Techwear is the evolution of outdoor wear and fashion. Urban techwear, usually called just “techwear,” is an emerging look that’s taken on the styles of futuristic video games, movies, and TV shows.
Most techwear is sold in matte black, but today’s newer fashion includes many other colors. Many are embellished with zippers, straps, clips, and more. The look is futuristic, but the style is comfortable and great for being outside in.
Because most techwear is baggy, it’s ideal for multiple layers. One can wear a shirt, a hoodie and a jacket and still have room to move.
Fashion Forward - Literally
Most fashion looks backward. It’s often a rehash of old styles and old designs. Everyone seems to try to capture the golden age of fashion when Sassoon, Vanderbilt, and Dolce & Gabbana meant something more than a brand slapped on everything from clothes to frying pans.
Techwear looks futuristic, often using high-tech fabrics that are normally reserved for outdoor and mountaineering gear. The style usually has lots of pockets, inside and out. The coats and jackets are big and baggy, created to hide the person inside while cocooning them in a warm layer.
What is a techwear outfit?
A techwear outfit is practical, comfortable, and stylish. It doesn’t look like all the same clothes that everyone’s father and grandfather, mother and grandmother wore. It’s a style that combines a smattering of punk and goth, a lot of science fiction and dystopian styling, as well as fabrics that last a long time.
The “standard” techwear outfit, if there is one, would combine a pair of black cargo pants made with nylon and polyester, a black t-shirt or a black long-sleeve screen printed shirt, a roomy coat with a lot of pockets in a style that flows. The wearer will often have a ball cap on, usually black, and might also wear faux combat gear, like a “bulletproof” vest, styled to look like the real thing or a hoodie under the coat to provide layers.
For women, the style doesn’t have to change much. The clothes are often gender neutral. Many women accent the look with a sexier style, like a corset or pants that have gaps to show legs.
Often, the wearer has on a mask, not just for the recent pandemic, but as part of the dystopian styling that the look is famous for.
The style is very influenced by anime and Japanese culture with Japanese calligraphy and pop art everywhere in the look. Jewelry is often bold and silver, including religious symbols, weapons, and more.
Sneakers are the shoes of choice. Often, high-quality high tops, in black, made of leather or nylon. The shows often have added embellishments, like tags, hooks, and more.
Because of the gender-neutral and practical nature of the style, men can often be seen carrying messenger bags. While many other subcultures would view any type of shoulder bag as feminine accessory, in the techwear subculture, it’s practical. For students, it’s the ideal place for books, computers, and notebooks. For workers, one can put lunch in it. Since the culture is literate, sometimes, speaking both English and Japanese, they usually have books, video games, and magazines around that can also be carried in a messenger bag.
Where and why is techwear clothing popular now?
Techwear is an urban style, but many suburban and rural young people are wearing it as well. Since the look is part of several pop subcultures, it’s a style that can fit anywhere.
It’s extremely popular in Asia, especially Japan where anime, manga, and science fiction are favorites. Because Japan doesn’t have the same gun culture as the United States, wearing tactical-style gear is more of a fashion statement and not seen as the political statement it might be in the U.S.
The techwear style can be seen now on the red carpet at film events, on the streets of every city, and online in personal videos. Often, rather than being an entire outfit, it might be a single item, such as pants, a shirt or a hoodie, that has the techwear look, while the rest of the outfit will be more mainstream.
Techwear style is popular because it’s comfortable, durable, and (usually) practical. There are sometimes impractical zippers and steps added for style, but mostly, the look is drowned from military designs, both real and imagined, that are used for combat.
How to choose your favorite techwear outfits and style it.
In truth, there is no style guide to techwear fashion. It’s both new and evolving. The techwear outfit you should wear is the one you like best.
A search of the internet will reveal women wearing cute blue gingham dresses like Dorothy wore in “The Wizard of Oz '' with a pair of black techwear pants covered with pockets. Female techwear is a land with no rules. Some women wear cute pigtails and makeup and tactical gear styled more for combat than for streetwear.
One influence of techwear is the cyberpunk movement. For example, in the Techwear Official store, you’ll see ultra-futuristic sunglasses and dystopian-style face masks that come straight from a Philip K. Dick novel. Cloaks, cyberpunk glasses, and more are all part of the styles that can be found in the Techwear Official store showing the powerful influence of the books and movies that were a staple from the 1980s to today.
When choosing your favorite techwear clothing, it’s all about the style you choose. It can be as combat-styled, cyberpunk, feminine, or outdoor style as you choose. Any combinations work well for the look.
Getting started with techwear
Many people are attracted to the techwear style, but aren’t quite ready to commit to a facemask, wraparound mirrored glasses, and a lot of pockets. The place, then, to start is on the outside.
Since the fashion started as an offshoot of outdoor wear, a hard-shell is an excellent place to start.
The Black Techwear Jacket or In Good Company Pocket Hoodie have the techwear style, but also lend themselves to practical wear on chilly or rainy days.
You can also consider something like a shirt. The Japanese Techwear Shirt with its bright colors and style is an excellent choice, even if you’re just wearing it with a pair of jeans and sandals.
Getting started in techwear can be as simple as choosing the Techwear Barbed Wire Choker or the Japanese Techwear Shoes.
You don't need to create a complete style all at once. Find a single piece you like and mix it into your current style. The rest of the look will grow.
Avoiding techwear’s high prices
Many of the major brands are very expensive. A single pair of pants can cost over $500. While they will make the argument, it’s the materials and the style, in reality, it’s the label. Several brands have made it big in techwear, and they know it.
They make sure they get their money’s worth simply because they’re the major brands.
The secret they don’t want you to know is that you can get quality techwear for a fraction of the price. No techwear is actually meant for you to climb to the summit of K2 in. It’s all urban wear. Given that, it’s not worth spending hundreds or thousands on exotic fabrics you don’t need as you run from building to building on campus or walk from the bus to work.
In fact, what you need is a high-quality coat. That will allow you to keep dry and warm. Everything else, like $1500 Gore Tex pants, is simply overkill.
Choose techwear that’s your style, but don’t think that a high price tag makes them more comfortable. It just makes them more expensive.
Techwear because it’s practical
For many of us, the techwear style is cool but not something we feel we need to make a permanent lifestyle. In fact, many of us who are techwear fans got it because it was practical. The pockets, the baggy styles, the outwear that protects, it's all about what works for our lifestyle, not necessarily about making a fashion statement.
When considering buying techwear, consider the piece that's going to be most practical for your life. Cargo pants can be ideal for a student who has a wallet, pens, a phone, small notebooks, and more to carry around. A large outer shell, like the Techwear Official Long Techwear Jacket, can be the perfect choice for a female who wears dresses or skirts to work and wants something covering and dry.
Techwear clothing is all about looking good and being practical. All it takes is for you to choose what you want. Don’t worry about what everyone else is wearing. Techwear is the most liberated style because it’s not just a style of clothing; it’s a practical set of clothing to make life easier and richer.
Techwear, women’s or men’s, can be a fashion statement that’s actually comfortable, stylish, and lasting.
It’s all about self-expression.