t A Luxurious, Embellished Sweatshirt is this Season's Hottest Trend Statement - Ethical Hedonist

A Luxurious, Embellished Sweatshirt is this Season’s Hottest Trend Statement

December 6, 2013 in Chatter

The Embellished Sweatshirt Trend is Winter’s Hottest Style Statement

The humble sweatshirt is this season’s most exciting fashion star. Fashion adores a style underdog. Forget utility – this winter the sweatshirt throws off its work wear yoke and becomes something altogether more ladylike, luxurious and focused on clever reinvention.

There’s an embellished sweatshirt for every kind of girl from tough to kittenish too – so who will you be? We’ve handpicked some of the most exciting reincarnations – from the hand embellished and cleverly upcycled jingle bells at Urban Outfitters – to the ‘I must have you now’, thoroughly mesmerizing, bear print at Peter Jensen for People Tree.  (My favourite- and a brilliant price in the current sale).  And if you want to invest and feel fearless forever, then it has to be Stella McCartney’s  quilted, red kestrel – which subverts the medium beautifully and rather timelessly. We haven’t forgotten the boys either. Plain Bear have a talent for bold, striking graphics and they’re a London-based cottage industry operation which we love. Quite a few of our our style picks are unisex too.

Oh and here’s a little bit of history about the sweatshirt.

Like many of the greatest inventions, the sweatshirt was a simple, practical solution to a problem that needed fixing.  Benjamin Russell Jr, the son of the founder of Russell Athletic was a mad keen footballer and played for his varsity team at the University of Alabama. When his wool jersey caused chaffing and made him feel hot and sweaty on the pitch, he went to his father with the idea for a new shirt made from thick cotton fleece. Benjamin’s dad was very smart. He listened carefully and the sweatshirt was born.  That was in 1920 – and the sweatshirt has been a star on and off the pitch ever since.

 christmas bells jumper

This Vintage Renewal Sequin Bells Christmas sweatshirt, £40, is bound to get you in a merry mood. This gorgeous vintage piece has been lovingly hand customised by the Urban Outfitters specialist Renewal team to give it a jolly holly edge. The beautiful sequin detail is so opulent that this piece transcends the traditional ‘Great-Grandmother’ staple Christmas jumper and becomes sheer luxury fashion. So whether you yearn for timeless well-made style, enjoy the festive spirit or prefer a hint of irony this is the only sweatshirt you will need come December 25th. This is hand wash and available in sizes S-L.


This gorgeous Stella McCartney Red Kestrel Quilted Jumper exudes influence and strength; from the deep burgundy colour and the powerful Kestrel motif this piece will add a burst of confidence to any wardrobe. The stylish quilting is an easy way to experiment with one of this season’s biggest trends-textures. At £475 this stunning statement piece is an investment, but it is one that will give you an instant confidence boost for years to come. No need to be a wallflower this December.

Available at Liberty, in sizes 6-10.

75% Cotton, 13% Wool, 12% Acrylic
Embroidery: 91% Wool, 5% Polyester, 2% Cashmere, 2% Rayon


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Peter Jensen is known for his graphic and quirky prints. The London based designer combines classic cuts and styles with bright colours and modern imagery. His eagerly awaited collaboration with People Tree has been a huge success, and it means that you can get hold of a great design for a fraction the price. This exquisite Burgundy Bear Sweatshirt in fleece is a dream come true for any Jensen fan.  Made from 100% organic cotton, this is incredibly warm and cosy, while the standout print will add instant flare to any outfit. This piece is currently in the People Tree sale for just £58.50, so you better be quick before they are all brought up (by the Ethical Hedonist team). Warm, stylish and a bargain, what more can you want in winter? This comes in sizes S-L


This effortlessly cool sweater comes from new kids on the block Plain Bear. This small brand only began in London earlier this year, but with their combination of simple apparel and unique graphics they are already on our fashion radar. This unisex piece features a simplistic and yet statement-making metropolis land scape. All Plain Bear t-shirts and jumpers are 100% cotton and come from renewable resources. This piece is £35 and comes in S-L. It is available online.


IMG_6220 low (1)

Talk about a fashion statement…This iconic sweatshirt, £37, features an incredible and bold graphic of the talented and influential African Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka. This wonderful piece comes from Myasho.com an African designer’s concept store, and is made from organic cotton. The simple grey and white palette means piece is colour blank canvas that can be worn with just about anything, whether you want to look relaxed with jeans or make a statement with an evening dress. It screams beauty, brains and talent. It is available in sizes S-XL and is machine washable.

black-score-mankind-fleece-sweatshirt-2b15cb5feaba (1)

Perfect for any fashion conscious animal lover. This stylish navy sweatshirt, £78, from People Tree features an illustration of endangered animals by designer Simeon Farrar, with the message ‘Putting the Kind back into Mankind’. The gorgeous graphic is unique, funny and makes both a fashion and ethical statement. Made from 100% organic Fairtrade certified cotton, this fleece sweatshirt is incredibly soft and warm, a stylish way to stay cosy on chilly winter days.




about the author

Alison Jane Reid

Alison Jane Reid - Journalist, Editor & Emerald Princess of Slow, Sustainable Luxury Living - 18 year track record interviewing real icons for: The Times, The Lady, You, The Mirror and Country Life. Now leading her alluring fairtrade, emerald revolution - Don’t Miss Out - Have you joined The Ethical Hedonist set?

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