Streetwear is trendy!
It has been influencing men's fashion for over 40 years. And it is even more popular today.
So what are the codes of this urban style? What men's streetwear clothing should we know? And which streetwear brands should not be missed?
I answer all your questions in this article.
The streetwear style today
Beyond a clothing style, streetwear is a fundamental trend that has deeply influenced the way we dress today.
Streetwear is the fruit of urban culture with influences that come from:
- the sportswear : skateboarding, surfing, and basketball
- the music : hip hop, grunge, R & B, and punk
- the graphic expression : graffiti, pop art, or manga
Streetwear took its marks in the United States in the 70s and 80s.
BonneGueule speaks very well about it by describing its origin:
“As the name suggests, he was born on the street at the behest of young people from disadvantaged neighborhoods. A form of expression that allowed them to show their belonging to a culture and to reaffirm their individuality in a society that tended to marginalize them.
Not having a lot of financial means, these young people could not afford designer clothes, and therefore did with what they had.
The important thing was no longer the garment itself but the way it was worn. A situation which encouraged them to be as creative as possible and which led to the birth of new urban codes. "
The result :
It is the quest for singularity.
Young people do with what they have on hand.
They break dress codes by mixing styles and wearing street sportswear or oversized clothes. They also customize their clothing with prints and embroidery.
The blog Le Barboteur sums up the ideas behind streetwear:
“[Streetwear] is today a piece of clothing for everyone, synonymous with freedom and well-being influenced by music, sport or urban art. You could say that streetwear has become the fashion niche where anything goes. "
Streetwear has clearly changed the rules of fashion.
He redefined our standards in terms of elegance and style. Casual looks are much more accepted today (even in the office).
The birth of streetwear brands
Very quickly, entrepreneurs feel the vein: they design and flock clothing, create brands, and open shops.
There were certainly many micro-brands.
Today, we particularly remember those who have become true stars of modern streetwear.
- Stüssy - Created in the 80s by Shawn Stüssy, the brand offered graphic T-shirts highlighting the logo drawn by hand by its founder. It quickly became one of the cornerstones of today's streetwear style.
- Supreme - The Supreme brand was created by James Jebbia, a Stüssy alumnus. From 1994, the brand was aimed at an audience of skateboarders. Since then, Supreme has made a name for itself as an influencer of streetwear fashion.
What made these brands famous are practices still common in the world of streetwear:
- Limited editions (called "drops");
- Collaborations between brands;
- A link with urban popular culture;
- An exuberant graphic style.
The appearance of streetwear in France
A few years after its birth in the United States, streetwear arrives in France.
Hip-hop arrived in France in the 80s . He brings with him the streetwear movement.
With the growing interest in hip-hop and a cultural revolution in cities, streetwear is making a place for itself in France.
The popularity of streetwear attracts the attention of young designers, sports brands, and musicians.
One of the transitional moments is the arrival of the Air Jordan from Nike.
She creates the fashion sneakers that we know today. For more info, read this article on the best French brands of sneakers .
This style becomes a real commercial phenomenon with a big influence of R&B and rap. In a sense, it loses a lot of its authenticity. It becomes a good source of income for musicians and brands.
Besides that, some streetwear purists talk about art movement.
It is clear that streetwear has a great influence on fashion, even on luxury houses.
Luxury takes over streetwear or has streetwear taken over luxury?
Some rappers come to fish in luxury brands for their wardrobes.
The Lacoste and Burberry cases are especially retained. Each of the brands saw a crowd of young people wearing their logo (often with counterfeit) giving an urban and streetwear image.
But since the 2010s, luxury brands have started to actively adopt the streetwear style. They hire specialized creators, create collaborations with purely streetwear brands, sponsor rap singers, and promote this urban style in their fashion shows.
The goal ?
These brands seek to please the Asian market which is fond of this style. They then seek to give themselves a streetwear side while preserving their tailoring offers .
In parallel, streetwear fashion is spreading in Japan.
Several reasons, including:
- Japanese interest in American vintage (especially denim and T-shirts);
- The need for young Japanese people to create their own identity far from the sanitized corporate environment ;
- The crisis in Japan in the 90s.
Streetwear appeared in Japan in the 90s thanks to designers like:
- Hiroshi Fujiwara who was Stüssy's ambassador to Japan and founder of Goodenough and ambassador of;
- Nigo who founded A Bathing Ape (aka Bape ) and is a friend of Pharrell Williams.
Japanese streetwear then took on its own twist, with new influences (notably manga).
What clothes should you wear to adopt the streetwear style?
There is everything.
Let's dig into the main streetwear clothes (starting at the top).
Hat and cap
The hat and the cap are two types of headgear that are the very expression of streetwear: relaxed and inspired by sport.
The streetwear beanie
Two types of beanies give a streetwear look:
- The cuff cap : it is a long cap with a cuff;
- The docker cap : it is a shorter cap than the cuff cap.
In streetwear mode, the hat is very often worn on the top of the head. It does not sink to the ears
It is striking to see that an accessory immediately gives the streetwear look:
The hat is now used more as a stylish accessory than an anti-cold accessory.
The streetwear cap
The cap is also present in the streetwear directory.
Worn upside down or upside down, it easily gives this hip-hop or surfer side to an outfit.
Sweatshirt and hoodie
The sweatshirt and hoodie are key pieces of the streetwear style.
They are inspired by American sportswear created in the 1930s.
Worn rather loose, it can be graphic or flashy. It is possible to see canary yellow, electric blue…
Sweatshirt and hoodie therefore brings a very sportswear touch to an outfit.
Another garment inspired by the world of American university sports, the teddy jacket can also be worn in a streetwear context.
It is even worn extravagantly:
Now let's go to shoes.
Sneakers and sneakers
Sneakers meet a certain glory. This clearly has its origins in streetwear.
One of the biggest influences was probably Nike's Air Jordan.
Sneakers are a trend in themselves.
Prices often soar in the 200-300 euros for a basic model. And aficionados collect them with joy.
For more surprising details on sneakers, read this article on the best French brands of sneakers .
Streetwear brands to watch
There are so many streetwear brands. It's hard to find really cool and original stuff.
Here is a selection of men's streetwear brands that have the advantage of being less known.
Take a look around:
- Yukio Hishika
- Sweet pants
- Waxed Concrete
- Benny Gold
- Hologram Clothing
- The Hundreds
More mainstream, you have:
Are you interested in streetwear?
Go bargain hunting in vintage stores. It's the most authentic way to find streetwear clothing.
If you prefer to buy new, here is a list of stores that have good references.
Online streetwear stores
Yukio Hishika is a good way to find vintage or designer clothes at a good price.
It does take time, however. You have to be patient and have an eye.
END is an English online store which illustrates very well the British interpretation of streetwear.
It offers a large number of high-end brands.
The English e-shop, ASOS , is more affordable and offers a plethora of brands.
Warning: Expect entry-level quality for most garments. We are also far from the responsible side of these brands listed in our article on ethical fashion.
Known for its Parisian boutiques, the streetwear brand Citadium (which belongs to the Printemps group) has many styles available on its online store.