What is Streetwear Fashion ? 7 musts haves if you want to adopt this style

Streetwear fashion is a youthful casual style of dressing inspired by the sneaker culture and skateboarders of California and hipsters of New York. It emerged in the 1980s and has since developed into one of the most distinctive and iconic genres of clothing around today.

Today the term Streetwear fashion is a force to reckon with, with international designers vying to create designs for this style. It is a grassroots level yet stylish and contemporary dressing for the Urban youth with musical, sports preferences.

To relegate streetwear as a fashion style alone is an injustice, because since its inception, it has turned into a major urban youth movement that has shaken up the fashion scene. It can rightly be called a culture of the trendy easy going youngsters. It encompasses the dreams and aspirations of the Urban Youth and represents a lot of their Anti-establishment attitude. It is also associated with a liking for street sports, freestyle dancing, alternative music, alternative fashion etc.

This affordable fashion style allowed the youth to show off their individuality while being part of a crowd and do all that while being very comfortable.

A little bit of History – Streetwear Fashion

Streetwear has its roots in Skateboarding culture. It was during the 1980s that the streetwear fashion started being a style movement. Shaun Stussy, a surfer from Laguna Beach in California, first created one of the well-known streetwear brands at the start of the 1980s from the back of his car. Big fashion labels started to take notice of its popularity by the 1990s. Streetwear fashion moved from the fringes to the mainstream.

Many brands emerged. Japanese streetwear designers catering to the Japanese pop culture created a lot of designs in this line and have had a major influence in many of its designs. By the later 1990s, streetwear emerged as a fashion movement in Europe and America.

Many hits and misses later Streetwear fashion today is an international movement encompassing fashion elements that are quite unique to itself and all-encompassing of other fashion styles like hip hop, punk etc.

Functionality is big with all clothing in this segment, as is comfort. 

Streetwear has come a long way from the 1980s. The arrival of ‘Limited Edition’ streetwear brands gives exclusivity in all the madness that is in this street-level dressing. Celebrities in the music industry and Social media influencers collaborates with big brands to make Streetwear more coveted.

Streetwear is constantly evolving and hence it is difficult to pinpoint this fashion, exactly. Those who adopt this style is big on individuality so cornering the style into a segment is impossible.

But as in any style, streetwear fashion also some types of clothing that that whole style is centered on. These pieces can be put together in different ways to develop your own individual style.

7 commonly seen clothing/accessories in streetwear fashion

1. T-shirts

tshirts with graphic prints form an important part of streetwear

Cannot imagine street style without them – The T-shirts may be Plain or Printed. The printed ones have vibrant coloured artwork, slogans, graffiti. Loose fitting or even baggy t-shirts or fitting t-shirts under jackets are included. Depending on the fashion, the t-shirts maybe short or can even go up to the knees as in longline t-shirt. Black, grey and white are the preferred colors.

For girls, this translates to tank tops and even crop tops.

Related post : Different types of t-shirts.

2. Jeans

all types of casual jeans

Dark blue raw denim jeans is a good start in bottom wear. Ripped jeans, jeans that have gone through many types of washes, etc are all included in street style. Those with lots of functional pockets are preferred.

A Skinny fit is a staple. The tapered style of jeans has been a favourite from the start of this fashion style and that has not changed

Denim jeans shorts with shredded/fringed edges are streetwear for girls.

3. Sweatpants/joggers

Dropped crotch baggy pants are what I see as popular now in this category.

sweatpants as part of streetwear

For girls, leggings will do, in place of sweatpants.

4. Casual Jackets

casual jackets as streetwear

Fashion changes the style of jackets – Long jackets in wool are preferred but this may change today, tomorrow. Denim jackets and wool duster coats, leather jackets in casual fit are all good.  Boys have their military style jackets which are cool and timeless. Bomber jackets, Biker jackets, all are streetwear cool.

5. Pullover Hoodies

pullover hoodies

This is one clothing that you cannot imagine being without in a streetwear wardrobe.

For girls, these are boyfriend hoodies/sweatshirts.

6. Sneakers


Sneakers are the preferred footwear for this style and among them, white is the preferred color.

Ankle boots are another preference for footwear.

7. Headwear


Beanies, Baseball caps (Dad hats), bandanas – streetwear takes them all.

For Outfit ideas in Streetwear fashion check out the Streetwear fashion board in Pinterest or the streetwear subreddit here.

Related post:PopularStyle of clothing ; Grunge Fashion ; Punk fashion; Preppy style; Lolita Fashion; Gothic fashion; 40 fashion subcultures; History of fashion


Updated on March 3, 2023 by Sarina Tariq


Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

2 thoughts on “What is Streetwear Fashion ? 7 musts haves if you want to adopt this style”

  1. This article leaves out a very important root of streetwear, hip-hop. Hip-hip was and is just as influential in streetwear and its creation as skate culture.

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