What is street-urban style?

11 August, 2020

The urban woman is…

  • Strong
  • Practical
  • Rebellious
  • Edgy

Origins of the Urban Style

In fashion history, individuality or stylistic rebellion were two traits sought by minorities, artists, and thinkers; especially the privileged and upper classes. Either you had power and wealth to differentiate yourself and earn respect from your peers (and not be treated as an outcast) or you had a lot of personality but only displayed it in small circles and secretly.

The urban style dates back to the 50s, in the United States, and was heavily influenced by film. Take for example the iconic movie “Rebel Without a Cause”, it reflected the non-conformity of youth with the status quo. Its protagonist, James Dean, was the incarnation of that urban rebel, sporting perfectly coiffed hair and a look that didn’t seem to care about anything but being “cool.”

Generally speaking, this style is laidback and is influenced by the local urban scene, political events and, of course, music. Urban clothing has important roots in hip hop & rap music and was popularized by artists like Run DMC, TLC, LL Cool J.

Today it incorporates other music genres and countercultures like punk, rock, grunge and also sportswear trends. It’s free and cosmopolitan, embraced by a young generation with a thirst for individuality and self-expression.

How to dress to ace the urban style look

The trick to a cool street outfit is playing with oversized shapes, menswear and sportswear and mixing it up with classic pieces and basics. This style has been evolving at a frenetic pace, so if you forget about the latest trends for a moment, there are several essentials you can adopt to achieve great urban looks:

  1. T-shirt
  2. Oversize, with a graphic or slogan, sports logos and more. What does a rebel do but claim (consciously or unconsciously)?

  3. Denim
  4. In all categories of clothing, colours and washes, ripped or classic, denim is comfy, timeless and versatile. It needs no advertising!

  5. Leather
  6. Especially in the form of a perfect biker jacket; think Marlon Brando in “The Wild One”.

    Go beyond jackets.Try leather or a waxed finish in the form of leggings, jeans, shorts, midi skirts, mini, vests, etc. It’s a classic and timeless material that will add that rebellious touch to office outfits and more.

    There are also synthetic alternatives with leather-like finishes, durability and great styles, in case the real deal is not for you.

  • Details
  • Zippers, pockets, inlays, buckles, belt loops, etc. All of these add to the urban feel. Also finishes like the faded effect, aged or interventions such as painting, customizations and editing are another emblem of this style.
    Prints like camouflage, animal print, tartan.

  • Footwear
  • A sports shoe or military boots will transform even the most classic styling. There are countless versions of these, so you’re sure to find many favourites.

    YES TO
    • Mix this style with others aesthetics
    • Customize your pieces! Get creative, edit those jeans to fit you better or change the length to wear them with a shirt and sandals in summer
    NO TO
    • Go for avant-garde makeup or over the top hairstyles. The key is balance
    • Limit colour. Traditionally this style is defined by darker colours with pops of brighter hues. For example, a mix of black, white, red, burgundy and metallics.

    Urban style icons

    • Hailey Baldwin: her mix of minimal, sophisticated street style is sublime. She balances the ultra-feminine with a cool hip hop edge. She can pull off the highest of stilettos or the most elegant dresses with trainers and socks.
    • Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner. All part of Hailey’s squad. If you are looking for extra inspiration, you will see how each one of these beauties brings something different to the urban mix.
    • Kirsten Stewart: Rebellious and a touch of goth. She can be super urban yetclassy enough to star in a Chanel ad as subversive Mademoiselle Chanel. The result is no less than sensational!
    • Rihanna: she can rock just about anything! Her different hairstyles, her tattoos, manicure and choice of accessories and makeup always breathe an urban vibe into her looks.
    Read more

    What is casual wear?

    What is the minimal style?

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