The term ‘urban street style’ refers to clothes that are inspired by the looks in the grittier parts of cities like New York, Los Angeles, and London. As with music, many of the ideas that inform urban street style are pioneered by Black people and then adopted by others later on.
There has always been a clear link between music and clothes throughout the history of street style too, as many of the ideas are connected to the hip hop scene. Their working-class roots also mean that many street styles do not need lots of money to achieve.
Here are four ways you can add some street to your look on a budget.
- Pick One Piece to Make Your Statement
If you have a strict financial limit that you cannot go beyond, then a good idea would be to use the largest portion of it to buy one statement piece of street clothing. This will work because there are ways you can complete the rest of the look much more cheaply.
An example of this would be a puffer jacket of the kind that rappers are often seen wearing in music videos. These designer jackets mix street signs and symbols with bold colors like blue, red and black. Splashing some cash on a really cool street puffer jacket will make a serious statement about your style.
- Look to Vintage and Secondhand Outlets
Los Angeles, New York and other big urban centers are full of thrift stores and places that sell amazing vintage clothes. That makes them a great way to build up a personal take on street style without having to spend huge sums of cash.
Although the style is constantly evolving, the core of street clothes remains simple stuff like jeans and over-sized t-shirts with dynamic slogans or graphics on them. These are items that you will find in any cool little vintage store in a city.
Making up much of your look this way also lets you experiment and adopt a street-inspired image that fits your personality.
- Focus on the Core Parts
The basics of street style are colorful t-shirts and denim – combined with either a leather jacket or puffer jacket and sneakers. Understanding this and focusing on these items when putting together your look will help you manage it without blowing a fortune.
For instance, if you cannot afford to get the jacket right now, you can choose a t-shirt with the kind of bright, high impact design that grabs attention. T-shirts are always pretty affordable items of clothing.
The sneakers can also be made into a central part of your image. Street style sneakers such as lace-up canvas ones or colorblock sneakers will go a long way to helping you achieve the look.
- Customize Existing Clothes
From the start, street style has always been about color and playfulness. Many of the pioneers of this look adapted their existing clothes to create something new because they did not have much cash.
It is possible to buy a simple white over-sized top for next to nothing and then get the design you want added to it afterwards. Doing this also lets you mix and match street style logos and imagery in a way that is totally unique to you.
Any jeans or other pieces of denim in your wardrobe can be adapted to a street look by adding some splashes of color or carefully placed rips. Or you could take a can of spray paint and customize your sneakers, as many rappers have done in the past.
Capturing the look, you want on a tight budget is something anyone can do – especially if that look is as flexible as street style. Understanding the essentials underpinning the street aesthetic and combining one expensive statement choice with canny creativity will let you get the look right.