For years, I have been fascinated by the art of street style, but it always just seemed like an elusive you-know-it-when-you-see-it vibe that could be achieved but never described. Today, I am going to try to describe it.
One notable aspect of street style is that it is almost always more daring than any other type of style. In order to achieve it, you really have to approach each outfit with an anything-goes attitude. That jacket doesn’t match your shirt? Try it anyway. It’s all about being surprised by combinations that should not work, but do.
Over the past few months, I have been attempting to perfect my own street style look. I have tried every combination of my clothes imaginable, and I believe that I have created a foolproof formula.
1. The Fundamental Formula
You can create a flawless street style look almost 100% of the time by piecing together a graphic tee, interesting pants, and chunky sneakers. Let me elaborate.
As far as graphic tees, band tees are always a good option! I, personally, don’t have any, so I prefer thrifted or grungy shirts. I also really love a good Target or sportswear (Puma, Addidas, etc.) tee. Alternatives include other patterns like stripes or highly textured tops. Anything that adds a subtle but present style element to you’re outfit. Solids are acceptable, but if you’re brave, try to stay away from them to make your outfit as interesting as possible.
The category of “interesting pants” is exactly as vague as it sounds. Wear whatever kind of pants you prefer, as long as they’re cool. I love paper bag pants and ultra flared jeans with tight shirts. Other good options include cargo pants, super ripped jeans, and plaid trousers. Again, the important thing to remember is that you want your pants to be a style element, not just there. A simple jean is fine, but it won’t help you reach your full style potential.
Now, your chunky sneakers of choice really make the outfit. If your shirt and pants are both patterned, you might want to choose a fabulous but solid colored shoe. If you’re only wearing one pattern, try to incorporate come colors and patterns into the shoe too! But again, basically anything goes in this style of dress, so just wear the sneaker that feels right while pushing yourself a little out of your comfort zone!
2. Some Important Considerations
Okay so I definitely realize that my formula is kind of vague and confusing, so I’m going to try to give you some clarifying guidelines. All of these can definitely be broken, but you gotta learn the rules before you break them amiright?
- Add a fun jacket. I didn’t put jackets in the formula because you can’t wear them all year, but the jacket is usually my favorite aspect of a street style look. Bombers, cargo jackets, blazers, etc. Anything that adds another distinct style element is a go. My favorite jacket in my wardrobe is an oversized blazer that I bleached and cut off at the waist (obviously maiming your clothes is not necessary, but it sure is fun).
- Mixing business casual with grunge is very popular right now and a surefire way to look fire in your ‘fit. Plaid dress pants or an iconic blazer are the best way to elevate street style and make it more accessible to the average person. For once street style can be acceptable in the classroom or in the office, and it is because of its merging with business casual.
- I’ve talked a lot about pattern mixing, and I know that can be scary. So I’m going to let you in on the secret to doing it correctly every time: just make sure that the color scheme is cohesive! You can wear a plaid blazer, a band tee, and floral pants together and it would work perfectly as long as the same major colors show up in all three pieces! The cohesive color could even be a neutral like tan; as long as your outfit has a couple key colors, you are good to go.
- Accessories are an underrated yet essential style element in a street style outfit. I know that most of us use the same bag everyday, wear the same earrings every day, etc. but the best street style outfits are perfected by its accessories. Add a pair of crazy earrings in one of your outfit’s key colors or a pair of giant hoops. Try a different bag, like a fanny pack or a pyramid clutch. Go crazy, but make sure you stick to your color scheme!
And I think that’s a wrap, folks! If my formula sounds too crazy for you, replace some patterns for basics or wear your Converse instead of Nike AirMax. But hopefully you can your some of these tips to change up your style a little bit or combine some pieces in a new way! Tag my IG in your street style looks if you try my formula!
Here’s some extra inspo, just for fun.