What Is Streetwear? Style Guide: 4 Tips for Styling Streetwear

Learn how streetwear style, formerly the domain of skaters and rappers, evolved into one of the most prominent fashion movements, and how to adapt it into your personal style. So, go with Teeanime for all your doubts!

What Is Streetwear?

Streetwear is a casual fashion style that emerged in the 1990s. It features comfy yet fashionable attire such as graphic tees, hoodies, sweatpants, and high-end footwear. Streetwear draws inspiration from hip-hop culture as well as skater style, with the addition of purposeful product scarcity. Hypebeasts are fans of the current streetwear trends, and many will go to considerable efforts to obtain limited-edition designer baseball caps, sweatshirts, sneakers, and other items.

A Brief History of Streetwear

In the 1980s, surfers in Southern California marketed screen-printed T-shirts to promote their hand-shaped surfboards, spawning the first streetwear businesses. In the 1990s, boutique skateboarding shops in New York City began manufacturing their own designs, inspired by the street style of Los Angeles skateboarders and surfers as well as hip-hop fashion.

Sneaker culture, which revolves around collectors of high-end sneakers, collided with and impacted streetwear fashion in the 2000s. Hypebeasts wore graphic tees with athletic sneakers, and collaborations were plentiful.

Luxury streetwear emerged in the 2010s. As young people and social influencers popularized streetwear, the fashion industry—from mainstream sportswear brands to high fashion businesses—joined in on the fun.

4 Characteristics of Streetwear Style

Although streetwear encompasses a wide range of fashion styles, streetwear looks frequently center on four key characteristics.

1. Comfort: Streetwear clothing includes casual attire as well as athleisure basics such as sweatshirts and joggers. It’s probably not streetwear if you can’t skate in it.

2. Scarcity: The hypebeast culture revolves around limited-edition commodities. Because of the perceived scarcity, sought-after commodities may appear more fashionable. The same logic underpins haute couture, yet streetwear is more approachable.

3. Menswear styles: While streetwear appeals to people of all genders, it is frequently associated with menswear and traditionally masculine things such as bomber jackets and workwear.

4. Contemporary art: Some of the most successful graphic shirts and streetwear logos take from or parody classic pieces by contemporary artists. Sometimes these collaborations are sanctioned, and sometimes they are not.

4 Tips for Styling Streetwear

The buying and selling of limited-edition items is a big part of the streetwear fashion scene. Even though that might not work for everyone, there are other ways to add streetwear style to your look.

1. Spend money on shoes. A hypebeast’s sneakers are often the most important (and expensive) part of his or her outfit. If you want to show off your style with just one piece of clothing, sneakers are the way to go.

2. Stick to a single logo. Brand loyalty is a big part of streetwear culture, so it’s rare to see a true fan layering different streetwear brands in a single look. If you only have a few pieces from different streetwear brands, try wearing one logo at a time and filling in the rest of your outfit with workwear and athletic wear.

3. Try different sizes. One of the best things that streetwear did for fashion was to bring sweatshirts into high fashion. Streetwear fans often wear baggy jeans, oversized sweatshirts, and other loose-fitting clothes that break the rules of proportion for a fashionable effect.

4. Be who you are. Streetwear came from the counterculture and do-it-yourself ideas. True streetwear is about being yourself, even if it seems like there are a lot of rules right now. Don’t be afraid to put together things that don’t seem to go together. You might be ahead of the curve.

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