Techware is an emerging genre of clothing that blends a minimalist aesthetic with functionality in a design language that leans heavily into futuristic cyberpunk overtones. It is a bit similar to athleisure wear, but where athleisure is sort of a midpoint between aesthetics and utility, techwear is a very bold combination of both.
There is great appeal in the innovative style and emphasis on utility and comfort of techwear, but what really qualifies as techwear? What are the brands in this niche genre of fashion? That’s what this article is all about.
Impervious to Water
The beginnings of techwear are born of the 1969 invention of Gore-Tex. Gore-Tex is a light, breathable but waterproof material that is the result of a method of stretching Teflon that was discovered by inventor Wilbur L. Gore and his son Robert W. Gore. A high level of water repellency has been a major part of the techwear aesthetic. Gore-Tex is not the only material that can be used for tech wear, rather synthetic materials that combine stretchiness, abrasion and odor resistance, breathability, reflectiveness, and waterproof capability would qualify.
Nonrestrictive and Comfortable
Techwear also emphasizes outer garments that are designed with the way the human body moves in mind. Clothing that follows the anatomy of the body results in tops and pants that touch the knee or inner elbow. Clothing designed in this manner is comfortable, and techwear goes a step further by prioritizing breathability as well.
One reason why techwear has become such a trend is that it matches the necessities of the modern age and the need to have storage space for the numerous devices and other accessories required for daily activities. Techwear usually comes with an abundance of zippered pockets and sometimes even removable modular attachments. Bags and backpacks that match the aesthetic have useful detailing like laptop sleeves and inner compartments.
Here is a short guide to articles of clothing that would be regarded as techwear.
Top layers for techwear are usually large jackets with lots of pockets. There are two kinds; hard-shell and soft-shell. Hard-shell outerwear is fully wind and waterproof. They are heavy and have a crunchy texture but provide 100% all-weather capability. Soft-shell outerwear has a durable waterproof coating that is effective against light precipitation, they have great ranges of movement, are comfortable and breathable but do not provide as much protection as hard-shell outerwear.
Mid-layers range from down vests to hoodies to insulating shirts that are made with warmth under an outer layer as a priority. Removable middle layers can easily be swapped, usually via some form of button or zipper system.
The base layer of techwear empathizes breathability and functionality. Large size, box shape design made from airy fabric is the norm.
Tech wear bottoms can be slim-cut joggers, cargo trousers, or baggy sweatpants. Like outerwear, all-weather capability and very many pockets are a requirement. Pants that are made of water-repellent fabric have unrestrictive articulation and much storage space.
Generally long or sharp pants of water repellent fabric can provide excellent articulation as well as protection from extreme weather conditions.
Footwear and Accessories
Mid or high-top shoes made from Flyknit or PrimeKnit are usual. The shoes have to match the aesthetic by having bold-cut designs.
Techwear accessories will include durable bags that have multiple compartments for smartphones, laptops, and iPads. Other accessories are bucket hats or baseball caps, as well as such items as utility vests or faux masks.
The techwear vibe is not associated with loud or vibrant colors. Instead monochromatic or muted colors are more usual. Clothing would have tapered seams, and various buckles and straps are available to shape outerwear and pants especially into different styles.
Brands that are most associated with the techwear genre include Acronym, Herno Laminar, Bagjack, White Mountaineering, Ten C, Stone Island, C.P Company, and Outlier. Sportswear giants Nike and Adidas have also taken an interest in techwear through their sub-brands Nike ACG and Adidas Y-3 respectively. You can find some in this techwear shop as well.
The techwear trend is gaining more and more traction within the fashion world, and for good reason. It blends style, functionality, comfort, and protection in a way no other clothing genre does.