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The Origins Of Streetwear: What Is It And How Do I Wear It?

by Michelle Griffin on April 27, 2023

nz streetwear

Streetwear. It’s everywhere in pop culture today, from local popular places in NZ to modern areas all over the world. People of all genders, ages, careers and walks of life have enjoyed this innovative and extremely versatile fashion style for decades now. But what exactly is it and where does it come from?

Before you dip your toes into the ocean that is streetwear, read through this article to learn more about where it comes from and why it’s so special. You may also learn some helpful tips to advance your streetwear style.

Streetwear: What Is It And Where Does It Come From?

Defining streetwear is both an easy and difficult task. To put it simply, streetwear is fashionable casual clothes. We’re not talking about chic dresses made of the finest silk or perfectly tailored tuxedos; we’re talking about comfy yet stylish hoodies and your favourite graphic tee shirts.

What makes things difficult when it comes to solidifying what streetwear is is that this style is incredibly versatile and unique. You can look at people exhibiting streetwear looks in NZ and find countless styles, colour choices, fabrics, brands and more.

That’s something that sets streetwear apart from every other fashion style or trend - it’s so wonderfully unique! It’s the kind of style that you can take and add your personal style to it to make it even more interesting.

Streetwear has its origins in the late 1970s and the early 1980s out of New York City’s hip-hop subculture. There were also heavy influences from the skateboarding and surfing subcultures. Over the years, streetwear has certainly evolved and changed, but that defiant individualistic spirit has remained.

The start of this style was largely male-dominated, and therefore a lot of the looks today remain more masculine than feminine. Nowadays, the streetwear world is typically very inclusive, and you can find people of all types showing off their personalised ensembles in NZ and the world.

If you’re interested in streetwear, you’re welcome to try your hand at it.

How Can I Improve My Streetwear Game?

You’re ready to assemble your streetwear look, but you have a problem - where do you start?

Although streetwear is very versatile, there are still basic guidelines that most people follow. Still, keep in mind that there are not a lot of solid streetwear ‘rules’ you must follow to the letter when you get into this fashion style.

Consider the following as you build your outfits:

Stay Comfortable! The best streetwear outfits blend style with comfort and originality. You don’t have to squeeze yourself into too-tight jeans if you don’t want to; look for clothes that look and feel amazing.

Articles of clothing like hoodies, tee shirts and jackets are popular in the NZ streetwear culture for this reason. Hoodies, in particular, are extremely casually stylish and go well with nearly anything. So, having an awesome hoodie or two in your closet is always a good idea for streetwear enthusiasts.

Don’t Forget Your Footwear. People often forget about their footwear choice because shoes are usually the last thing you put on before you head out the door, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important. Many people will argue that your shoes can make or break your outfit. Invest in a pair - or several pairs - of comfortable shoes that look good.

Accessorise! Just like footwear, the right accessories can really enhance an ensemble. Choose the right headwear, jewellery and more for your looks. Be sure to choose accessories that go well with the colours, materials and style of your clothing.

A few things you could think about adding to your ensemble are:

  • Necklaces, Bracelets, Earrings, Rings And More. Jewellery can accent your style perfectly. There are also so many kinds to choose from.
  • Hats. Going for that casual vibe? Consider a baseball cap or other type of hat that says ‘casual’ and ‘fashion’ at the same time.
  • Watches. A watch is both practical and fashionable,
  • Bags Or Purses. Like the right jacket or hat, a perfectly-matched bag can give your outfit another layer.

Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment. You don’t have to play it safe, don’t be scared to step out of the box every now and then. Not every new look will work out, but you might find something that could be your new iconic look.

Let Your Personality Shine. Streetwear enthusiasts love to display their personality without having to say a thing. You can tell so much about someone by their clothing, so tell the world how wonderfully unique you are! Choose clothes that reflect your interests, your aura and your personality.

Where Can I Find Stylish Yet Casual Clothing For My NZ Streetwear Looks?

Westside Surf + Street’s online store is packed with branded, stylish clothing that anyone interested in casual fashion will adore. Visit our store to see what we have to offer you today! We have clothes from brands that are very prolific in the streetwear subculture like Nike, Nixon, Thrasher and more.

Would you like some assistance? Call our team at 03 768 6513 to get in touch.

Visit us at Westside Surf + Street to really step up your streetwear game.