Streetwear: Getting a Basic Understanding of the Culture

You’ve probably heard the terms urban wear and street wear being thrown around like a volley ball at a beach on a sunny day, yet you have no clue what exactly that type of wear is. Is it the Air Jordans? The varsity jackets? Longline T-shirts? Jersey Joggers and Japanese Jeans? A little bit of all? But in reality, urban wear is about one thing, and about one thing only – having a unique style that talks about your personality. 

A lot of high-end designers are taking cues from the streetwear culture. But regardless of whether you want to wear urban wear or designer clothes, it all comes down to having a smart judgment, as well as having a solid selection of clothes that you can build your entire wardrobe upon, so that you can make countless different combinations, but still retain a unique, and smart style. If you’ve got some experience, and are confident enough to choose your outfits by yourself – great. Otherwise, keep reading and we’ll briefly discuss some starting points that can help you start on this journey.

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First and foremost, consider the fabrics of the products you’re looking to buy, as comfort is the key element of urban wear. Cotton is considered the best fabric out there in terms of comfort and looks, so look for some of the classic cotton textiles, such as Oxford cloth, twill, jersey and chambray. There are some decorative fabrics, such as seersucker and herringbone, but they’re typically associated with menswear than straight up urban wear.

Next, consider the shape. The ideal shape for you will be entirely dependent on your preference. Personally, I find myself being a classicist. That being said, I wear baggy shirts, beanies, loose fitting chinos…you get the idea. But if you’re more about the current trends, then dropped crotches and longline cuts are probably your best bet.

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Last but not least, consistency matters more than you think. As my points above state, there are several different definitions of urban wear, and despite my, or your own preferences, all of them are completely valid. But once you’ve made your choice of style, stick with it. Mixing styles is totally normal and it can bring out some really cool combinations, but trust me – your Wallabees won’t work well with your double-layered Goth shorts.

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By now you should have some basic understanding of the culture, and realise that it can be a lifestyle altering experience. Most enthusiasts would agree that the one major drawback is how financially crippling it can be, because it can get addicting. So fair warning, don’t buy more streetwear than you can afford. After all, it’s all about combining what you already have, getting a few extra pieces every now and then and combining them together with your old ones to create an outfit that fits your unique style.