I keep seeing threads popping up on MFA complaining about traditional style and yet no one seems to start threads about street style. So here’s a basic primer of non-designer streetwear brands (people always complain about jcrew’s price so I’m not about to recommend $400 sneakers). We’re talking patterned shirts, denim, sweatshirts and hoodies, casual jackets and sneakers. Shit you wouldn’t wear to work unless you are an artist or a musician.
First off though, many denim brands discussed on MFA could be suggested in this guide, but because they’re talked about all the time I’ll avoid more discussion of APC and levis.
A SELECTION OF BRANDS
This is just a primer. There are tons of streetwear brands, just look under the brand list on karmaloop or 80spurple. These are just (some of) the heavyweights in the lower end: do not be afraid to explore.
$$$ Supreme – Popularized by tyler the creator and odd future (although yes, they have been popular in the fashion scene way before them). Known for out there patterns and color schemes.
$$ Warriors of Radness – So Cal surf inspired clothing. Bright colors, short shorts, out there patterns. Not for everyone.
$$ Naked & Famous – Canadian designed mid level japanese denim. They do basic shirts as well. Examples: selvedge denim
$ Unbranded – Denim line made by naked & famous, good quality for the price. Sold at urbanoutfitters and the like. Examples: selvedge denim
$ Obey – Shepard Fairey’s clothing line. They pump out a pretty big collection each season, and do some pretty cool jackets on the cheap. Examples: coated black jacket , pocket crewneck sweatshirt
color blocked and striped polo
$ WESC – Swedish surf/skate influenced clothing. They sell entry level denim and are known for logo tees & headphones but have good options for color blocked tees, jackets, and patterned shirts. Their newly introduced shoe line has some knockoffs of common projects for decent prices. Examples: , denim
$ Cheap Monday – Very cheap denim. Examples: denim
$ Alternative/American Apparel – These two brands are very interchangable and both do basic garments and tees. If the price seems steep look on forums for wholesalers who will dropship.$ RVCA – Another surf/skate brand. They do a lot of basics and a lot of logo tees. Examples: sweater
Alife – clean, simple, lower profile sneakers.
Clae – don’t buy at full price, they appear on jackthreads every other week
Creative Recreation – I fucking hate them but they need to be mentioned
Generic Man – laced shoes and loafers
Generic Surplus – brand run by generic man, more focus on sneakers than generic man, also cheaper
Gourmet – large array of sneakers
Supra – “moon boot”-ish high top sneakers and more out there low tops
Nike – shout out for blazer high vintage
Vans – if you don’t know vans you should get off the internet
Wesc – recently started doing shoes, a lot of them are just knockoffs of common project designs (in a good way)
KEY ITEMS / BASIC WARDROBE
buttoned shirts (plaids, flannels, striped, solids, etc)
tees/tanks/polos (striped, solids, color blocked, logo/graphic are acceptable but would not be my first choice)
sweatshirts – crewnecks, hoodies, pullovers (solids, patterns, logo/graphic, colorblocked)
sweaters (cardigans in solids, patterns, and colorblocked)
varsity jackets, trucker jackets, windbreakers, military-ish jackets (keep colors and patterns simple, always go dark over light)
dark denim, heavy chinos, shorts
sneakers – your pants will dictate the shoes, the wider the leg opening the wider the silhouette of the shoe should be (think the difference between a pair of dunks and sambas), if you know what you’re doing larger profile shoes can work with slimmer denim but not vice versa. go for lower profile ones with shorts
Fit is hugely important but there is much more leeway for fit in streetwear than there is in traditional style. Many brands do hip-hop inspired relaxed fits and many brands do contemporary slim fits. A lot of brands do both. Make sure there is not a huge disparity between the fit of the top and bottom halfs – an oversized shirt can look good with really slim denim but only if you know exactly what you’re doing, so for the most part make sure they fit relatively similarily.
Pairing items is relatively easy depending on the look you’re going for. Matching patterns and colors can make it tricky though. The easiest thing to do is only have one loud pattern per outfit. For example, if you’re wearing a plaid shirt, stick to a basic jacket instead of one that is patterned. If you are wearing a basic tee, wear a louder sweater or sweatshirt, but never be afraid to keep an entire outfit simple. Brand lookbooks are a very good place to look for pairing ideas as well, especially considering the overlap of products most brands have.
Here is a very basic pairing template, although I’m sure it is very obvious:
SPRING / SUMMER:
tee / tank + shorts + sneakers
FALL / WINTER :
tee + denim / pants + sneakers + (hoodie / sweater / jacket)
crewneck / popover + denim / pants + sneakers + (jacket)
buttoned shirt + denim / pants + sneakers + (hoodie / sweater / jacket)
80spurple karmaloop needsupply urbanoutfitters caliroots tobi
(many of these brands have their own online presence as well)
BLOGS / FORUMS
superfuture, hypebeast, highsnobiety,