After a year dominated by loungewear, followed by the anticipated return of occasion wear, the hype surrounded streetwear subsided in recent seasons. The death of Virgil Abloh, however, shifted the spotlight back, revealing streetwear’s ongoing influence in fashion.
In a new reported, Edited examines what’s next for the category, particularly how it’s evolving away from its basics roots and into a category that blends tailoring, nostalgia and outdoor references.
Though already present in fashion, preppy and gorpcore are two overarching themes that will influence streetwear trends in the new year—and both offer retailers a variety of ways to incorporate them into their merchandising strategies, Edited said. Preppy hero pieces like varsity jackets, sweater vests, polos and loafers live in both men’s and women’s categories, while technical fabrics and functional everyday pieces are driving the gorpcore movement. Windbreakers, gilets and cargo bottoms are styles to watch.
These popular products will be due for an update this year.
Brands adopting the gorpcore aesthetic have been relying on fleece jackets for their comfort and warmth factor. Contrasting panels, pockets and zippers, as well as psychedelic-inspired prints by the likes of Lazy Oaf and Golf Wang have been popular but Edited sees a shift to monochromatic colors and patterns. There’s also a growing opportunity for brands to use fleece for other styles like hoodies and joggers.
Likewise, cargo pants are stepping away from core workwear items, like Carhartt’s olive cargo bottoms, toward baggier fits. The next styles will also feature more experimental pocket placements. For women, satin fabrications and bold colorways—seen on the runways of Tom Ford and Blumarine—are ways for designers to incorporate the Y2K fashion trend.
“While menswear focuses on more traditional styling, women’s assortments should include more color and stock options across denim and trouser categories,” Edited said.
The gilet—or outdoor vest—is a unisex staple in streetwear. Wavy quilting and collarless construction proved the most popular in 2021, Edited reported, while puffer vests saw color-blocking in citrus hues or patterns like checks and camouflages take off.
Fashion statements aside, next year’s vests will emphasize technical properties that keep the wearer warm and dry as well as the garment’s sustainable bona fides. With nylon being a common fabrication for vests, Edited said to expect to see brands promoting recycled alternatives such as Econyl.
No garment screams preppy like the sweater vest, and yet the old-school items has become associated with streetwear thanks in part to labels like Stüssy and P.A.M. (Perks and Mini), which have elevated the top with bold graphics and patterns.
Knitted textures, slouchy shapes and v-necklines only amplify the garment’s genderless appeal. Those elements will remain important but Edited noted that brands and retailers should consider sweater vests in non-traditional fabrications like fleece and jersey sweatshirt material to urge new purchases.
Netflix’s smash hit “Squid Game” is not the only reason why tracksuits are back on the consumer radar. The nylon tracksuit has been the focal point in collaborations between Patta x C.P. Company, Supreme x The North Face and Nike x Amush, resulting in several ’90s-inspired sporty looks.
“The growing popularity for technical functions and fabrications on garments within the streetwear market has seen many labels team up with performance wear brands this year, bringing together innovation and style,” Edited stated.
Tracksuit updates for 2022 include brighter colors and color-blocking, looser silhouettes and gender-neutral styles, but draw cords, taped zips and reflective fabrications remain important elements.
Though camouflage remains popular in Gorpcore on items like baggy Bermuda shorts and wide-leg trousers, Edited said there are opportunities to carry this motif into the prep trend. In classic colorways, the print—in either traditional or digitized versions—looks fresh on varsity jackets.
With the early aughts trend for designer mini-me fashion coming back, Edited said to expect to see buzz build for children’s streetwear. Off-White, Fear Of God, Marine Serre and Ivy Park debuted children’s wear collections in 2021, while luxury fashion platforms SSENSE and Browns introduced kids’ products.
Collaborations—like the one between Kith Kids and OshKosh B’gosh in the fall—featuring genderless styles and sustainable designs will be key themes in children’s streetwear, Edited reported.