Tips for building a killer streetwear wardrobe from scratch
Streetwear is having a huge moment. Though it started out as the preferred wardrobe of skate counterculture back in the 90s, it’s now the inspiration for the mainstream. From Justin Bieber and Kanye West to Alexander Wang, celebs and high-end designers alike are pushing the style aesthetic to peak popularity. But for those of you who don’t necessarily have access to luxury labels or just want to dip your toes in the streetwear pool, how do you get started? Luckily, there are several affordable pieces with which you can build a solid streetwear wardrobe without breaking the bank.
Every fashion aesthetic has its core item. Dapper style is grounded in the basic suit. Prep style revolves around polos and plaid patterns. Streetwear revolves around sweatpants. But these aren’t your dad’s sweats. Modern day sweatpants are cut slim like your favorite pair of chinos or jeans. And they’re tapered around the leg so you can achieve the perfect “stack”-the style move where you scrunch the pant leg and pull it up towards your calf.
Scandinavian minimalism ruled menswear for a long time, so logos and bold graphics were hard to find. But thanks to brands like Vêtements, bold statements are the norm once again. From cheeky political messages to aggressive logos, there really aren’t any rules. Strong graphic statements look best against neutral backgrounds. Stick to white or black tees for best results.
A Trip to the Hood
Hoodies have long been a symbol of rebellion, and for some, an indication of lazy style. But when they’re done right, hoodies can be just as stylish and essential as anything else in your closet. The key to rocking a hoodie the right way is fit. Like your sweatpants, they should be cut slim. You should be able to pull the hood comfortably over your head without feeling any tightness or discomfort, but it also shouldn’t easily fall off. The shoulder seam should line right up with your shoulder bone. Don’t think of a hoodie as a casual piece to toss on while you run errands. Approach it with the same expectations of quality as any other piece in your wardrobe arsenal.
A bomber jacket is the most common outerwear choice among streetwear enthusiasts because it packs in the most style in subtle ways. From the ribbed cuffs and collar to the zipper detail to the plethora of designs, it’s an easy way to elevate any streetwear look. Like your hoodie, just be sure the shoulder hem lines up with your shoulder bone. If your jacket is too big or too small, it ruins everything.
Last but not least, shoes are the icing on the cake. You might see tons of guys wearing high tops, but don’t feel the pressure to give in. Stick with classic low top styles like the Adidas Stan Smith. If you want to stand out, opt for clean white kicks or bold statement colors like yellow or red.
Building a killer streetwear wardrobe is easier than it looks. With just a handful of items, that you can find at any retailer, you can create a look that’s worth a million bucks without spending it.