Sweatshirt fashion

From left: Bergdorf Goodman photo; net-a-porter photo; three Nordstrom photos; MCV photo. (Chicago Tribune photo illustration)

The sweatshirt has raised its game over the past several seasons, leaving gym rats, weekend warriors and late-for-class college students in the dust. For fall, the sweatshirt emerges from its rebuilding period as a fashion MVP, lending an edge to everything from skinny jeans to flouncy skirts.

Designers warmed up luxurious options with crystal embellishments (J.Crew), touches of leather (Burberry Brit), snakeskin (Jason Wu), embroidery and fur (3.1 Phillip Lim) Others leaned high-tech with metallic or laminate coatings and colorful graphics at every level, from Givenchy and Helmut Lank to Minkpink.

The bench is deep and the field is wide. So put one on, and watch this team player score.

(Clockwise, from right):

3.1 Phillip Lim: Embroidered Sonomama Crest sweatshirt with zipper detail, $750, 31philliplim.com

Helmut Lang: Abstract print jersey, $335, nordstrom.com

Minkpink: Floral graphic sweatshirt, above, $89, nordstrom.com

Givenchy: Renaissance graphic motif sweatshirt, $1,375, bergdorfgoodman.com

J.Crew: Crystal-embellished cotton sweatshirt, $170, net-a-porter.com

Christopher Kane: Brain scan graphic sweatshirt, $465, nordstrom.com

wdonahue@tribune.com