Even though skateboarding emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, it wasn´t until the 1990s when the craze went global and the fashion style appeared. The style, of course, came out of the streetwear style, which was changing and attaining different features. Adopted by different subcultures and countercultures, streetwear was adapting according to not only their needs but also their world views. The way their outfits looked, as well as their anti-establishment vibe was, was important for skateboarders. But much more than that, the garments included in their style, had to meet certain standards, in regards to comfort, convenience, durability, safety, and freedom of movement.
As the popularity of skateboarding was growing and progressing worldwide, so was skater fashion. Brands manufacturing clothes, accessories, and footwear designed specifically for the sport appeared on the market, and soon the style went mainstream. With time many of its pieces and traits have been borrowed by many brands and designers and incorporated into other casual styles, and nowadays skate clothing seems to be everywhere. Young people around the world wear skateboard clothing regardless of whether they are skateboarders, BMX riders, scooter riders, or regular people who love streetwear.
Aside from personal world views, tastes, and lifestyles, there are many reasons why so many people decide to add skate wear clothing pieces to their wardrobe. Skatewear has a lot to offer, it’s practical, comfortable, not to mention good looking, but more than that, designed to endure a lot of wear and tear. Skateboarding outfits are quite simple, and they are typically made of a combination of a pair of loose shorts or pants, a t-shirt, a hoody or a sweatshirt, a pair of quality socks and skate shoes, a jacket, or a coat. They also often include accessories, like hats, caps, etc.
The tops used in skater fashion are t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, sometimes flannels, sweaters, and jackets. T-shirts are an essential item in most styles, and especially in casual and streetwear. Amongst skateboarders, the most common choice is graphic t-shirts, often with the brand name, a logo, an image, or a slogan, but plain t-shirts are also used. Moreover, skater t-shirts are usually longer than regular t-shirts and have a crew-neck cut. When the weather is a bit colder, skaters often layer their t-shirts with an open sweatshirt or hoodie with a zipper, a flannel, or a skate jacket.
Hoodies and sweatshirts are also essential items in every skateboarder’s wardrobe. They are of course used in a huge number of other styles as well, especially in streetwear and sportswear. In fact, hoodies were first developed for athletes and were then adopted in streetwear. Like skate t-shirts, hoodies, and sweatshirts that are considered to be skate apparel often feature a print on the front. You can wear them as a middle layer, over a t-shirt and under a skate jacket or a coat, when the weather demands it, or as an upper layer, over a t-shirt when it’s chilly.
While skate wear clothing pieces are extremely versatile, the truth is that when it comes to the types of garments that are used in the style, it’s very simple, to the extent that we can say that it’s almost like a uniform (though, of course, not in the most traditional sense). Considering that even if skateboarding comes from the streets, it’s still a sport, this makes sense.
When you are skateboarding it’s important that your legs have good freedom of movement. This is why skaters wear loose pants and shorts. We can say that skate pants and shorts are the most important garment in a skater’s “uniform”. Of course, the style is recognisable and looks a certain way that we all like, greatly thanks to the pants, but cargo shorts and pants with large pockets are in fact essential because they are so unrestrictive, practical, and comfortable.
When it comes to the visual part, skater shorts are loose and finish at the wearer’s knees and straight-leg pants that go slightly above your ankles. Aside from cargo pants, you can also go for chinos. Even if you aren’t a skater, skate pants are a great choice, not only because of how comfortable they are but also because of their durability and resilience
Footwear and Accessories
To finish off a good skateboarding outfit, you need a pair of skate shoes. While you can technically skate in almost anything or even barefoot if you really want to, skate shoes offer the right support for your feet during this activity. Skate shoes are most frequently used by skateboarders and BMX riders, but with so many brands taking notes from the style, there are a lot of models on the market inspired by the style that you can get for everyday wear.
Tube socks with skate shorts are one common sight, but skaters wear different heights of socks. Socks play an important role in skateboarding because regular socks don’t offer enough protection and can cause blisters. The best skateboard socks have heel and toe reinforcements and are made of breathable moisture-wicking fabric that’s comfortable on the skin.
The most common accessories skateboarders wear are beanies and caps, sometimes covered with the hood of their hoodie. Skateboard backpacks are also an important accessory, featuring straps to secure your skateboard. Skaters can also be seen wearing a wallet chain, which has been a trend in many different subcultures. While they were originally made to keep your wallet secure while you are skateboarding, nowadays most of the time they serve a purely aesthetical purpose.