The Fundamentals of Basic Streetwear

by James Martin

The fundamentals of basic streetwear is an accumulation of different fashion trends over the past couple of decades. It continues to be one of the most popular styles in fashion and has even given birth to other subgenres in casual wear. Though streetwear has maintained its popularity in today’s modern society, its roots which trace back to 90s hip-hop and surf culture remain evident and alive in aesthetic.

Music also has a strong influence on today’s basic streetwear and genres like heavy metal, new wave, and punk are some of its biggest contributors. Traces of athletic wear and sports such as basketball, American football, baseball, and skateboarding have also made a large impact in the way plenty of streetwear brands design their apparel.

Basic streetwear has also become somewhat of a way to express an individual’s social status. This is mainly due to the fact that popular streetwear brands are entering a more high-end perimeter in the fashion industry. Streetwear companies have also been known to show a certain degree of exclusivity towards consumers. They do this by creating a deliberate scarcity of their products, which often creates an exorbitant impact on their pricing.

The Influence of Skate Culture

Skatewear is a subgenre of basic streetwear that is loved by people even outside of the sport. Since skatewear originated from the 90s skateboarding scene, it has thoroughly evolved throughout the years. Back then, Skatewear was characterized by extremely baggy pants, loose-fitting tops, and chunky shoes. Today, though the loose sizes have toned down, skateboarding fashion retained its oversized aesthetic unlike the typical body-hugging fit in other forms of athleisure.

Many streetwear brands started their companies and marketed their products to skateboarders in New York City in the 90s. Their marketing strategy revolved around providing merchandise to local and talented skateboarders to promote their brands. Suffice to say that basic streetwear wouldn’t the same today without these renowned skateboarding companies.

Hypebeast Culture Explained 

In today’s fashion industry, it’s impossible to associate the word streetwear without thinking of Hypebeast culture. This subgenre revolves around the scarcity of products produced by many high-end basic streetwear brands. Hypebeast culture thrives on the exclusivity that streetwear companies can provide their customers.

Hypebeast fashion can also be considered a mixture of skate, surf, and athletic fashion. Though it’s heavily influenced by Western pop culture, Japanese street style has also made a large contribution within this subgenre. Aside from clothing, footwear and accessories such as baseball caps are some of the essentials in Hypebeast basic streetwear.

Defining Tactical and Techwear

Tactical and Techwear are two very similar subgenres of basic streetwear. It incorporates many aspects of outdoor fashion with design features such as large pockets, zippers, and utility straps. Unlike the other two subgenres above, tactical and Techwear utilize a darker and more toned-down color palette.

In this basic streetwear category, there is more emphasis on outerwear within the overall outfit. Hardshells, down jackets, parkas, and tactical vests are sometimes worn over a plain or basic top. Accessories such as bags and belts are also commonly used to fully accentuate the overall aesthetic.


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