5 Ways to Perfect Your Street-Style Look
Sure, going outside in the next few months seems far-fetched. But that doesn’t stop your march for true street style, even if the only street you see is the one in front of your door.
Bring your game up to the next level with streetwear, lounge looks and edgy combos that show off your top-to-bottom urban cred. Active or laid-back, the look is full of sharp nods to the musicians and entertainers who made it popular. It is a mix of comfort and glamour that makes it pop. Take a look at some refinements to make this style your own.
What is street style?
Street style is thought of as the look of today’s youth culture. It is what you find in the urban center on New York, Paris, Los Angeles or Milan streets. There is no runway or a single designer to define the look. There are influences, of course. In 1947, designer Christian Dior debuted the “New Look”, a high-heeled, wasp-waisted, full skirt silhouette that only high society could afford. In answer, the street fashion was “Teddy Boy” a look with Edwardian flourishes and narrow hobble skirts, oversized drape jackets and flat shoes.
Working-class girls in these styles emulated the poses and looks of high fashion magazines, but chose the materials and silhouettes they could afford to make and wear.
Inspired by comfort
Flash forward to right now. It is no secret that several months of staying at home changes your attitude. It doesn’t mean that your street style goes sloppy. Add a little urban edginess to your daily wear. Even if you never move from your couch, look for comfortable fleece, French terry or stretch lycra in athletic cuts.
Upfront brand names, over the top studs and stones, scoot over! The look is all about the feel of the material. Is it soft, is it rich, do you want to reach out and touch it?
Everyone and their mama is buying clothing for comfort. For your street vibe, you want comfortable and something extra. Sloppy, baggy sweats won’t cut it. Look for some simple tailoring to make a tracksuit stylish. Wear your yoga pants with a business blazer turned to show off its silk lining. Pair your vintage Jordans with fishnet leggings and a head-turning T-shirt.
1. On your head
The trucker cap, the bucket hat or even wireless Beats by Dr. Dre headphones have places in the pantheon of best street style looks. The hottest accessory at the moment? The humble fabric face covering.
Coordinate your look with crystal-bedecked and color-coordinated masks. Look for Burberry plaid, Adidas stripes or interlocking Gucci logos. Ever popular Patagonia and the North Face brands have gaiter styles and masks with toggles behind the neck to take the strain off of ears.
Venice Beach bikini wearers slip into a matching “trikini” with a spare rectangle in the same fabric as their bathing suit. Celeb fans find masks printed with the lower face of their favorites a Hollywood must.
Bonus for all these crazy coverings? Facial recognition is bamboozled by the confusing prints and muffled outlines.
2. Street-style T-Shirts and tops
Oversized and comfortable is still a hallmark of streetwear style, but look for more form-fitting athletic-inspired looks. Zoom classes and mandatory video check-in sends fashion lovers into a frenzy for accents at the neck and shoulder. Look for sharp shoulder trims, zippers and cleavage (sometimes all at once) for maximum impact on a tiny screen. Seams, color blocks and an all-neutral palette or single color palette focus attention on the face.
On the street, fashion takes a hint from safety. Yellow vests in Paris, full cover-ups in Portland and protest message T-shirts are everywhere. You also find people taking the business-wear on top, streetwear on the bottom looks to the extreme.
Upgrade your utilitarian fabrics to something more luxe. Sure your sweats and leggings are timeless, but the tough torn army canvas and sloppy cotton fleece need replacement. Try 100% Merino wool for your cold-weather cargo pants or a cozy cashmere-blend tracksuit. Super leggings take on luxe looks with leather-like trim, sheer panels and nude looks.
Summer wear, look to cut-offs. Cut-off sweats or jeans with fishnet stockings and shoes made for stomping are all over.
4. Bags and belts
Metallic hobos have seen their moment. Look for waist pouches and crossbodies with carabiner details to hold mask, keys and essentials close. Choose practical military-inspired kits and carry-alls. Cargo belts crossed bandolier-style contrast with bare midriffs and sagging bottoms that bare underwear waistbands. The look for utility belts is more Wonder Woman than Batman Returns. Also seen are oversized belt bags worn in front or under an arm.
5. Street-style shoes
Athletic styles for basketball and skateboards have had their moments. For true street cred, you need authentic Yeezys. It is up to you to choose between the desert boot look, 350v, 500 or slides.
Look for discreetly luxe versions of the track shoes with chunky soles and unique treads. In shoes, skip adornments like rhinestones or studs. Slides or tied shoes worn as slides continue in popularity. Other footwear styles to complete your ensemble include Havaianas flipflop sandals in every color, military surplus boots and the retro Nike Cortez.
Pull it all together
Street style is all about a “take on all comers” attitude. Your fashion choices reflect someone who is hip, confident, edgy and proud. While the look is inspired by urban youth, the attitude is 100% adult. From head to toe, modern street fashion means luxe comfort. It nods to many influences instead of only high fashion designers. Think urban streets, making clothes your own and fabrics that feel good.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking there are rules about how to wear streetwear. Wear whatever is authentic, comfortable and fashionable to you. Really, no one else matters more.