What exactly does the term “street style” mean? Well, the meaning is really implied in the name itself. Street style means that you are looking to the streets of your city for fashion inspiration, not to the runways of fashion shows. In cities all around the world, from Tokyo to London, from San Francisco to Seoul, and from New York to Recife, you’ll see great examples of fashionable and practical men’s street wear. It’s all about dressing in a way that is stylish, while still being comfortable enough to trek to the nearest subway station, and suiting the climate.
Today, street style is widely varied and men have a plethora of options to look stylish while staying comfortable. One of the keys to street style at this time of the year is to dress in layers. It is hard to know if buildings such as restaurants or book stores will be cool or warm this time of year, as it’s pleasant outside but perhaps not yet cold enough to turn off the air conditioning. Therefore, light jackets and sweaters can be key for you to transition between warm and cool temperatures.
Street style, in many areas, is also defined by the businesses that make up the bread and butter of the city. In free spirited arts districts, such as Bucktown in Chicago, you’ll see men on the streets in colorful and widely varied clothing styles. Here, you’ll fit in wearing a pair of brightly colored jeans, a silk screened tee shirt over a button down cotton shirt, and a brown leather jacket. You’ll also fit in wearing olive green chinos, a white cotton fitted tee shirt, a dark denim vest, and a Panama hat. Accessories may reflect a wide range of interests and mediums: everything from bracelets made of vintage coins to necklaces made of leather wooden beads or feathers. A sort of anything-goes vibe is prominent here. But you’ll notice that the “anything” is still polished and refined. If you want to throw a brightly colored bow tie or bit of animal print into your street style, you can do it. Oversized sports jerseys and track pants, however, have no place here.
In a more business-oriented area of the city, you’re likely to see street style reflecting a more office focused track. The essentials for this side of street style include tie accessoriesand a leather messenger bag or zip-top briefcase. The bag is an essential, as it is considerably more stylish than a backpack. With a more conservative street style look, you can add flair to your appearance with interesting touches, such as shoes made of a luxurious suede fabric, or those with a wing tipped design. Mixing patterns and textures is also a great way to add personality to your outfit. Don’t be afraid to wear the blazer from a pin striped suit with a pair of white denim pants, or a windowpane suit with a striped button up shirt and tie.
Street style is a blend of fashion and functionality. It can be creative, or it can be classic. One thing that has remained true for many years now, however, is that taking risks is always in fashion. So the next time you see an apparel item and think, “I like that, but I couldn’t pull it off,” go ahead and add it to your wardrobe. Whether it’s a chartreuse tie or a classic, long golf umbrella, it could be a great addition to your street style wardrobe.