How to | Skater Streetwear
How to Dress Like a Skater
Skateboarding has become mainstream enough that modern skaters wear just about every clothing style. That being said, there are a few different looks that are typically associated with skater culture. Skaters tend to wear a certain style of shoe, along with casual tees and tight pants. Depending on the type of skater you want to be, your style will vary but always try to be original and go for what fits you best.
Choosing Between Style and Functionality
Dress like a skater because you like the look.So maybe you aren't much of a skater, but you really like the look. You can dress like a skater for the style aspect of it, choosing outfits that make you look like a skater without actually being a skater. People may call you a poser, but if you really like the style then go for it. Be confident in it and don't allow other people's negativity to affect you.
Become a skater.On the other hand, maybe you want to dress like a skater because you want to become a skater. In this case, the important thing is that you first practice being a skater. To fit in with other skaters and to be accepted, they'll want to know that you actually know what you are doing and take it seriously. Get really good at being a skater, and then allow the style to follow after.
- This is important because skaters take pride in who they are, and they don't usually care for people who act like posers or wannabes. While this may seem harsh, it's just the culture behind skating. If you want to mesh with this culture well, know your stuff, be good at what you do, and then gradually change your style up. If you jump right into a skater style and then try to perform tricks and fall on your face, you may just be judged or ridiculed. To save you from that embarrassment, be confident in your ability and know what you are doing.
Choose what kind of skater you want to be.There are different types of skaters, and with each skater comes different styles. Most skaters like to be comfortable, have enough flexibility in their clothes to perform tricks, and look stylish at the same time. Skaters tend to wear pants that fall tight or loose (there's not a lot of skaters that just wear straight legged jeans), flat soled tennis shoes, graphic tees or somewhat tight t-shirts, and a snapback. If you are going for a specific look, you can follow the methods below.
- If you don't want to dress like a specific skater, but just a casual skater, then you can combine any of the styles in these categories for your look. Casual skaters generally wear tight jeans, flat-soled shoes in a bright or neutral color, and casual, somewhat fitted tees. You can throw in a leather jacket and a beanie for a more hipster look, or you can wear a snapback of your choice to keep it casual.
Learning the General Style
Choose comfort.Being able to perform tricks means wearing practical, non-restrictive clothes that don’t need to remain in pristine condition. Expect twisting, tearing, fading, and possibly even blood. While skaters often wear tighter clothes, those clothes still need to allow them to move about easily and give them flexibility. Before doing advanced tricks, try wearing out your clothes so that you can perform those tricks better.
Wear flexible, flat-soled shoes with excellent grip.These are a common style element with skaters and they will help keep you on the board. For additional authenticity, choose skater shoes that are specifically manufactured for skateboarding (ex. some have extra stitching to increase their lifespan). Some good brands are éS, DVS, Fallen, Supra, Vans, Circa, DC, Emerica's, Converse, Adio, Etnies and Lakai.
- To fake the skater look, rip your shoes around the toes; if you're a true skater, however, they'll be ripped in no time. Keep in mind that wearing a brand new pair of shoes with holes may not look believable. If you are just going for a skater's style, this is acceptable, but if you are looking to become a real skater or are a real skater, allow your shoes to rip overtime, to show that you've worked hard to get them that way.
Know the classic skater brands.Element, Baker, Analog, Quicksilver, Volcom,Vans and Billabong are a few classic examples. You might also try some snowboarding brands like Burton because a lot of skaters snowboard. You don't have to include these brands in all of your outfits, but they usually have clothes that skaters are drawn to because of their style and functionality, so if you are starting from scratch, these brands are good to check out.
- Some of the top ranked skater brands today are Bianca Chandon, Dime, All Timers, Supreme, Antihero, and Palace.
Keep it casual.Don’t spend a lot of money on shiny new accessories and brand-name items when an old t-shirt and a faded pair of jeans will get the job done. Skaters like to look put together, but in a way that shows they didn't try really hard. Go for outfits that are stylish, but casual.
- Be sure not to wear skating-brand gear all the time – wear casual clothing as well. Striped shirts, t-shirts, hoodies, and logo/name-brand shirts work. Wear hoodies or a snapback on your head. If you wear too much name brand clothing it may look like you are trying too hard, which will likely categorize you as a poser.
Dressing Like Punk Skaters
Play the part.A punk skater depends a lot on his or her style to achieve his look, but is also known by his or her attitude. To be a punk skater you need to be confident, edgy, bold, and able to defend your look. Punk skaters are often known for their taste in punk or rock music, so consider going to concerts and discovering new music. As you skate you can also wear headphones and listen to music to show that you are all about the punk life.
Wear aggressively themed tees.Stark colors like red and black and violent images like skulls and blood are classic skate-punk wear. Punk band tees are especially appropriate for this look. Punk skaters like to set their own style, so be creative and original with your clothes. Visit a thrift shop for some cool, vintage tees.
- Another alternative to tees is wearing tanks. You have to be pretty confident to pull this look off, but some punk skaters wear tanks to create an edgy look that allows them to show off their tattoos.
Consider dying your hair.Punk skaters are known for black, edgy clothing and hair. If you really want to achieve a punk skater look, consider dying your hair black and styling it with gel in a mohawk or wearing it long, over your eyes. You can also throw in a few colored streaks to your hair if you really want to stand out.
Wear fitted jeans.Modern punk skaters tend to wear tight jeans, usually in a dark color like black. Make sure that the jeans you choose have some elasticity in the fabric so that you can still do tricks. Some punk skaters like to wear baggy, knee-length shorts, usually in black, so choose whatever clothing is most comfortable to you and gives you the best range of movement.
Invest in some skater shoes.Like most other skaters, punk skaters usually wear the typical skater shoes, with a flat sole and good grip. These shoes normally come in a lot of different colors, but you'll probably want to stick to neutral colors like black or dark grey. To go for a more retro, punk look consider wearing converse.
Wear punk jewelry.Punk skaters don't wear a lot of bling, but they do appreciate spiked jewelry, like belts. You can also wear an earring or two for an even more edgy look. Punk skaters really like to stand out with their tattoo art, so if you really want to go for the look, consider getting a tattoo sleeve. |center]]
Dressing Like Hip-Hop Skaters
Wear brand names.LRG, Asphalt Yacht Club, DGK, Neff, Fly Society, 10 Deep, Famous Stars & Straps, & KR3W are some popular names for hip-hop style clothing. This style emphasizes brand names a little more than the others, which is why you may also want to choose DCs ,Nike SBs, DVS or Supras instead of other skater shoes. You can wear these on your t-shirts, snap backs, or shoes.
Wear pops of color.Unlike punk skaters, hip-hop skaters like to stand out with bright clothing. You can wear a tee, skater shoes, or a snapback in a bright color. Some skaters wear a white tee to look cool and casual, and bring in their pop of color from their hat, shoes, or from their bling jewelry.
- Casual tees are really the best way to go with this look as you want to look chill and cool.
Choose a style of pants.With hip hop skaters, the pants really vary. Some skaters wear skinny jeans that are loose near the waist, showing off their boxers, while others wear baggy jeans. You can wear either of these to compliment other parts of your style to achieve that hip-hop look. Make sure whatever pants you choose allow you to do tricks and move around easily.
Wear a snapback, especially under a hoodie.A snapback is essential to completing a hip-hip skater look. You can find these in all different styles and brands, so choose the one that best suits your look. You can wear your snapback facing forwards or backwards, and can bling it out to add an extra edginess to your outfit.
Wear bling.Hip-hop skaters like to compliment their style by adding a long, chain necklace to their outfit or rings with bling.
Dressing Like Hesh/ Rasta Skaters
Look the part.A hesh or rasta skater is someone who generally acts like they don't care about anything. Hash skaters tend to have a grungier, dirtier look and will wear clothes that don't always look super clean. This is because they want to achieve the look that they haven't tried and don't care that other people notice.
Grow facial hair.Often times hash skaters achieve their dirty, grungy looks by having a beard or facial hair that looks unkept. Grow out your facial hair, and you can even consider getting dreadlocks or growing out the hair on your head. Whatever you do, don't try too hard because then you've gone against what a hash skater is.
Wear a different style.Instead of looking like a normal skater with tight jeans and a snapback, try some canvas pants and a beanie. In your style you'll want to bring in some red, yellow, and green as these are popular colors in rasta.
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- Having scraped elbows and knees and a ripped pair of jeans might look cool, but don't scrape your elbows and rip your jeans on purpose or you’ll come off like a poser. Instead, think of it as something you earn in a bad fall.
- Research skateboarding brands on the internet and of some skaters, as it can lead you to discovering companies you've never heard of that have some great products.
- If you are still unsure what skaters wear, or what look you want to achieve, watch the skaters around you. Don't copy their outfits but use them as inspiration for your own style.
- Carry your skateboard around and don't be afraid to show the scrapes you might have on the bottom of your board.
- If you do want to dress like a skater, make sure you don't look like a clone. It's not cool and you'll end up looking like a wannabe. Don't be afraid to stand out; it's not like looking like everyone else will make you a better skater.
- Avoid carrying your board everywhere you go. Walking around your school while holding a board doesn't make you a skater.
- You don't have to buy jeans from skating brands as they're pretty pricey. A lot of skaters wear Levi's, Lee, and Wrangler jeans, but don't overdo it in the Wrangler and Lee jeans. You're going for skater, not cowboy.
Sources and Citations
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Video: How to Dress like a Skater... 4 LOOKS & TRICKS TESTED | PAQ Ep #29 | A Show About Streetwear
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