Streetwear today is popularly progressing in the fashion world and continues to evolve into a more everyday, casual style that creates an appearance in high fashion. Streetwear is one of the well-known styles today but the term itself can be a bit frustrating. There are various types of clothing that fall under the streetwear category, and so many kinds of streetwear styles.
Streetwear is not the same across the world. The looks in Tokyo may hugely vary from what you’d see on the streets of New York or London. For you to get an understanding of what streetwear is, we will share with you the main types of streetwear with some of their pieces, brands, and features.
Streetwear Differences Between East and West
Streetwear is acquired from each individual culture, despite the trending styles and designs at large, there are minor differences between what is worn in the West and the outfits worn in the East.
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Most of us already know that the culture of hip-hop started in the United States, and a majority of the most massive brands out there were established there as well. There is no doubt that a lot of trends usually originate from the West. We can see how the west is into distressed jeans, graphic tees, and looser fit hoodies, making streetwear lean on softer, lighter tones.
Western-style would tend to stick to making things simple, with people who prefer comfort more than anything else. Sweats, hoodies, and bomber jackets are stapling items in every wardrobe of the West.
Photo by Sixth Tone
People in the East slightly wear streetwear in a different way. Unlike in the West, there is a fewer call back to the hip-hop culture and most of it is characterized by the bold colours. K-pop music has become a major influence on Asia as a whole, with unique designs that are more accepted and there’s plenty of mix-and-match between various types of clothing. Furthermore, streetwear in the East usually combines with workwear and a touch of prep more to their fashion style, therefore being a little tighter in shape. But let’s not forget that every country in the East embraces a different look, as Japan may immensely stand out among all of them.
The Common Types of Streetwear Style
Photo by Surge Nights
From its name, this style’s popularity originated from the culture of skateboarders worldwide. The skate style emerged from California, where skater culture was particularly born. Skateboarding during the early days was created as an alternative activity when surfers want to do something when there are no waves to ride. This is why the skate style was heavily influenced by the American surfer style’s casual look that is focused on baseball hats, shorts, and T-shirts.
Although this style has evolved since then, skate style common incorporates pop culture or humour through slogan baseball caps or graphic T-shirts. The most important thing here is to be casual and just enjoy wearing the style. Some of the brands that are synonymous with skate style are Vans, Dickies, Stussy, Huf, and Carhartt.
Techwear is a futuristic style that has increased its popularity in recent years which places importance on style and functionality. So, basically, the style utilizes highly functional pieces including military vests and cargo pants and inserts a sleek contemporary twist on them by styling with lavish fabrics or with a modern colour palette such as greys and blacks. The inspiration behind this functionality is taken from sportswear and outdoor wear.
This is why many silhouettes and materials including GORE-TEX and technical vests can be found in techwear. It places greater emphasis on functionality, sleek modern style, and high-quality materials which makes it more expensive, particularly if the key pieces are a hardshell jacket. But this style can still be achieved in inexpensive ways by focusing on a monochromatic palette that has outdoor or sports details like reflective highlights and by exploring different shops. You can try looking at Uniqlo, Nike, and Adidas.
High Fashion (Hypebeast)
The hip-hop, hypebeast, or high-fashion style—whatever you wanna call it is probably the most current and popular trend right now in the streetwear style. The hypebeast style was heavily promoted by rappers and hip-hop artists and celebrities like Kanye West, Future, Migos, A$AP Rocky, and many more. This cool style is embodied by luxury logowear combined with streetwear classics like sneakers, graphics tees, and sweatpants.
Even Gucci, Prada, and Balenciaga runways have no shortage of inspiration for streetwear today. Of course, the classic brand Supreme is one of the top influential Hypebeast brands right now. Since this style of streetwear is the most popular one right now, you can quickly do a Google search and you’ll be flooded by so many inspirations. If you don’t have the budget, try to stay away from showing off logos and brands and opt for pieces like Nike sneakers, hoodies, and ripped jeans, bombers, etc. that can recreate the look without the need to break the bank.