Techwear is considered a futuristic style that is similar to both cyberpunk and dystopian fashion. Streetwear is probably the most popular look today with elements of techwear recently added. But is techwear the same as streetwear?
Techwear clothing is a distinct and modern style that combines utility with comfort. Techwear clothing usually includes heat insulation, water-resistance, and accessory storage. Whereas streetwear is more casual and typically includes prominent branding.
Techwear is a relatively new clothing style that has a very distinct yet functional look. There are several distinct differences between techwear and classic streetwear. I’ll explore the differences between both of these fashion styles and some of the disadvantages of techwear.
Techwear clothing layers multiple garments on top of each other and includes details that make it more modern and to mimic technology. Most of the layers have a matte finish with an emphasis on function over form.
One of the requirements of techwear clothing is to have ample space to store cameras, phones, and other gadgets. The style does include similarities to military clothing with an emphasis on being waterproof and durable while ensuring a good range of motion and comfort.
Techwear typically includes the following clothing layers and accessories:
These are the first layer you put on and are intended to keep you dry. It is usually a moisture wicking shirt that dries quickly.
These are worn between the baselayer and outwear clothing for added warm during colder temperatures. These are most commonly woolen tops, vests, hoodies, and sweatshirts.
It is common to either wear a softshell or hardshell jacket overtop the rest of your clothing. Hardshells are the most weather resistant and are ideal for heavy weather such as snow, rain, and heavy wind. They are made to be waterproof and windproof but still allow airflow so you don’t get to hot.
Softshells are lighter and less expensive than hard shells while providing protection from light rain and wind. They are not usually 100% waterproof but normally include a layer of waterproof coating to help water bead away from the jacket.
Most techwear pants are also made with breathable fabric, include a variety of pockets, and are sewn to give good range of motion. They are very comfortable with lots of room and are ideal for cycling and walking.
Techwear Footwear and Accessories
Techwear shoes have become very popular lately. Famous brands such as Nike and Adidas have been incorporating elements of techwear into their shoes for quite some time. They make their shoes light, breathable, and modern looking.
Many accessories from more traditional styles are incorporated into techwear. The most common are backpacks and bags. Techwear bags have many different compartments and can fit a surprising amount of possessions.
Techwear tends to minimize branding compared to streetwear. It’s a more modern minimalistic style where you can store a lot of your items in a stylish and unnoticeable fashion. The common colors used are black, grey, white, brown, and navy with a matte finish being preferred.
Streetwear came out of surf and skate culture which began in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Surf and skate culture went mainstream with movies such as the Lords of Dogtown.
Streetwear was also heavily influenced by hip hop culture in New York, with artists such as Run D.M.C., the Sugarhill Gang, and Grandmaster flash. They would often wear sweaters and over the top necklaces, Adidas shoes, and baggy jeans. It is a casual style that includes everyday wear that is still very popular today.
Streetwear includes sneakers, jeans, t-shirts, and sweaters. Shoes include Chuck Taylors, Vans, Nikes, and Adidas. Jeans are typically Levi’s, Lee, or other mainstream low-cost jeans, which are fairly plain. Famous brands in the early days of streetwear were Stussy and Carhartt.
Sportswear from famous teams began to make its way into this style. These would include sports singlets, hats, hoodies, shorts, and sweaters from teams such as the Los Angeles Raiders, the New York Yankees, and the Chicago Bulls. Timbaland shoes and Dickies workwear also became popular which blended workwear with streetwear. These styles are still commonly worn today.
Though some would argue that techwear is streetwear there are some distinct differences.
Techwear is more layered.Techwear has more layering than streetwear and usually consists of three or more layers.
Techwear focuses on function.Techwear clothing is designed to be waterproof, allows the person to move freely, and reduces clothing getting wet from sweat. It also includes plenty of room to store your phones and accessories.
Techwear is more high end.Because techwear uses materials that are designed for function many of the materials are expensive. Streetwear is usually just for everyday wear and is not worn to resist the elements.
Techwear minimizes branding.Techwear aims to not show branding and is more focused on function and comfort with a minimalist style. Whereas streetwear often contains large logos of sports teams and brands. Streetwear is strongly influenced by sports teams and music artists whole focus on large clothing brands.
Streetwear is influenced by from skateboarding and popular culture.Techwear is found in many sports these days whereas streetwear is more influenced by urban culture.
Skateboarders will often wear high socks, or baggy jeans to avoid bruises and scrapes from their skateboard. Elements of techwear have recently made their way into skateboarding shoes and clothing such as the Chris Cole shoe range.
Techwear is not the most popular fashion trend but there are many companies whose primary business model is selling techwear such as Makers & Riders. Techwear clothing is of superior quality compared to ordinary clothing.
Techwear in everyday fashion is still around and it is so useful that people can see the value in it. They will continue to purchase it and it will continue to be in demand. Techwear is great lightweight clothing, that is breathable, water wicking, super comfortable and offers increased mobility.