Discover how skateboarding has influenced street-style over the years.
Skatewear and skateboarders are often credited with being the founders of streetwear. Their unique take on fashion and style have influenced clothing and clothing brands since the 90s, with their influence only getting bigger each year.
Considering the fact that large parts of streetwear can be traced back to early skateboarders, here is a dive into how the world of skateboarding has transformed fashion.
Image courtesy of Asher Legg
What is Skater Fashion?
It is hard to pinpoint what skate-style is exactly, but it can be broken down into parts. Graphic t-shirts, Baja hoodies, Globe brand skateboards, Etnies skate shoes, trucker caps; all of these combine to create what we know as skate-style.
Skate-style is unique in the sense that it is often highly functional but still very fashionable and stylish, especially nowadays, with big brands prioritising how an item looks as well as how it performs.
Early 90s Looks
The early to mid-90s is when skate-style became exactly that, a style. Before then, it was kind of whatever you had on at the time, with people in California wearing shorts and vests and skaters in New York wearing jeans and a jacket.
The massive Hip-Hop influence of the 90s had a large effect on skate-style, with skaters opting for Wu-Tang Clan-made skateboards, early Supreme, Carhartt, and other skateboarding brands that were just getting their start.
2000s Pro Boom & Sponsorships
The 2000s was when skate-style really took off. This was the time when major labels began creating skater fashion, such as Nike and Adidas, and established skate brands became powerhouses in the industry, such as DC, Globe, Supreme, and the like.
This was also the time when the Nike SB Dunk became the shoe to wear for both skaters and regular people on the street. They also ignited a thirst for old-school sneakers, with everyone wanting to rock a retro pair of Jordans or something similar.
This was also the time when skateboarders began dressing like they were attending a photoshoot. Old, tor skater pants turned into fitted chinos, broken shoes became the latest Nike or DC pair of shoes, and skaters, in general, looked like they were making an effort.
Image courtesy of Soroush Karimi
Skater High Fashion
Over the past ten to fifteen years, no other sport has influenced the world of street-style more than skateboarding. This is simply due to the fact that millions of people dress similarly to skateboarders, even if they don’t skate.
You can also see the influence of skater-style in what is popular nowadays in fashion; Nike SBs, trucker caps, Dickies shorts and pants, and the list goes on. All of these items wouldn’t have the popularity they do today if it wasn’t for skaters rocking them every time they hit the skatepark.
How to Get the Skater Look
Now that we have had a look at how skater-style has changed the world of fashion, here are a few ways to get the look yourself.
When it comes to shoes, you have a ton of options. Some of the most popular include the aforementioned Nike SBs and SB Dunks, as well as Nike Stefan Janoski’s. Both are simple and ultra-stylish and have been a staple of the skating scene since their inception.
Skater shorts have a very particular cut, as they finish on the knee, as opposed to above or below it, like regular shorts do. Skater shorts also differ in how they are constructed, as they have some shape but are also designed to be more unrestrictive and allow for more movement and airflow.
Skater pants are similar to skate shorts in the sense that they are still fitted and look good on every body shape, but they are still loose enough to allow for movement and air circulation. Once again, Dickies has been the go-to brand for skate pants for many years now.
Not only are they comfortable to wear, but they are also highly durable. While this is great for skaters, this also means you will have a pair of pants that will last many years of wear and tear.
Another staple of skater-style is the graphic t-shirt, often oversized t-shirt. While button-down flannels have also been a common piece of clothing, there has arguably been nothing more consistent than the graphic t-shirt.
They are simple, versatile, and can match with almost any style and taste; the oversized nature of them also adds a slightly edgier touch.
Hoodies are another staple in the skateboarding world, with the most popular being the Baja hoodie. With Mexican influences, the Baja hoodie is easily recognisable due to its intricate patterns and bold, bright colours.
While they aren’t for everyone, they are a unique take on the standard hoodie and can add some colour to any outfit you wear it with.
Image courtesy of Jared Tomasek
Finally, accessories. Skate-style accessories range from trucker caps, to beanies, and the classic wallet chain. While it is up to you what you choose, accessorising any outfit is important as it tends to bring the entire look together.
However, something as simple as a pair of sunglasses, or a bracelet or ring, can transform how an outfit looks and feels immediately.