heidi is the daughter of renowned surfboarder and surfboard designer Al Merrick. Cool runs in the family appearantly. Just like a great sweatshirt should run in every wardrobe. And I didn’t think I would ever consider using glamorous to describe the garment with the most unappealing name, but the Heidi Merrick sweatshirts look exactly that: glamorous.
The Bullshit Sweatshirt by Monogram
Monogram: The Bullshit Sweatshirt
Made in Los Angeles, sold directly to consumers. The knitting, cutting, sewing, dyeing, washing and screen-printing all happen in and around downtown LA, all suppliers being family owned and operated.
CFDA award-winning designers Lisa Mayock and Jeff Halmos created their brand MONOGRAM envisioning the perfect t-shirt, “that vintage t-shirt you’ve had in your closet for years – it’s delicate to the touch after years of wear”. A classic, clean cut that meets an art-based design sensibility. I believe therein lies the beauty of MONOGRAM. You know it is your personality that makes a statement, first and foremost, but it feels nothing short of liberating to have this great and simple wardrobe item that can back it up. The MONOGRAM sweatshirts, with their “witty, colourful, subversive, upbeat and fun” graphic designs, are meant to make the same personal statement.
“We design for every woman and hope our graphics inspire
wearers to let their individuality and personality shine through.”
Jeff Halmos in our interview
The Love Cut-off Sweatshirt by Amo
Amo: The Love Cut-off Sweatshirt
Made in Los Angeles, from the finest materials and with an expertise in craftsmanship.
AMO set forth to create the perfect pair of jeans, one that feels you’ve worn it forever, that is comfortable and timeless, and that gets better with every wear. The brand’s debut Spring 2015 collection was composed of 5 styles, each vintage-inspired, but an up-dated vintage that fit well and was flattering in all the right places, that looked cool and undeniably modern, made from the finest quality denim, with an uncompromising approach to craftsmanship. The brand has now extended its range of products to include everything from jeans to t-shirts, jackets and sweatshirts, everything you want to wear with your perfect pair of jeans.
“We continually ask ourselves – What do we need?
What are we missing? What can we not live without?”
Kelly Urban and Misty Zollars in our interview
Marguerite Bartherotte, founder of G.Kero, wearing a G.Kero Sweatshirt, swimsuit by Erès,
and surfboard inspired by her own drawings | photo: Vestiaire Collective
G.Kero: The Red Yellow and Blue Sweatshirt
Made of natural materials, crafted in the best family-owned workshops in Portugal.
Whilst searching for a fresh alternative to traditional gallery canvases, artist Marguerite Bartherotte turned her hands to fashion. She makes fashion that lasts (the fact that her brand, G.Kero, carries a permanent collection says a lot in this regard), fashion that makes a statement not only through creativity but also through the message it seems to carry: follow your convictions and instinct, not the trends, be yourself – that woman who likes to wear an original drawing or painting on her shirt instead of a pattern. In this world of mass consumption and impulse buying, G.Kero stands apart through its commitment to true style, mankind and the planet. It reminds us that we need to educate ourselves and redefine our concepts of need and desire. That we’d rather spend our time tending to happiness than chasing and replacing fast fashion.
“G.Kero is an artistical reaction to the environment.”
Marguerite Bartherotte in our interview
The Jämtland Sweatshirt by A New Sweden
A New Sweden: The Jämtland Sweater
Made in Sweden from natural Swedish materials, produced in collaboration with small, trustworthy sheep farms; a business model sustained by their own farm-to-factory supply chain. Plastic- and chemical-free.
A New Sweden does not believe in, nor seek for infinite growth. They are uncompromisingly challenging the standards of sustainable fashion itself. They will release a single item each year. The first edition is the sweatshirt (the Jämtland sweatshirt) – a very classic and elegant version of it. They have based this first edition around making use of wool that would otherwise be wasted, thus preventing waste of precious natural resources. Their creative and innovative efforts are aimed to working with nature, not against it. They are aimed to celebrating slow living and timeless style and to making clothes for longevity, both from an aesthetic and quality perspective. They are aimed to draw upon the unique beauty of the world around us without destroying it in the process.
“I asked myself how to make a garment
that I believed was actually made in a good way.”
Lisa Bergstrand, founder of A New Sweden, in our interview