How the hum­ble hoodie got posh

Scottish Daily Mail - - Inspire - Sarah Bai­ley Sarah Bai­ley is ex­ec­u­tive brand ed­i­tor at Porter.

POP quiz: which gar­ment un­der­went the most un­likely meta­mor­pho­sis from style no-go to chic mod­ern must-have last year? An­swer: the hoodie.

Pre­vi­ously, it was a sig­ni­fier of slob­dom, the uni­form of harry En­field and Kathy Burke’s eter­nal teenagers Kevin and Perry and short­hand for the dis­en­fran­chised un­der­class (re­mem­ber David Cameron’s ‘hug a hoodie’ speech in 2006?).

Time was when the sight of a midlife woman wear­ing a hoodie in pub­lic — pos­si­bly hav­ing for­got­ten to get dressed, so do­ing the school run in her py­ja­mas, or maybe bawl­ing out her soon-to-be ex on her mo­bile on the steps of a mid­price ho­tel — sug­gested one thing: a woman on the verge.

And yet here I am, look­ing at a sump­tu­ous long, for­est-green cash­mere hoodie from Vic­to­ria Beck­ham’s au­tumn/win­ter 2018 cat­walk col­lec­tion, worn over a pleated floor-sweep­ing skirt. And it is chic, chic, chic.

True, the price might be a bit pro­hib­i­tive at an eye-wa­ter­ing £718 (and that’s in the sale!), but no mat­ter — there are some com­pletely fab­u­lous looky-likey op­tions around.

Au­to­graph at M&S have a grey cash­mere hooded jumper, for in­stance (£119, mark­sand

spencer.com). To cre­ate a sim­i­lar en­sem­ble, team with a sleek maxi skirt and a slouchy leop­ard print tote.

ThAT’S right ladies, this is not a cosy hooded knit for be­ing hygge (that mys­te­ri­ous Scan­di­na­vian no­tion that ap­par­ently in­volves curl­ing up in front of a fire with a mug of co­coa).

No, these new luxe hood­ies are for wear­ing in your daily life — even to the of­fice!

The hoodie may only have reached my wish list this year, but in truth its jour­ney from gym sweats to every­day civil­ian at­tire has been un­der way for some time.

For this we can thank the new gen­er­a­tion of de­sign­ers, such as Demna Gvasalia at Ba­len­ci­aga and Jeremy Scott at Moschino, for play­ing with the con­tra­dic­tions of high/low fash­ion and in­ject­ing a sub­ver­sive shot of streetwear into their col­lec­tions.

If you have teenagers, you are doubt­less aware of the phe­nom­e­non of over-priced hood­ies with lux­ury lo­gos.

And while these are prob­a­bly best left to the young, for fear of en­ter­ing Patsy and Ed­ina ter­ri­tory, there is no avoid­ing the in­flu­ence of sports­wear, no mat­ter your age.

how best to style it? The key is not to be too matchy-matchy, so pair your hoodie with a long skirt in slip­per satin or vel­vet.

Ro­darte, the de­signer dar­lings of the bo­hemian hol­ly­wood set (Kirsten Dunst, Emma Wat­son, Natalie Port­man) do this look bril­liantly.

On the high Street, & Other Sto­ries’s mid­night-blue hoodie, with a se­quinned myth­i­cal-look­ing bird on the back (£79,

sto­ries.com) de­liv­ers gothic glam­our. It would look per­fect with a long black satin skirt for a win­ter party.

For day, I love the hoodie and blazer look, with jeans, flats and a cross-body bag, but do be mind­ful of the bulk of your hoodie to avoid ‘sausage arms’ you can’t lift above your head.

Whis­tles’s or­ange ‘fash­ion hoodie’ (£41.65, whis­tles.com) is a good one to layer with a menswear check jacket.

Be mind­ful of dou­ble hoods (ie, a hoodie and a parka), and wear­ing a hoodie and a beanie is prob­a­bly best left to Cara Delev­ingne and her chums.

Should you go cropped? My desk-mate at Net-a-Porter has a nice line in lay­er­ing a midriff hoodie over a longsleeved tee, but she does have a wash­board stom­ach.

Get­ting the right hoodie is about try­ing a few on and ex­per­i­ment­ing. Just re­mem­ber, you’re go­ing for a sense of in­sou­ciant ease, rather than a look you’d put the bins out in. Grey marl jog­gers and fleece nov­elty leg­gings are a no-no.

Chic: Vic­to­ria Beck­ham’s show (left) and Chanel’s de­sign

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