Streetwear is the future of casual dressing. Whether you want to call it Sports-luxe or Athleisure (athletic-leisure, get it?), simple athletic clothing adapted for daily wear is an essential part of any modern man’s wardrobe. It is not a fad or a trend but actually has more to do with lifestyle than fashion. Born out of the surf culture of the 70s, streetwear has been dominated by Nike ever since the conception of the Air Jordan brand, through their monopoly in worldwide sneaker sales. With the rise in sales of apparel from sports franchises in the 90s and the way hip-hop artists and celebrities embraced these products was a huge boost to the streetwear scene.
But in 2014, Alexander Wang x H&M dropped and I feel that that collection was the epitome of the fusion of fashion and sportswear. Featuring sweatshirts, pullovers, mesh-paneled leggings, cropped bralettes, scuba dresses, leather joggers, parkas, and all kinds of sports accessories in premium materials at designer prices. Wang delivered and other brands soon followed suit with their own versions of athleisure peices. A watershed moment for streetwear indeed.
So the idea isn’t just to wear sportswear casually but also to style it like you would any outfit whilst colorblocking as well. I love baseball shirts, for their breathability, lightness and those wide collars. They also make a great substitute for t-shirts in warmer weather. They also come in some brilliant colors like the Royal Blue example here. And who says long tops and high-low hems are for women only? As far as sizing goes, don’t wear them too loose, but not right enough that they aren’t comfy. You can find some great examples at Koovs.
Joggers are a no brainer for this outfit as they balance out the lower half of the outfit with wider cuts. Cuffed sweatpants look clean without making you look shabby. Snapbacks are a personal choice, nothing like a hat on a sunny day, however the ‘take off your hat when indoors’ rule goes out the window if you plan on dressing this way. Whether tilted or straight, keep it on and make sure it goes with the outfit in terms of color.
Chains and necklaces for men are a hit or miss thing. If you can’t carry one, then you are better off without one. I went with a thick cuban link chain for this outfit, probably because I love Raekwon. Chain thickness and color are totally up to you, but I prefer thicker, shorter chains in silver. Gold chains would work better with darker colors. You can also wear multiple chains, however be sure that you feel comfortable wearing one, and they can be very heavy so go easy on your neck. It does take a certain amount of gusto to pull these off as opposed to those bead necklaces I see everywhere.
Stan Smiths are adidas’s best selling sneaker to date, no wonder given how it came about in the early 70s. They will work with anything. This is mainly due to their clean and minimal silhouette, lacking the signature three stripes. As far as this outfit goes, any pair of clean sneakers will do. Going sockless or wearing invisible socks is good for this look because showing a little bit of ankle helps break the black from the pants to the shoes.
PS: Soles on sneakers yellow with time due to exposure to the elements, this is normal.
The idea here is to try not to look like you are going to the gym, or to bed. If you look like you are about to spit 32 fire bars on a mic somewhere, then you are spot on. As workplace dress codes continue to become more casual, Athleisure is sure to grow. People are already moving away from skinnier fits and are going for comfier garments that flow well. You should too!Cuban Link Chain from Topman
Joggers from Forever 21
Adidas Stan Smiths from Jabong
Photos by Roshan Chikodi