Fleece Has Gone High Fashion

Normcore was the fashion buzzword a few seasons back, but it has since been replaced by other trending words like athleisure and grandpa fashion. But normcore is far from done. Those who thought it peaked with the socks-and-sandals frenzy will notice that it has made a comeback via boilersuits, turtlenecks, mom jeans and — wait for it — fleece. Yes, the fuzzy fabric of blankets and the old, faded and stained pullover you reach for when you’re cold has gotten a fashion upgrade. Out of all of the things normcore and utilitarian to make a splash, no one expected the ultimate comfort fabric to be taken from Netflix and chill to coveted fashion pick … but in retrospect, there were signs. It started with fashion sweatshirts followed by hoodies. Next came teddy coats with their irresistibly nubby and cozy fabric. Now, we’re peak normcore with fleece half-zips and pullovers in a range of faux shearling and sherpa fleece fabrics.

Fleece gets the seal of approval from the street style set; Image: Imaxtree

What’s even more surprising is that it was the Spring 2018 runways where the look began. Designers like Y/Project and Sandy Liang showed us that fleece isn’t quite so basic. The elevated fleece look continued to build with the rise of the hiking trend and the dropping of the temperatures. If we need further proof that fleece is a thing, Gigi Hadid was snapped out and about in a textured half-zip fleece pullover styled with a crossbody bag, snakeskin boots and menswear trousers.

Sandy Liang featured fleece in its Spring 2019 RTW collection; Image: Imaxtree

Some may consider fleece to be as polarizing as fashion flip flops or bike shorts, but give fleece a chance and you’ll see it’s hard not to fall for the cozy fabric. Some members of the fashion set prefer to keep things classic with traditional sportswear fleece. Think: Columbia, The North Face and Patagonia (ideally vintage) styled in Scandinavian-inspired minimalist outfits that seem so right for 2019. Others are test driving some of the more fashion-forward fleece options, including overshirts, sweatshirts, hats and even pants. Choose whatever fleece you fancy, but remember that ancient fleece you wear around the house isn’t the same as fashion’s freshest options.