Street wear is a fashion style and cultural movement that emerged primarily from urban youth culture, particularly in the United States, during the 1980s. It is also called casual wear. It is originally rooted in Californian surf and skate culture. Some common street wear fashion pieces are jeans, t-shirts, baseball caps, and sneakers. It is characterized by its casual, comfortable, and often sporty or hip-hop-inspired clothing. Streetwear has since evolved into a global fashion phenomenon, influencing both high-end fashion and mainstream culture.
Streetwear fashion heavily involved with b-boying, hip-hop culture, Japanese street fashion and modern haute couture fashion. To make this kind of fashion use bold colors, heavy branding and statement pieces dominated the market.
Formal wear is called smart clothes, usually worn at work; business dress, mainly designed for formal social events like weddings, formal dinners, etc as tuxedos and evening gowns. Formal wear comes in a number of categories, including cocktail, ball, prom and church. It is always something that looks out of the ordinary.
It is characterized by its elegant, sophisticated, and polished appearance, intended to convey a sense of respect, professionalism, and adherence to dress codes. Formal wear is typically worn for events and situations that demand a higher level of sartorial decorum.
Difference between Street Wear and Formal Wear:
Formal and street wear both have no connection with each other but they have so many differences with each other. The way of expression, combination, color, define everything is different between them. But both are equally important in the society.
Streetwear and formal wear are two distinct clothing styles that cater to different occasions, aesthetics, and lifestyles. Here are the key differences between the two:
|Street wear||Formal wear|
|Street wear is a distinctive style of street fashion which has no bounds.||Formal wear (Canada, US) and formal dress (UK) are general terms for clothing suitable for formal social events.|
|Streetwear is typically associated with casual, everyday wear. It’s designed for comfort and often worn in informal settings, such as hanging out with friends, running errands, or going to casual social events.||Formal wear is intended for special occasions and events that require a higher level of dress code adherence. These occasions include weddings, galas, business meetings, and black-tie events.|
|Suitable for every where without any formal occasion.||Suitable for formal social events, such as a wedding, formal garden party or dinner, debutante cotillion, dance, or race.|
|Doesn’t have any fixed dress code.||Have a fixed dress code.|
|Comfort is a top priority in streetwear. The clothing is typically loose-fitting and designed for ease of movement. Fabrics are often soft and breathable, such as cotton or jersey materials.||Formal wear places a greater emphasis on structure and tailoring. Suits and dresses are fitted and tailored to create a sharp silhouette. Fabrics like wool, silk, and satin are common, which may not be as comfortable as street wear materials.|
|Streetwear often features relaxed and oversized fits, contributing to a more casual and laid-back appearance.||Formal wear is known for its tailored and fitted silhouette, which accentuates the body’s contours and projects a sophisticated look.|
|No dress code available, anyone can dress anything funky.||Dress code: Tuxedos , Black suit, white or black tie, formal pant, white shirt, strollers for daytime, morning dress for daytime, ball gowns and evening gowns for women. Some south Asian formal dress codes are dhoti, sari, shallower-kameez, Daura-Suruwal, Sherwani , etc .|
|No similarity like formal wear.||In most of the country formal wear is similar or seems same like others.|
|Started from 70s and 80s||Started after the second world war.|
|Very popular to the teenagers and young men-women||Not so popular to teenagers|
|Suitable for informal hangout||Suitable for weeding occasion|
|Street wear is acceptable in casual and informal settings, but it may not be appropriate for formal or professional occasions.||Formal wear is essential for events with strict dress codes, such as weddings, business meetings, and upscale social gatherings.|
|After 80s this fashion involved with b-boying, hip-hop culture, Japanese street fashion and modern haute couture fashion.||This types of fashions are not involved with other fashion but it change on the demand of customer who are follow the dress consultants instruction. Some experimental changes are created by the fashion designer.|
|No color bindings.||Some fixed color bindings.|
|Street wear embraces a wide range of colors, including bold and vibrant shades. Color choices are often influenced by pop culture and street art.
Bold colors, heavy branding and statement pieces dominated the market.
|Formal wear typically features a more limited and conservative color palette, with a focus on neutral tones like black, navy, gray, and white.
Specific colors are used and can not dominate the market.
|Random used by the celebrities.||Not randomly used.|
|Street wear emphasizes a relaxed and urban style. It often includes elements of hip-hop, skate culture, and sports influences. Key features may include graphic t-shirts, hoodies, sneakers, baggy jeans, and caps. Street wear is known for its bold branding and graphic designs.||Formal wear is characterized by its sophistication and elegance. It includes items like suits, tuxedos, dress shirts, ties, and formal shoes. Formal wear aims for a polished and refined appearance, often favoring muted colors and classic designs.|
|Street wear often incorporates casual accessories like baseball caps, beanies, backpacks, and sneakers. Sneakers are a prominent footwear choice in street wear fashion.||Formal wear includes accessories like ties, cufflinks, belts, and polished leather shoes (e.g., Oxfords or formal pumps). Accessories in formal wear tend to be more refined and understated.|
In summary, street wear and formal wear represent two contrasting fashion styles, each designed for specific occasions and reflecting different aesthetics and attitudes. While street wear emphasizes comfort, casualness, and self-expression, formal wear prioritizes refinement, structure, and adherence to dress codes.
Editor of Fashion2Apparel. She is a fashion designer and ex-lecturer in Fashion Designing. She wants to spread fashion knowledge throughout the world.