While fashion is all about finding unique clothing styles, sometimes it’s helpful to have a plan. Below are some of the major fashion categories to help you get started.
Athletic style, also known as athleisure, brings elements of sportswear like leggings, bike shorts and oversized sweatshirts from the gym to the street.
Boho style, also known as “boho” or “boho chic,” borrows from the 1960s hippie esthetic and festival culture. This style uses earth tones, natural fabrics and colors, and prints and accessories from around the world. The hallmarks of boho style are flowing maxi dresses, long skirts, flared pants, big brimmed hats, fringe, suede and floppy handbags.
Grunge: Inspired by grunge music and the subculture that emerged in Seattle in the ’80s and ’90s, grunge fashion features thrift store finds like plaid flannel shirts, oversized knits and feminine dresses styled in a subversive, disheveled way. The grunge look often includes ripped jeans or tights, unkempt hairstyles and black boots.
The preppy style is inspired by the clothing and uniforms traditionally worn at private East Coast prep schools and Ivy League colleges. Preppy style is often inspired by upper-class sports such as polo, sailing, tennis, and horseback riding. Preps are known to wear polo shirts, oxford shirts, argyle sweaters and socks, fabric-wrapped headbands, boat shoes, blazers, pearls, cardigans, and khakis.
Inspired by the subversive style of punk rockers in the 70s and 80s, punk fashion encompasses many subcultures, each with their own specific style codes. Some overarching elements of punk style include leather jackets, deconstructed blazers, ripped fishnet stockings, skinny jeans and chunky black boots. Provocative inscriptions, band logos and individual design with safety pins and patches are common themes of punk clothing. Punk hairstyle includes strong black eyeliner, mohawks, dyed hair and pinned up hair.
Streetwear is a casual fashion style that first became popular in the 1990s. It includes comfortable yet trendy clothing such as logo T-shirts and crop tops, hoodies, baggy pants and expensive sneakers. Streetwear is inspired by both hip-hop and skater styles, with the added element of intentional product scarcity. Followers of the latest streetwear trends are known as hypebeasts, and many go to great lengths to purchase limited edition designer baseball caps, hoodies, sneakers and more.
Classic style is a catch-all term for a neat, everyday style that incorporates workwear elements like blazers, pencil skirts and khakis. This more professional look is suitable for the office and other occasions where you want to look good.
Casual style is what you could wear on the weekend. Think jeans, comfortable t-shirts and sneakers or apartment boots. Both streetwear and sporty style can be considered casual style, but casual style can also be more preppy or hip.