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On The Subject of Streetwear

“I NEED ATHLEISURE!”  I say to my friend as we wander through the stores of the mall. We’d been searching for the perfect pair of athletic, but stylish white sneakers and a sweatshirt that’s the perfect mixture of fitted and oversized (a very difficult combination).

My obsession with streetwear has been developing since my freshman year of college. It’s only now that I live in the city where walking down the sidewalk can feel like a fashion show that I’ve started to really incorporate the trend into my daily outfits.

It all started with the introduction of my black, snakeskin Adidas Stan Smith sneakers into my wardrobe. I was studying in Italy when these shoes first caught my attention. In Florence, everyone was wearing them; men, women, and children. Everyone looked incredibly chic. Men paired the shoe with colored shorts and a neutral polo, while women wore them with a little more versatility. The Italian ladies loved to pair the sneaker with a short dress or skirt and (almost always) a stylish pair of sunglasses.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Wanting to blend in as best I could with the native Italians, I bought my first pair of street style sneakers at a shoe store in Venice. Since then my Stan Smiths have become a staple in my closet. My favorite ways to wear them are like the Italian women: skirts and dresses, but now I’ve been transitioning into wearing them more often with leggings and sweatshirts. An easy transition from girly and playful to streetwear.

The paparazzi shots of the hottest celebrities wearing the style made me invest even more into the streetwear trend. Their comfy silhouettes, warm sweatshirts, and graphic t-shirts were a new way to wear items which I already had in my closet.

Let me clarify my personal definition of street style and athleisure. To me, the classic Adidas black track pants with the iconic three-stripes traveling down the pant leg are quintessential to athleisure. Paired with a turtleneck sweater or shirt, a chunky pair of earrings, and white sneakers is what makes the outfit strictly street style or streetwear.

It’s a look that we’ve seen on many off-duty models. Gigi Hadid proudly sports her street style looks as she hustles from a cab.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Hailey Baldwin has worn the trend while picking up a coffee.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

And of course, Kim Kardashian has worn the style all around California and New York, with Kylie following in her footsteps.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Photo Credit: Pinterest

With these celebrities sharing their OOTD’s on their massive social media platforms, it’s no wonder the streetwear look has caught on.

But, athleisure is more than just throwing on a pair of faded, black leggings, and an old sweatshirt. Some part of the outfit needs to stand out.

For Gigi, she loves to pair her casual track pants with a great designer bag. Hailey also loves the accessories, frequently adding a pair of cool, retro shades to her ensemble. Kim Kardashian incorporates a pair of pointy, patent leather or suede boots when she wears sweats or compliments baggy sweatpants with a tight-fitting t-shirt or tank top. Kylie also substitutes a baggy sweatshirt for a tight tank top in order to flaunt her figure when wearing sweats or pairs a baggy sweatshirt with a tight pair of leggings.

These slight adjustments are what take your average grey or black sweat-set from a 90’s-post-workout-outfit to a street style look that’s worthy of a New York sidewalk.

When it’s that easy to make sweatpants a look, who doesn’t want to look ultra-trendy while being ultra-comfortable? For years, women have had to suffer to be stylish with teetering stilettos and super-skinny jeans. Now, with the athleisure and streetwear trends, women no longer have to sacrifice comfort for style.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

Some of my favorite street style items are the white Nike Air Force 1’s, the classic Adidas tracksuit, and puffer or “bubble” coat for those days when it’s too cold for just a sweatshirt. While these items can be a little pricey, I’ll usually wear a cheap white t-shirt or black pair of leggings, or even steal one of my brother’s oversized sweatshirts.

And if you’re in need of street style inspiration, check out the off-duty looks of Gigi Hadid, Hailey Baldwin, or pretty much any of the Kardashian/Jenner sisters. Each of these ladies has exemplified the street style/athleisure trend and have taken gym wear out of sweaty weight rooms and onto the city streets. Thank you, ladies, for showing us how chic sweats can be.

Cover photo credit: Highsnobiety


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Gabriella is studying English at Boston University and is a member of the class of 2020. Her past times include reading, watching tv, working out, and spending time with friends! Gabriella loves going to school in Boston and spending her weekends exploring the city and taking advantage of all the free events it offers, but she also really misses her Jeep. Favorite book: The Great Gastby. Favorite T.V. Show: Gossip Girl.
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