Streetwear has been a thing in the culture since as far back as the 70s and endured through the decades as a style and a means of self-expression for those that don’t see their aesthetic represented on the mainstream fashion shows and in the high-end boutiques. These groups, like skaters, surfers and other such activity centered gatherings of young people gave rise to something that was at the time unimaginable in the world of high fashion. At many points in time, it has been derided as a trend. In truth, the visibility of the style in mainstream culture has waxed and waned at different times.
However, it’s 2022 and streetwear is still going strong. Despite its origins, streetwear has effectively become mainstream in a big way, with many of the same high-end brands that contributed to its formation by ignoring the aesthetic and design attitude that birthed it have now bought into it. One does not need to look far to find streetwear, which now lives up to its name and is everywhere you go. This article will detail the different types of streetwear so that newcomers to the movement can more easily navigate it and decide on their own preferred style.
Types of Streetwear
Below are some of the most common types of streetwear you should try.
Skatewear is the oldest and most easily explained form of streetwear. Tracing its origins all the way back to LA skate and surf culture, this form of streetwear is heavy on graphic tees and sneakers that are popular with skaters such as the Vans brand, as well as beanies and baseball hats. A landmark characteristic of this type of streetwear is the inclusion of graphic items from pop culture.
A deviation from skatewear, athleisure takes the aesthetic of athletic wear as its base and shapes it into something more well-suited to day-to-day living. Running shoes, joggers, tapered sweatpants and even biker shorts all feature prominently in this style, which has recently been sported by celebs with a more active lifestyle.
A style personified by multiple layers and functional pieces, techwear is a subset of streetwear that leans more towards utility while still preserving the fashionable aspects and general streetwear aesthetic. Created with a focus on outer layers that best offer functionality, techwear features a lot of pieces borrowed from blue collar professions like construction, logistics and the like. Cargo pants, military vests, and sneakers with features like pockets that zip up and resilient waterproof material, all tied together with the same unique flair that other streetwear styles bring to the table makes techwear stand out. The final piece of the puzzle comes from how the style lends itself to futuristic fashion that allows for a different facet to it.
While Streetwear is the domain of the young and free by origin and definition, it is versatile enough that it could reasonably be adapted to many different scenes. As the generation that innovated the style have aged on, many have held on to it, and many more have discovered it past the time of youth. These older pioneers of the style have birthed a more ‘mature’ take one streetwear, adhering more to what is traditionally considered acceptable for those beyond their teen years while still paying homage to the style they enjoyed in their peak years.
Located somewhere between classic streetwear and the mature style, this is a business casual streetwear style that allows for the fashion to extend to the workplace without too much fuss. Featuring jeans, khakis and jacket styles not usually associated with streetwear, this style offers the best of both worlds in terms of taking streetwear to the next logical point in its evolution as everyday fashion while still looking good in the here and now.
Easily taking the credit for the resurgence of streetwear into the mainstream culture that started in the early 2000s and came again in the 2010s and has lasted to this day, high fashion streetwear is almost a subversion of the origins of the style. This characteristic allowed it to be renewed in the cultural zeitgeist, effectively bringing us to the widespread acceptance and adoption we see today.
High Fashion streetwear is focused more on the image of exclusivity rather than individual self-expression. Finding its origins and continued relevance in the Hip Hop landscape, high fashion streetwear focuses on donning only the latest and greatest pieces from the biggest brands out there.
Where to Shop Streetwear
Despite its California origins, streetwear has seen its most dynamic and consistent growth in Asian countries. As such, the best brands are all focused there. Tenshi streetwear is a brand that focuses on giving all forms of streetwear a distinctly Japanese feel, allowing you to embrace the very best that modern streetwear has to offer. Check out their website to start building your own unique streetwear collection.