One recent winter, we were in town on a chilly, windy day. As we turned into a parking space, we noticed a young woman, hunched over against the cold wind from the north. I don't recall the rest of her attire, but one garment stuck in my memory. She was wearing flannel pajama bottoms. That was the first, but not the last time, I saw someone wearing pajama bottoms as public attire. Since then, I have become accustomed to seeing young people wearing light-weight athletic shorts in chilly weather, bundled up in a warm jacket but practically blue-legged from the cold on their bare legs. I'm pretty sure that in these cases, the people I have seen didn't dress in the dark and overlooked that they had forgotten to put on their jeans!
I'll admit, when I look back at some of the fashion choices in my past, they look pretty stupid. Probably the most ridiculous fashion trend for women in my lifetime was the extreme padded shoulders that were popular for a while. I had a few of those in my closet, nicely tailored suits and dresses made of beautiful fabrics that made the wearer look like she had borrowed the shoulder pads of a professional linebacker.
|Beck Family Picnic in Macksville Park in Early 1900s|
But, getting back to the streetwear of younger people today, I did a little research. Apparently, the influence of T-shirts has played a huge role in the fashion trend called 'streetwear,' which also included jeans, baseball caps and sneakers, and the influence of skateboarding. In other words, the casual sportswear being worn because it was appropriate to some activity was adopted by others, even if they had never played baseball or tried skateboarding.
Manufacturers caught on to the trends and in the 2000s companies began to develop streetwear styles. That was not always appreciated. "Influencers" often objected to manufacturers horning in on the trend, quoting Eric Brunetti, "Big business corporations have infiltrated streetwear and are currently in the process of rewriting its history to fit their financial narrative."
One observer wrote, "Streetwear is a culture, not just Product." As author Bobby Hundreds described it, "Design-wise, streetwear boils down to baseball caps, sneakers, hoodies, and most of all, tees." Adding, "a culture, not just product."
However, as I type this, the definition of Streetwear is almost certainly changing. It differs from region to region and from city to city, changes as quickly as whatever is happening at that time. Today, "Streetwear is an art movement."
|Lyn at the 2021Kansas Book Festival University Press of Kansas tent|