Updated · Mar 28, 2023
What Is Techwear? [Everything You Need To Know]
Updated · Oct 16, 2022
The influence of techwear in the fashion industry continues to grow. However, the term tends to be confusing, and many still struggle to grasp the concept.
So, what is techwear?
There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to this relatively new type of clothing. That’s why, in this post, I’ll be looking at the essentials of techwear fashion.
Let’s unravel it all.
What Is Techwear?
Techwear is the abbreviation of technical wear. It refers to urban clothing made from high-quality man-made materials to withstand the elements. But this apparel does more than just protect your body. It also offers extra comfort and functionality. And stylistically, it draws inspiration from futuristic aesthetics and cyberpunk culture.
Techwear has been around for quite some time, but it started attracting more attention only recently. Social media and the additional exposure it brings have finally put it under the spotlight.
But what separates the tech clothing style from regular clothes? And why might you want to consider dressing this way?
Let’s take a closer look.
Techwear brings several benefits you don’t necessarily get with regular clothing:
Manufacturers put a lot of effort into designing techwear. They rely on the latest research on optimal body movement to ensure optimal performance. These new insights translate to flexibility you don’t get in everyday clothing, especially when it comes to waterproof apparel.
Techwear pushes the boundaries of fabrics and cuts, ensuring comfort regardless of what you’re doing.
The idea is that you can wear technical clothing when hiking or camping, but also at home or when roaming the city.
Some of the impressive tech we have today has made it to modern clothing and taken it to the next level. Techwear relies on what’s called Gore-Tex technology to ensure you can go outside without worrying about getting wet.
The father-son duo, Wilbert L. Gore and Robert W. Gore first came up with this new breathable, waterproof fabric in 1969. Basically, it’s Teflon stretched into a thin membrane that repels water but still allows vapor to pass through.
Today, designing clothes that can withstand rain isn’t difficult. However, that type of apparel is rarely comfortable and stylish. That’s where techwear clothing and Gore-Tex come in. They offer water resistance without making any stylistic sacrifices along the way. In fact, techwear is rather fashionable with its own unique look.
Nowadays, we all like to have multiple devices on hand. However, you often need their respective chargers and accessories on hand as well. Techwear offers extra space through simple designs such as pockets with zippers and some less traditional solutions like removable modular attachments.
In combination with the water-resistance factor, you can carry more and worry less, knowing everything in your pockets will stay dry.
Backpacks and bags are often incorporated into the style. As you can imagine, these items also come in specific designs to fit the techwear concept. That’s why most of them have extra features like laptop sleeves and extra components.
With techwear, popular brands usually produce items in several categories:
Outwear is the most popular piece of tech clothing. After all, that’s where you get the most opportunity to showcase your style.
There are two main types:
- Hardshell jackets - Hardshell is the most versatile outer layer. It keeps you warm in cool weather, but it’s also highly breathable when it’s warm. Plus, it provides protection from both rain and wind. This type of jacket is the best pick when facing any outdoor challenges.
- Softshell jackets - This material is more breathable than hardshell. It’s still a great option for winter conditions but works better in mild weather.
Regardless of the type you choose, you’ll be getting a sleek design, and you can count on it looking stylish in a futuristic way.
Mid-layers in techwear are known as insulating layer garments. Their main purpose is to keep you warm in various weather conditions.
However, all techwear outfits are designed to both protect your body and look cool. Therefore, you can wear only your mid-layer when the weather allows it. And when facing more extreme temperatures, you can have it below your jacket.
Of course, mid-layers feature patterns that can move with the human body. So, adding an extra layer below your jacket will never impact your comfort in movement.
Stacking on layers is a key component of any techwear look. From three-layered tops to baggy pants with volume, the idea is to make a new concept of deconstructive attire. With a number of folds and dimensions, the goal of techwear is to enhance the look of comfortable clothing.
Techwear pants still haven’t caught on as other pieces of clothing. However, they’re a growing market segment, and chances are we’ll see them attracting more attention soon.
If you need proof that they’re trending up, just look at Levi’s. Even this denim giant started making commuter pants that allow a wider range of movement.
Most pants falling under the techwear category offer water resistance and insulating properties. The idea is you can go outside no matter the weather and still keep your body safe.
They also come in a buckle design with many details separating them from regular pants. Legs are often tapered, again, to make outdoor exploration a more stylish and comfortable experience.
Just like footwear is an essential part of traditional attire, it plays an influential role in techwear. Heavy-duty tracking boots have their perks, but they’re not necessarily the best option on urban terrain. Instead, it’s better to opt for specifically-designed lightweight footwear. Ideally, techwear sneakers and shoes that are fully functional not only in the city but also in and outdoors.
Of course, they’re always made from durable, waterproof materials and are all about futuristic aesthetics.
These are most of your key everyday items but in an innovative artistic design.
Techwear masks were a thing even before the COVID-19 pandemic, and they gained even more attention after the introduction of social distancing measures. They come in many styles and designs and usually work well with cyberpunk and ninja-inspired styles.
Some masks even offer full UV protection and come with special face shield sunglasses. They’re designed with air ventilation in mind, so you can breathe normally when wearing them for prolonged periods of time.
Techwear jewelry is most often made from stainless steel. It usually comes in black and silver, making it compatible with most outfits. Among the products you can find are rings, bracelets, necklaces, waist chains, and more.
Other techwear accessories include utility belts, tactical gloves, hand straps, and even katana-looking umbrellas.
While still relatively new, there’s no doubt techwear will make a lot of noise in the fashion industry. More and more young people are opting for futuristic techwear clothing, and its influence continues to grow through media and social networks.
Why is techwear so expensive?
Techwear outfits are on the more expensive end. That’s because of the materials, effort, and the time it takes to produce them. Perfectionism is an important aspect of techwear design, and it’s difficult to achieve it without pricing products higher. You can find this type of clothing on a budget, but brands that offer higher quality are relatively expensive.
Why is techwear so popular?
Techwear gained a lot of popularity in the past few years as people want their clothes to be both functional and fashionable. It’s transforming from more of a niche fashion style to a real mainstream fit.
Do you have to be skinny to wear techwear?
No, you don’t. In my what is techwear guide, I mentioned how it draws inspiration from ninja and cyberpunk apparel. Models appearing in these outfits are often tall and skinny, which is where the assumption that techwear is only for skinny people originates from. However, popular manufacturers such as ACRONYM make clothes in sizes up to XL. Also, techwear is often baggy and loose, making it easier for those on the heavier side to pull the look off.
Dejan is a techie at heart who always dreamed of turning his fascination with gaming into a career. He finds working for TechJury a perfect opportunity to express his views of all kinds of different software. Being an avid reader, particularly of fantasy and sci-fi, Dejan pursued a degree in English Language and Literature. When not at his computer, he’s watching sports or playing tabletop games.
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