It seems each generation has their own different style of clothing. The sixties and seventies had the tie-dye clothing and the “hippie” style that we see today. The thirties had the suits and ties that were the generational expectancy until the nineteen fifties. The turn of the century has brought upon a new style, and it has morphed into a few sub styles within itself. The Skater style is here to stay. And depending on your preferences, each style has its own distinct look.
If you are completely new to the skating world, than it is important to know which clothing brands are considered skating brands. If you walk around wearing Hollister and American Eagle and calling yourself a skater, chances are you will be laughed at and not be taken seriously. Element, Quiksilver and Billabong and three of the largest names in the skating industry.
They have been around for years and their names are often seen sponsoring some of the best skateboarders. While Quiksilver and Billabong are not known for the skateboard manufacturing, Element has a strong basis in not only the clothing industry, but in the creation of skateboards as well. Other names you may see are O’Neill, Vans, and even Burton. Burton is known for its snowboarding apparel and products, but most skaters are also snowboarders (when they can find the snow).
The style of jeans that you wear will (stereotypically) determine what kind of skater you are trying to be. Typically skaters will wear loose style jeans, due to the demand of twisting and turning. Punk-skaters are the ones notorious for wearing the skinny jeans. With the new technology and elasticity that has gone into designing jeans, the tight skinny jeans that you see have a surprising amount of stretch in them.
If you skate, than chances are you have pairs of jeans that have the knees scraped out of them. This has become a fashion statement and many people try to replicate that. If you take a pair of scissors to your jeans to cut out the knees, it will be very easy to spot. The holes and scrapes on your pair of jeans are battle scars, they are a sign of riding and most skaters do not want them. That just means that you have to go out and buy another pair of jeans.
The shoes that skaters wear are arguably one of the largest fashion statements. When you think of skate shoes, the first brands that come to mind are DC and Vans. They have been creating and designing skate shoes for decades, and they are the best at it. Traditionally, the shoes are flat soled and have extra stitching. You can easily spot a true skater by looking at the tips of his shoes. They will be scratched up and have rips all over them.
As with the jeans, they are not something that true skaters are hoping for. While the style has become a fashion sense, a real skater gets pretty angry when he has to replace his shoes because his toes are popping out. Scratching and ripping the front of your shoes will give you the look of a real skater, but it is also destroying a rather expensive pair of shoes.
Skate shirts vary in many different styles. Many prefer the simple t-shirts, often with one of the above listed skate brands on the front (or back). It is simple and allows for you to alleviate some heat while you are riding. The new skater fashion sense has brought in flannel and checkered button down shirts.
They are often tight fitting and accompany a tight pair of skinny jeans. It is the new fashion statement that skaters are wearing. It is a great alternative to wearing a t-shirt every day, but is not recommended for the record breaking heat waves. Typically the button down shirts also have some elasticity to them.
As with the tight jeans and often tight button down shirts, sweatshirts have also become synonymous with the skater fashion sense. The brand name is ever critical, and is often worn pretty tight against the body. When your hoodies and clothes are overly baggy, it is extra weight that you have to maneuver in order to skate, which can throw off your performance.
Skaters have been wearing different styles of hats for generations. Nowadays, they are typically seen with a flat brimmed hat or a snowboarding hat. The flat brimmed hats have become a fashion sense no matter what trend you are following, but skaters often showcase their favorite brands on their hats. Many older skaters have very old, rustic, and bent brimmed hats that have their favorite brand on the front.
As mentioned before, many skaters are also snowboarders, and they wear their snowboarding hats during their skate seasons. It may seem illogical to wear a hat designed for holding heat in during the summer months, but there are many out there who are willing to sweat a little extra in order to carry their fashion sense.
Skaters come in all shapes and sizes. The term of being a “skater” has been loosened to a style of clothing rather than to define someone as a skateboarder. It can be difficult to actually skateboard, and it takes a lot of patience and practice in order to see any progress. Coming from all skaters, if you are going to wear the style of clothing and carry around a skateboard, at least put forth some effort on the board. Many skaters are willing to lend a helping hand and give you some pointers.
Even more than that, most will show courtesy to the ones that are out there trying to skate (although failing). You will gain more respect in the community rather than calling yourself a skater without ever owning a board. Ultimately, if you wear a tight pair of skinny jeans, a button down flannel shirt, and a snowboarding hat, it will be hard to distinguish you from other skaters.
George Crawford is a freelance writer with a keen sense of fashion, skateboarding and extreme sports. He also pens articles for Box13 among various other publications.