The whole world seems to love streetwear. It is comfortable, cool and often very easy to wear.
Streetwear is incredibly easy and simple to wear, but it's not so easy to make it both chic and stylish. Wondering how you can interpret streetwear into your casual chic wardrobe, or even use it to give your office outfit an urban twist? We show you how:
WHAT IS STREETWEAR?
Not sure what streetwear really is? Here's a brief overview of the style and why it seems to be dominating the fashion industry at the moment.
Streetwear is a style of street fashion that has an urban feel at its core. The concept of streetwear is rooted in the Californian surf and skate culture, where it originated. Since then, the streetwear aesthetic has been adopted by the hip hop subculture, and has a youthful, urban feel.
Traditional streetwear is loose, incorporating elements such as oversized hoodies and graphic t-shirts. In terms of accessories, baseball caps and trainers are also an important part of the trend.
For many, the trainers you choose are considered the most important aspect of making this trend work. They should be thick, leather, and have a retro or vintage look. White soles are essential, while the body of the shoe can be almost any colour of the rainbow; the only real limit is your imagination.
When asked how he would define streetwear, one of the most famous purveyors of the concept of streetwear, Tommy Hilfiger, replied: 'The aesthetic has to be a bit sporty, a bit athletic... It's skateboarding and hip-hop, but it's not exclusively one of those things.
So how can you take all these traditional streetwear elements and incorporate them into your current wardrobe? You'll probably be surprised at how easy it is to do! When you add streetwear to traditional and more formal looks, the two conflicting styles will complement each other.
EXPERIENCE WITH OVERSIZED CLOTHING
Since the traditional streetwear look involves wearing large, loose clothing, incorporating elements of this oversized style into your outfit will give it an immediate street look.
To keep things smart, choose only one piece to oversize, while keeping everything else snug. Pair an oversized hoodie with skinny jeans or slim trousers, for example. Or if you're looking for something smart for a casual day at the office, wear a skinny suit with a slightly looser, oversized shirt: wear it open without a tie to get a loose, casual feel.
Experiment with different proportions until you find the style that suits you and your figure best: some men look best in loose-fitting tops with slim trousers, while others prefer wide-legged skater jeans with a tighter shirt or jumper.
One of the most important aspects of streetwear is choosing the pieces you like and using your clothes to express your individuality.
This gives you incredible freedom to really think about what works for you, and what pieces you feel happy putting on every morning. As long as you think about these two elements when choosing an outfit, you are sure to find something that suits you perfectly.
ADD A COAT OR FORMAL JACKET
One of the quickest and easiest ways to inject a smart edge into any outfit is to add a blazer or formal jacket with a button closure and slim lapels. You'll immediately get a structured, tailored feel reminiscent of a suit, making the whole outfit look more formal.
This is the perfect time of year to experiment with this look, as it quickly becomes impossible to leave the house without a warm coat thrown over every outfit! Use yours to cover hooded tops, graphic tees and even a brushed cotton lumberjack shirt tied around your waist.
These iconic elements will immediately set your outfit apart and give it a streetwise feel, without alienating you from the more formal, casual crowd.
The Crombie coat, as pictured in style above, is a great choice. It fits the silhouette perfectly, which combined with its long-line style is incredibly flattering, but it's neutral enough to work well with more modern, fashion-forward streetwear.
If you haven't bought your new season coat yet, there's no time to waste! The sooner you hit the shops the more choice of styles, designers and sizes you will have. Check out our streetwear shop to buy your streetwear look.
CHOOSE DARK COLOURS
Traditional streetwear brands embrace all the colours of the wheel in their designs. However, if you want to look as formal as possible while wearing your favourite streetwear, look for dark colours.
Dark clothes have an immediate formal look: this is why most men choose to wear a black or grey suit to the office. While colour is fun and expresses your personality, a lack of colour shows that you are serious about what you are doing and helps draw attention away from your outfit.
If you can't wear black from head to toe, choose an iconic black piece (like a t-shirt or jacket) and then add black accessories. These pieces will complement each other and give an overall sense of colour to your outfit.
Wearing black should not be confused with looking boring. One of the main reasons why the fashion pack so often dresses in black is because it allows the most important details of your outfit to really shine.
Why not make the decision to go back to black and let the structure, style and proportion of your outfit shine through and help you stand out in the crowd.
LAYERING OF CLOTHING
Layering is an important part of wearing streetwear, and you don't have to pass up this element of the trend just because you're trying to be smarter! As long as you choose the right pieces, it's very easy to incorporate layering into a formal look.
Try wearing an open striped button down shirt over a plain white tee. You can also reverse the trend by wearing a patterned shirt and a plain shirt. Add a bomber jacket or, for a more formal look, a blazer and you'll immediately layer three separate pieces like a pro.
The right streetwear look is all about choosing the best brand: the pieces that will earn you the most respect in urban circles are those from underground and subversive brands that reject the mainstream. Supreme is a great example, creating iconic logo tees with oversized prints and brightly coloured flashes.
Other great streetwear brands to look out for include Japanese manufacturer Bape, who have collaborated with big brands from Converse to Pepsi.
If you want something a little more out of left field, then check out Huf. Huf started as a skatewear brand in 2002 before entering the mainstream: now their tees are worn by celebrities, and they have a host of A-list endorsements.
But sometimes branding doesn't matter. If you can find a fitted black hoodie without any branding or logo, buy it immediately and never let it go: it's the golden chalice of the streetwear chic look, as it's both neutral and statement, and can be worn with everything. It's the number one ingredient in the recipe for effortless cool.
It's much easier than you think to look stylish in streetwear; just pair an iconic streetwear piece with the classics you already have in your wardrobe and watch the two conflicting genres work together and compliment each other.
The key to perfecting this look is to choose only one branded piece per outfit and let it do the talking, while the rest of your outfit remains minimalist.
The key to feeling comfortable in this look is to find a statement piece that you love, and that suits your personality. Letting your personality shine through is the best thing you can do when you choose to be part of a subversive fashion movement like streetwear.
Finally, make sure you choose the right shoes. It doesn't matter if you call them trainers, trainers or trainers, the fact is that the shoes you have on your feet will be an incredibly important part of getting that look right.
Keep up to date with the latest trends in trainers, choose a brand that has a good standing, and leave your tired old trainers at home. You'll soon look like a streetwear pro!