The rules have changed
Words: Jabulile Dlamini-Qwesha | Photography: Ian Engelbrecht | Styling: Jason Basson
The fashion industry no longer just looks to designers’ runway collections to dictate the tone for the direction of trends, that is an irrefutable truth that came with millennial culture. The “streets”, as evasive a term as that may be, contribute a great deal to what we now find tasteful and chic, a far cry from the days where European designers studied black hip hop and youth culture to be inspired to create fashion for a largely white high brow crowd. With “inclusion” being a buzzword in 2018, the landscape has changed to the point where a brand like Louis Vuitton is helmed by Virgil Abloh, a black guy who came up through hip hop and made his name in fashion with streetwear.
A genre that was traditionally never seen on elite fashion runways, the millennial focus on youth culture saw streetwear even dominating collections at Paris Fashion Week. Which led to a more individualistic approach to style, where it’s all about standing out while bending the rules as far as possible.
So, here are just a few things you can consider…
Street chic dressing, at its core is the juxtaposition of sophisticated fashion items with casual or athleisure pieces. So, stock up on statement suits and wear them with tees and sneakers or use the separates to elevate more laidback looks.
Sneakers are the holy grail of street chic dressing. They’re the ultimate cheat code for entry level dressers who are still engaging the trend experimentally and trendsetters who own the look, alike. The bolder the better, it’s all about pulling of standout colourways and clashing hues or intricate design details on neutral tones.
Tees that talk that talk
Logo tees have been the streetwear uniform since, since. A failsafe way to add statement and impact to any look, branded tees have been big from the days when Tommy Hilfiger merch was the must-have to now. These are best contrasted with dressy separates to strike a good balance between comfort and fashion.
Print on print
Up the impact and make clever print clashes, street style is all about reimagining the rules to suit your vibe. If this is a little intimidating for you, try playing with similar lines and colours and get more experimental as you build more confidence.
Go for side stripes
Pants with a side stripe are available in denim and other trouser fabrications, so it’s not just about getting them in sweatpants.
Accessorise with a touch of Athleisure