Street wear is a style of casual clothing that grew from New York hip hop fashion and Californian surf culture. It now incorporates elements from many other cultures and styles, including punk and 1980s nostalgia. It is a highly democratic genre that has subverted the way fashion trends have traditionally taken off, giving consumers just as much power to determine what is cool as industry insiders.
The success of streetwear has attracted the attention of brands from various sectors of the fashion industry. Pure streetwear labels are growing fast, while mainstream luxury houses are developing a range of “street” products to appeal to a younger target market. These are often branded with logos and references to popular music, films, or other cultural touchpoints that resonate with young consumers.
For brands that want to tap into this market, a good start is to focus on authenticity. A brand that does not have a strong link to the communities out of which streetwear emerged will struggle to connect with its audience. Successful streetwear brands like Supreme, Nike, and BAPE have been serving their community for decades, while the likes of Virgil Abloh’s Off-White ™ have gained value from their close association with musicians such as Kanye West.
Authenticity also means respecting and celebrating streetwear’s heritage. This approach is reflected in the design aesthetic of these styles, which tend to be minimalist or minimally embellished. The color palette is typically neutral with a soft tint of blue, green or pink. Stripped-back pieces and loose, breathable fabrics are key.
A hoodie is the cornerstone of any streetwear outfit, but there are many options available. A classic crew-neck tee is a versatile option that can be worn with both joggers and jeans, while oversized or baggy hoodies are ideal for casual occasions. These can be paired with denim jackets, bomber jackets, or even a casual blazer for a more sophisticated look. Add a hat, which can be anything from a simple baseball cap to a bucket hat or visor, and you’re ready for any event that comes your way.
A streetwear look for men is easy to achieve, especially if you’ve already established your own personal style. Toss on a pair of cargo pants or dark wash jeans with trainers, and you’re ready to rock any casual occasion. You can also elevate this look with a patterned button-up shirt or a graphic tee, and finish the outfit off with a baseball cap, sunglasses, or a hat with a colorful logo or pattern. This is a great way to show off your personality and express your own individuality through your style.