When Heather Gray was Cool

The other day, while sharing a ‘work’ story with That’s Not Chinese and Alice, I felt compelled to share a small but important detail with them, “I was wearing a Heather Gray sweatsuit. You know, when Heather Gray was cool.” “Heather Gray?” Alice asked. “Yes. Don’t act like you don’t remember. You remember? Right?” I asked That’s Not Chinese. “Yes, yes, I remember,” That’s Not Chinese told me and added, “You know what Wee One says about sweatpants.” We used to work with a mean petite woman, who we started calling ‘Wee One’ so that we could discuss her while she was standing in front of us – nobody likes a backstabber – and she believed if you wore sweatpants you would inevitably become fat. Although her theory might be accurate, weight was not her problem.


All of this talk about sweatsuits really made me wish I still had my Heather Grays. I did a Google search and found “Vintage 80s Hanes Crew Neck Pullover Sweat Shirt L LARGE, $48.99.” There are a couple of things wrong here: 1) Vintage? 2) $48.99?  3) Vintage? Really? A little more research and I found, “Weight Loss Guide including grey sweat suit set.” Take that Wee One! Then, a 1991 quote from David Robinson, retired center for the San Antonio Spurs, “There’s nothing cooler than being safe, including loungin’ in a heather gray sweatsuit, which is super cool.” Agreed.


A few days later, a friend made a sweatsuit reference on facebook, “Well kids, I wore my sweat suit yesterday expecting everyone to think I really looked cool. My family just laughed when I asked if I looked cool. My wife told me that the only cool thing about it was that it covered my body. What ever happened to looking cool in a sweat suit??”


Shit’s still cool. Nelly sang about it in 2004 and one of the most stylish New Yorkers, Amy Odell, owns a pair – designed by Alexander Wang. As Amy said in 2010, “A fashionable person loves nothing more than knowing this is what separates them from the masses. And that is why sweats are here to stay.” Forget the ‘when’ and the ‘was,’ Heather Gray is cool.


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