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Fashion's New Take on Your Comfy Sweats

While sweatshirts and sweatpants might conjure memories of queuing up in gym class or nights spent knuckle-deep in a pint of Chubby Hubby, cozy cotton fleece has been receiving increasing attention from fashion's elite, with designers such as Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang toying with the leisure staples in recent fashion seasons.

But forget about sports insignias and elasticized waists: Cropped trousers, dresses and even suits have been reinterpreted in sweatshirt fabrics, and to comfy-chic effect.

Kim Friday, senior fashion editor of Women's Wear Daily magazine says, "I've been a fan of sweats ever since I first saw 'Flashdance' in 1983."

She added you don't have to be a dance-crazed steel welder à la Jennifer Beals' character to rock these updated versions, many of which are as appropriate for work as they are for working out.

Today, Friday said, designers are using sweats' material to fashion everything from dresses you can wear on, and well-cut sweatpants you could wear on a date.

Friday said, "Who doesn't love the idea of multipurpose clothing these days?"

One of the No. 1 things about using this material, Friday said, is that it is washable.

Friday shared the following looks on "The Early Show":


Look 1:
This look is from Marc by Marc Jacobs and was just on the runway for spring. Friday said, it is an example of the jumpsuit, which actually is more of a casual and youthful feel.

"We think this is a great example in a comfy, sweatshirt material," Friday said.

Marc by Marc Jacobs jumpsuit, $298.
Marc by Marc Jacobs headband, $68; bracelets, $28 each; belt, $88, and sandals, $370.
All available in February at Marc by Marc Jacobs stores.

Look 2:
Friday said, "(Alexander Wang) is a 25 year old designer who is most known for creating clothes out of this material in a non-traditional way. It's sophisticated, from his Resort Collection, but depending on how you put it together it can be really versatile and fashion forward."

Alexander Wang sweatshirt dress, $450, and sequined skirt, $595
Alexander Wang Britney Large Shopper, $780, and Abby sandals, $495.
All available in October at


Look 3:
Friday said, "This blazer is from Liz Claiborne, and it is black sweats material -- in this case I paired it with slim Levis jeans and some embellished shoes. But what's great about this is that she has created an entire range of clothes out of this material -- from skirts to trousers, so you could ideally make a suit out of this if need be. And the prices are definitely wallet-friendly."

Liz Claiborne jacket, $139, available at
Levi jeans, available at
Giles & Brother by Philip Crangi bracelet, $75, and earrings, $75, available at
Christian Louboutin studded loafers, available at

Look 4:
This look includes a "very wearable dress," according to Friday.

Diesel Davio dress, $110.
Stuart Weitzman booties, available at
Lee Angel bracelets and earrings available at

Look 5:
And, for a night out on the town, Friday said, these sweatpants are definitely for the more adventurous at heart.

She explained, "They are embellished with grommets and mirrors, which is a big trend right now. I toned these down a bit by pairing them with a simple white tank top and a leather jacket -- and right now the high-heeled bootie is always in style."

Topshop leather jacket and cotton T-shirt available at
Christopher Kane for Topshop grommet sweatpants, $160; purse, and booties available at
Lia Sophia jewelry, available at