What comes to mind when you hear the words, “men’s streetwear”?
You may think of a college student, wearing a plain white tee, a pair of denim pants, and sneakers, who’s on his way to school. Or a dance coach, wearing a loose graphic tee, baggy shorts, cap, and trainers. Or perhaps a young adult, wearing an oversized cardigan while holding a cup of coffee.
Street fashion may come in different forms but there’s one element that binds them together: comfort. Streetwear clothing should be comfortable and full of personality – something that’d liberate you from the body-hugging corporate suits and neckties you wear to work.
But just because streetwear clothing is all about injecting personality and cutting yourself some slack doesn’t mean it should look lazy.
To pull off comfy and laidback streetwear while looking sharp and stylish, here are 9 tips to keep in mind.
Think loose, not baggy
Comfort is key in street fashion – that explains why traditional streetwear incorporates elements of laidback, oversized style. However, many men confuse “comfortable clothing” with “I’m not in the mood to care about how I look” kind of baggy clothing.
Pick a silhouette that’s way more relaxed than figure-hugging tailoring of 1940’s men but is way more structured than an oversized get up that makes you look like a tent with legs.
Experiment with proportions
To keep things well-curated, avoid picking shapeless clothing from head to toe. Instead, choose one piece to be oversized, and keep everything else tight-fitting.
Test proportions to find the style that’s perfect for you and your body type. You may pair an oversized hoodie with a slim-fit pair of chinos, or a well-fit shirt underneath a loose cardigan.
Spruce up your streetwear fabrics
Streetwear clothing staples were those guilt-free pieces you could happily fall off a bike while wearing. They’re cheap yet sturdy fabrics – like denim and heavy kinds of cotton in loose fits. But if you’re looking to level up your style, you should invest in quality streetwear clothing you wouldn’t risk on the muddy roads.
We’re talking about upgrading utilitarian fabrics to the more premium ones. Update your wardrobe with your staples – like shirts, hoodies, jackets, shorts, and cargo trousers – but in fabrics such as leather, wool, cashmere, and Oxford cloth.
Hypebeast is only for the boys – not for men
Want to rock street fashion like a grown-up? Don’t be a hypebeast!
Avoid wearing overly trendy clothes that flash big labels or logos. Stray away from wearing the latest gear from head to toe as well. A stylish grown-up move is to fly below the radar, so aim to get a look without the logos, or have them tucked away as subtle details.
Top it off with a formal coat, blazer, or jacket
This is one of the easiest and quickest way to spruce up your standard shirt + jeans combo and inject a smart edge into your look. Throw a jacket with slim lapels and button fastening over your graphic tees.
These formal layers instantly create a structured and tailored feel to your laidback get-up. This way, you’ll stand out in the street-style troop without setting you apart from the more smart-casual crowd.
Add flavor with accessories and accents
If your getup feels a little bland, you can turn to the right accessories. Go ahead and put on a scarf, hat, and/or cap. Finish it off with glasses, a watch, and some key pieces of jewelry.
You may also brighten up your look with a statement piece – like a vibrant striped top, a coat with quirky patterns, and a red pair of shoes below an all-black get-up.
Mix work and play
Have you ever tried pairing a smart-casual suit and chinos, with a comfy hoodie and some trainers or sneakers? How about covering up your casual tee, denim jeans, and boots with a trench coat? Don’t be afraid to mix and match what’s in your wardrobe, regardless of the style or genre.
Streetwear is a mix-and-match game; pieces from different cultures, brands, and ideas, that together tell a lot about your personality.
When in doubt, go for darker hues
Well, this would depend on your personality, of course. If you’re confident you look great on a bright mustard yellow, or a powder blue hoodie, then, rock on. But in terms of injecting formality into your slack outfit, dark colors, without a doubt, win – and absence of color often shows you’re serious about what you do.
Go back to black. It’s never boring – in fact, black dominates the fashion industry because it allows the crucial aspects of your outfit (structure, style, and proportion) to completely shine through.
Next, to black, you can wear other dark, muted hues including navy, gray, and brown.
Start from the bottom
It’s safe to say that in streetwear, shoes make your outfit. Invest in a high-quality pair of sneakers and trainers. Favor premium materials and brands that prioritize quality, not just hype. To take your street fashion up a notch, go for a pair of boots you can wear anywhere, from work to party.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a savvy writer for Northern Menswear, an online streetwear fashion website for men, delivering clothing and footwear products from top UK brands such as Unforgivable, Jameson Carter, Loyalti, Rose London, and Avora London. She loves sharing tips about fashion and lifestyle for trendy gents.