From Metallica to Drake, streetwear outfits are our culture. Rocking the latest brands has so many implications. It's a way to flaunt your wealth. It's your identity. It's a fashion statement.
Why is it that these fashion fads have propagated into our society and stuck around for decades? The fact that streetwear is only getting more popular makes this question all the more fascinating.
The answer is tied closely with history and human nature.
Read on to learn about the provoking history of streetwear outfits, and how it has impacted modern clothing.
20th Century Privilege
In the past century, the West swiftly transitioned from adorning suits and cultural wear to sporting bell bottoms and t-shirts.
The reasons for this are at least twofold.
With the surge of synthetic fibers like nylon starting in the 1930s, high-quality clothing became abundant and widespread.
Not only were these materials cheap to produce and affordable for the masses, they were durable and trendy.
So for starters, the absolute flood of this stuff made it easier for fashion to grow and expand. It became universal, in that it's something that we all do now.
On the other hand, this wouldn't have happened if society weren't laxer.
After WWII and the onslaught of the progressive movement, traditional societal values were being deconstructed left and right. This meant less adherence to social norms and more individual freedom.
Streetwear Outfits Through the Decades
In the decades to come, fashion would undergo radical changes.
Let's take a look at the formative years of streetwear.
Back in the 70s, what you wore became an expression of who you were.
Rather than going out in something bulky, it was easier to just wear what's comfortable.
Herein arose the popularity of gold chains and chinos, tie-dye and camouflage, sweaters and spandex. Hip-hop and discotheque culture were the big players.
Obviously, the 70s streetwear culture still influences us today. For example, name a popular rapper that doesn't talk about their VVS.
It was the 80s, though, that really solidified that culture of gold wristwatches and flashy jewelry.
The punk scene, skateboarders, preps, goths, and more were also hopping on the train at that time.
It seemed that fashion had retained its ability to classify and diversify us, but each individual subculture had its own way of dressing.
Alongside baggy pants and keds, fanny packs and man buns came to life as well. (No, man buns aren't a recent thing.)
When the 90s hit, streetwear became salient to pop culture.
Grunge and hip-hop were peaking with greats like Tupac Shakur, Kurt Cobain, and Chris Cornell.
This forecasted the rise of a frugal and worn look, along with a continuation of neon colors and geometric patterns.
Mind you, the streetwear of these subcultures differed greatly from preppy kids, who wore Old Navy and other "well-off" clothes.
The 2000s & Beyond
In the past couple of decades, it's been sneakers, sneakers, sneakers for dudes, with a high emphasis on "athleisure". This led to brands like Nike, Puma, Jordan, and more to rise to the top.
Big glasses, pocketless jeans, and chokers have been popular since the early 2000s, and continue to affect today's trends.
Fashion Goes Beyond
These are just a few examples of streetwear outfits. As we know, today's fashion is so varied that it'd take a massive list to pick out even the most popular wavelengths.
Above all, the most popular recent items include hoodies, long-sleeve tees, and baseball caps with slick brands. Check out some examples here!