We're not exactly sure when it happened, but at some point in the last year, sweatshirts became a high fashion staple. Variations of the oversized sweatshirt have appeared on so many runways it's easy to lose track. Givenchy, Balenciaga, Kenzo, and Rebecca Minkoff have all walked "statement sweaters" down the runway.

The statement sweatshirt has also been listed in various fall 2013 trend forecasts. Designing chic sweatshirts is kind of a no brainer. Fashion forward people want cool and creative designs, but people also like to be comfortable. It's the best of both worlds. And now that I can wear my cute sweatshirts into the office, my closet seems so much more versatile.

But is the designer aspect of the statement sweatshirt getting out of hand? Right now a Givenchy oversized baseball jersey sweatshirt goes for almost $1,200. The underlying theme seems to be, "How can I outdo the last designer who did this?" The result is a ton of really extravagant, very expensive ... sweatshirts with pretty much any embellishment you can slap on -- jacquard, embroidered tigers, beads, zippers, you name it.

The crazy thing is that they are still selling and the trend does not seem to be slowing down. Some of the high-end styles for fall and winter have already sold out. Damien Paul, the head of menswear buying at Matches Fashion, told The Business of Fashion even their Givenchy's are gone. Yes it's true, people are shelling out more than a thousand dollars on sweatshirts and we're still in the middle of a recession. And it's a trend both men and women are buying into. The sweatshirts on both sides of the department store are disappearing fast.

Luckily, those of us who do not want to (or can not) spend that much on an article of clothing that used to be associated with "period clothes," can find more affordable versions of the statement sweatshirt at more affordable retailers. Just yesterday I saw a very chic oversized piece with horses on it at Target for $30. You can spend a month's worth of rent on a sweatshirt or you buy knock-offs from a discount chain, the choice is up to you, but the choices are there.


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