SALI LOVES: Lisa Macario’s slogan sweatshirts

Any words you want, hand-stitched on a flattering sweatshirt? Sali Hughes is spoilt for choice

I’ve been dying to tell you about these for ages but the truth is, I was in such a state of option paralysis about my slogans, that I didn’t have a sweatshirt to photograph for a post. Now, as you can see, I do. Twice. And so I’ll start at the beginning.

Earlier this year, my friend Lisa Macario went on the Women’s March in London with her teenage daughter (Pool column here). Knowing that many of her fellow protestors would be wearing slogan T shirts and carrying witty placards, Lisa decided to customise herself a plain sweatshirt with the words “Liberal Elite” (the now-common insult directed by Trump fans and the British far right towards anyone remotely feminist or leftwing), hand stitched across the front in contrasting thread. She received so many compliments from fellow marchers on the day, and so many requests on Instagram for private commissions, that she soon found herself sitting on a cult fashion brand.

Just a few months into her venture, Lisa’s designs are being worn by some of Britain’s coolest women and prominent feminists. I bought one for Caitlin Moran’s birthday and, after she giddily posted the picture on Facebook, Jenny Colgan, Jojo Moyes and several other writers and celebrities got in touch with me to order theirs. Other friends have ordered their favourite song lyrics (my pal Carrie got Bjork’s “Drink me, make me feel real” for her best friend Helen), literary and film quotes (Debra of SHB has one from When Harry Met Sally), political slogans (“Feminist Killjoy”, the Hillary-supporting “Nasty Woman” and “Nevertheless, she persisted”, an homage to feminist Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren, have proved particularly popular), or nicknames and quirky slogans that mean nothing to anyone but them. Me? Ever the greedy guts, I ordered two, pictured here. I’ve no doubt I’ll be buying many more as presents, as loved ones make it abundantly clear they’d like one too. I wore one to India Knight’s house this weekend and three women immediately asked where it came from, and how they’d go about scoring one. I wore the other into town last week and was stopped twice by strangers wanting their own.

Now Lisa is rolling out the service beyond her immediate social circle and making these gorgeous bespoke sweatshirts available to the public. So here’s how it works: the (sweatshop free, no forced or child labour) sweatshirts come in black (pictured here with red thread), dark grey (pictured here with white thread), classic light grey marl, and navy. All are available in sizes XS to XXL (roughly 8-18). I wanted mine a little loose and so ordered in small (I’m a size 8) and they’re perfect. They’re 80% cotton, 20% polyester, lightweight, finish mid-hip (not right across your fattest part – why, why, why do other brands keep doing this?), have tailored seams so are not boxy (this is essential – I loathe square, blokey tops), and are hand embroidered in Wales. You can choose whichever coloured thread you’d like but some combinations work better than others, so do take Lisa’s advice on this. They cost from £50 each (depending on letter count), which includes UK p&p, paid via Paypal (overseas shipping is £10). T shirts start at £30. I can’t imagine, given how much work is involved, that the price will stay there for long. Her website is now open for ordering, as well as for browsing previous designs in search of inspiration. Just click here. You can also find her on Instagram, here.

I’ll now leave you to enjoy several days of sheer hell while you agonise over which slogan to get. I’m so sorry.

*POST UPDATE* Since posting, Lisa and I have agreed that my ‘Lipstick, Literature, Liberalism’ sweatshirt will be available to buy. The £60 price (there are A LOT of letters) will include a £10 donation to Sarcoma UK, in memory of my friend Carey Lander, a literature-obsessed liberal who turned lipstick wearing into an art form. To go directly to it, click here. Thank you very much, Lisa.

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