November 6, 2014

THE DAPPER MAN | Streetwear Essentials

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By ERIC DING

Streetwear is the fashion and style of “the streets,” urban and hip-hop centers. It is inherently difficult to define (much like “cool”), but it is rooted in hip-hop culture, West Coast culture and surf and skate culture. Streetwear is anchored by the essential elements of casualness, comfort and, dare I say it, swag. There’s always been a lot of crossover now between sportswear and streetwear (think snapback hats, jerseys, shoes) with big names like Nike and Adidas propelling the movement, and now many other streetwear brands like Stussy are putting their own unique twists on classic athletic clothing. Here are three essential streetwear categories to look out for:

5-Panel and Bucket Hats

5-panel and bucket hats both have two common characteristics: They only fit well on certain head shapes, and if they do fit well, they look really good. 5-panel hats are named because they indeed are comprised of 5 panels instead of the standard baseball 6 panels. They are constructed laterally instead of radially and fit more oval heads than round heads. They come in much bolder designs and materials than traditional baseball hats and they are always strapbacks, sometimes even with leather. Bucket hats are similar in that they have much bolder designs as well, but they work better for rounder heads. Bucket hats have been around before, but have enjoyed a surge in popularity as of late. Bucket hats are definitely a more adventurous look, so I would be hesitant on buying one until you know for sure that it looks fly on you. HUF and 10 Deep both have sizable collections of 5-panels and bucket hats among their standard hats, so check out those streetwear brands!

Baseball Jerseys and Raglans

For tops, baseball shirts and raglans are welcome variations of the typical, boring T-shirts. Baseball-style apparel is becoming very popular with their unique look that offers a distinct departure from traditional tops. Baseball jerseys like this one from Stussy and this one from Undefeated look like T-shirts, but they have unique detailing on the front and the back along with the buttons down the middle that make it stylish. Baseball raglans are another twist on the regular shirt, adding different shoulder stitching and three-quarter sleeves that go halfway down the forearm. Baseball raglans like this one from Black Scale or this floral one from Hype have sleeves that extend in one piece all the way up to the collar. Three-quarter sleeves like the ones on raglans stand out surprisingly well, and are an interesting alteration to just short or long sleeves.

Joggers

If you’re anything like me, you are very particular about the fit of your pants. Many pants just do not get the fit right with the thighs AND the calves to create a uniformly good fit throughout the leg. However, joggers fit much much better because of the cuffs at the bottom of each leg. This way, the bottoms of the pants don’t flare out or are at an uncomfortable length because the cuff holds the pants more or less in place. Even better, joggers come in sweatpants-like material like these to dress down, and they come in chino material like these to dress up. The main reason I’m drawn to joggers are the way that they slim you down. Because they are cuffed at the bottom, they are naturally slim-fit, not too skinny and not too straight. Joggers can complement any outfit, and I really think they will continue to grow in popularity.

My favorite streetwear brands are Stussy and Obey, and you can find cheap streetwear on bargain sites such as jackthreads.com and karmaloop.com.

Eric Ding is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He may be reached at eding@cornellsun.com. The Dapper Man appears alternate Fridays this semester.

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