STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Street Style Statements

Style Advice of the Week

I remember in high school when Abercrombie & Fitch’s infamous moose trademark was overwhelming on girls’ clothing and Nike’s “Just do it” slogan was found across guys’ chests. Statements and slogans are still a novelty today, so you might as well say it loud and proud. From attitude-filled comments and self-referencing to political messages and slogans, I think we can all agree that clever word plays, or letters printed on clothes, aren’t quite what they used to be. This Fashionista helps show us where typography is taking us now as a trend this spring.

First, a quick history lesson about words on clothes: slogan T-shirts started around the ‘60s. The ‘70s were all about punk, rebellious and political remarks. A heart and cause were given to the ‘80s and then branding took over in the ‘90s and early 2000s. The typography concept itself did not die, instead it simply continued to evolve into a trend that encompasses words, phrases and slogans on clothing and accessories, all with the purpose to make a statement and grab your attention.

We saw the trend continue to evolve into the spring 2014 season. Alexander Wang’s witty “Parental Advisory” tops were the talk of New York Fashion Week. Kenzo and Vivienne Westwood portrayed environmental messages during their shows. Jeremy Scott and Undercover had a little bit more of fun with words with abstract messages like “Earth Sucks.”

So why have words across your beanie, like this Fashionista did, or hanging as a necklace or written across your chest now? Well, it’s a youth thing. Technology today has helped us associate these words with messages and as a domain of the youth; messages are then paired with having a voice.

One thing is for sure: this trend is perfect for street style. One is immediately drawn into words or numbers since our brain wants to find a meaning behind it. I was instantly attracted to the giant “New York” written across this Fashionista’s shirt and then her beanie with “hi” across it. There are so many different graphic shirts out there to choose from and that’s what I love about this trend. You can identify with them! If you want to represent your city like this Fashionista did, try this shirt from Urban Outfitters. If you want to send out a message to your peers, try this Project Social T.

Don’t get me wrong, there doesn’t have to be meaning behind every statement shirt you wear. A word can be there just to catch the eye or remind you to be cool or be happy. The words represented on clothes can be completely meaningless or culturally relevant. They can be fashion world self-referencing or completely unrelated to fashion, so have fun with this trend and make a statement!


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