The Philosophy And History Behind Streetwear Clothing


Streetwear is a loose term to describe a fashion movement that arose from the bottom-up, as opposed to a bottom-down fashion where corporation specifically, research and invest in a line of clothes. Weary of the marketing excess of clothing giants such as Gap, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Old Navy; a youth culture bore a new do-it-yourself fashion that incorporated the cap, the t-shirt and vintage style sneakers into a new brand of clothing. This ‘new brand’ should not be mistaken for the hip-hop culture fashion, because although they exploit baggy clothing and caps, they generally stay away from displays of grandeur, jewelry and the behavior that comes with it. A more similar comparison would benefit when comparing street wear clothing to skater-wear, where brands like Vans, Dickies and Emerica dominate the scene.

Popular items that have arisen from the street wear clothing style are printed t-shirts that contain abstract or very expressionistic images on any part of the t-shirt. They are usually asymmetric, making a sharp contrast to the more tamed t-shirts that are mass produced by clothing giants such as Tommy Hilfiger. Another addition to popular t-shirt designed contributed by the street-wear culture are clever reinterpretations and mash up of old and iconic figures. Popular characters include Rocky, from Rocky and Bullwinkle, Marylyn Monroe and the boom box. Text and phrases also dominate the scene. Phrases are usually mashed up with images or other designs. The more witty and coy the comment, the more popular and lasting the t-shirt becomes.

The color palette for street wear culture varies, but the some of the most colors to combine are black, purple, red and brown. Bold colors are preferable to calm and subtle colors. It can interpreted that it is through colors and color combination that street wear clothing call for attention and make their mark in fashion territory.

The sneaker and snug cap are trademark street wear accessories for the street wear culture. Among the most popular sneakers are Nike, Adidas, and Vans. The more eccentric the color combination on these sneakers, the better they are preferred. Popular colors include neon green, bright red, yellow, orange and sky blue. These colors are used interchangeably with the basic black and white. Street wear caps are borrowed from skater caps and they are composed of faint colors like beige, tan grey.

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