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I was looking for something to wear to the store and realized that I have an unusual number of sweatshirts. Then I started looking at them more closely and realized that each sweatshirt is different, and they're nothing like the shapeless monstrosities I wore as a kid. There's the sweatshirt with the thumbprint, and the one with the rawe edges and asymmetrical hem, and the cropped one with studs on the shoulders. If I have a collection like that, then something must be going on. I went through some magazines and realized the truth: we are all a part of the embellished sweatshirt nation.

Well, I may be overstating my influence here.Marc Jacobs andAlexander Wang have been playing with shape and form of sweatshirts for years,Balenciaga sent trippy, spaceage 80s decal inspired sweatshirts down the runway not too long ago. My brothers would have loved them, since they were big into Transformers and Voltron. The 80s were when sweats broke out of the health clubs and became a staple in American closets. They were EVERYWHERE. Older people schlepped around in them, and younger people cut them up a laJennifer Beals in Flashdance.

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The new, 2000s way to wear sweats is to look layer, and to look for provocative embellishments. A nicely tailored sweatshirt can work wonderfully over a pencil skirt and a denim shirt, or with a lean 60s inspired pair of brocade pants. Grey is the stereotypical color to get, but mix it with red and orange. You know what else? Don't be afraid to make that sweatshirt a skirt, or to turn it inside out. I have one that I got at Ann Taylor Loft last year that is a marbled deep grey on one side, but inside out is oatmeal colored with contrasting stitching and cuffs.2f062df8e1dce3c8ea8fe4b62d947c78ab9333ef

Sweatshirts might be a 'basic', but in the right hands, and with the right attitude, they can also be a showstopper.