Streetwear is a niche clothing style focusing on gender- and size-inclusive fashion born out of California’s surf and skate culture in the 1980s and 1990s. The rise of hip-hop music and fashion boosted streetwear to the national fashion scene, and this continues today with heavy K-Pop influences. Streetwear is all about three things: comfort, practicality, and self-expression.
Within those parameters, you can go as fancy or as basic as fits your style and budget; buying streetwear shouldn’t break your personal bank, and a valid option in addition to buying someone else’s product is creating your own streetwear.
Whether you just want clothes for yourself or you’re following your dream of starting a luxury streetwear brand of your own, the easiest way to design your own streetwear is using custom printing and a variety of streetwear blanks. Streetwear clothing blanks fall into three categories: t-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts, and sweatpants. Let’s take a look at each category, things to
be aware of when choosing a distributor, and some manufacturers that we recommend.
Streetwear designs of all qualities are most concerned with the clothes. They are the canvas for the designer’s art, yes, but they can also be a statement in their own right. Remember that streetwear is about comfort, practicality, and self-expression; that is why most designer streetwear centers on t-shirts, sweatshirts, and sweatpants. Within each category, though, there is a lot of wiggle room to bend fashion to suit you.
T-shirts are OG streetwear and have gone through a lot of variation over the years. The boxy unisex 100% cotton of decades gone by has been replaced by slimmer-fitting tees and tanks in a variety of fabrics. Those boxy shirts still have their place, and indeed look great over slim-cut sweats and some awesome sneakers, but for the most part streetwear shirts conform to general
When choosing a shirt for your streetwear line, select a shirt blank that is large enough for your design to show up well, in a color that will make it pop! Don’t just stick to neutrals; streetwear practically begs for bright tones. Even though streetwear sweats traditionally match your t-shirt, you can play with tees: a neutral tee with a vibrant design looks distinctive with sweats to complement the colors in the design rather than matching the shirt!
Sweatshirts, whether pullovers or zip-front hoodies are ideal canvases for all your streetwear designs. The back of the sweatshirts provides a large uninterrupted space for a big image or logo, while sleeves are practically made for names or other important words. Choose from slim-fit or baggy sweatshirts; newer styles that include leggings or workout gear scream for the
baggier the better, but like so much streetwear the decisions are really down to the individual!
Even 10 years ago, if someone said “sweatpants,” you would think of baggy fleecy pants with elasticized cuffs in primary colors and neutrals. But sweatpants have evolved over recent years to conform to contemporary fashion. You can still get those old-school sweats, sure, but more modern styles include baggy sweats with hemmed cuffs, fitted joggers, and wide-leg cargo-style pants. Even baggy sweat shorts or midi-length pants with an unfinished hem are in style!
You can wear your pants unadorned, or go ahead and add designs there too. Continuing the shirt design down onto your pants uninterrupted creates a cool-looking effect, but you can also print names or other words for contrast or to highlight a personal or political message.
Especially if you’re wanting luxury streetwear, your options have increased dramatically in recent years. Manufacturers are using better cotton, including long staple, Pima, and combed cotton. They are more aware of the ecological impact of both wearing and producing cotton, and the vast differences between their brands and the manufacturers of yesteryear. Styles are
becoming increasingly flexible, and the best manufacturers are rising to the challenge.
For luxury streetwear blanks, we recommend using quality manufacturers with an eye toward simple, universal style. Look for a variety of sizes, including women’s plus, petite, and big and tall, and a range of styles that look good on different body types. Some of our favorite luxury streetwear manufacturers include Original Favorites for their commitment to sustainability and extensive catalog and UNBND-Blanks for a low wholesale minimum and fast shipping. Give us a call or stop in to talk with us about your ideas for your designs and your clothing blank needs – we can’t wait to help you!