Techware can simply be described as a kind of futuristic take on fashion that combines functionality and aesthetics. Highly inspired by a cyberpunk dystopian future with influences coming from Blade Runner, The Matrix, and Looper, this urban style stands for technical clothing designed with the human body in mind.
While the athleisure style often straddles the line between aesthetics and utility, techwear chooses to ignore the line altogether: in our technology-enabled future, why couldn’t someone have both?
The difference between “technical athleisure” and true techwear rests in high-function features like hidden vents, specialized pockets, and taped seams. In many ways, these tech details differentiate techwear from scaled-down looks like athleisure or sportswear. The main appeal of techwear is its enhancements to everyday life.
The whole techwear aesthetic does revolve around a lot of layering as well as utilizing a lot of outerwear. It embodies utilitarian clothing whether that means pants with zip-off legs, many pockets, or jackets in nylon-blend fabric.
Here’s the ultimate guide on how to incorporate this aesthetic into your wardrobe, featuring the latest releases for this season.
If you really are into the functionality and performance aspect of techwear, then you may want to look into pieces that are constructed from high-tech fabrics. Most of the techwear clothing consists of matte fabrics and materials that are waterproof and windproof, like nylon, wool,poly-blends, and Gore-tex technologies.
One of the most accessible fabric technologies, it’s the AirIsm line from Uniqlo. Clothes of this line have been specifically developed for hot weather conditions with functionality such as moisture weakening, sweat-absorbent as well as feeling cool on the touch.
When it comes to layering the outerwear is where you will be able to add the most amount of functionality into your outfit as all the other previous pieces are more about comfort than anything else. Opt for heat-trapping layers near your skin, and heavy outerwear over the top.
First, start with the jacket. As a general rule, the best tech jackets are waterproof, durable, and designed for movement. Second, build functional layers. Try a performance mid-layer under your jacket for the ultimate insulation.
The right hardshell jacket will keep you dry through 3 hours of winter precipitation and even stay breathable during activity. For colder days, you can choose a lightweight breathable hoodie.
This one from Nike ACG has sleeves that go across your hand with a thumb hole to protect you from cold.
While this one from Arc’teryx Atom SL Nylon Hooded Jacket is built to withstand extreme weather. With a lightweight nylon construction, the outer layer is infused with Tyono 20 for added water resistance and windproof properties.
One of the best outerwear options, the North Face Lhotse Down Jacket has been proven a high-quality menswear piece. Water-resistant and windproof, it’s your go-to jacket for a blustery day in the city.
When it comes to t-shirts, something that you pay attention to is the shape and silhouette. Opt for t-shirts that are oversized and have a more boxy shape to achieve the maximum techwear effect.
Go for a slouchy extended tee under a warm mid-layer, ideally a goose-down jacket or high-tech fleece. Brands like Uniqlo, Stone Island, and Krakatau do have some pretty iconic tops and t-shirts that you can use as a layering piece.
Techwear pants tend to include cargo trousers, slim-cut joggers and even baggy sweatpants. Generally long or sharp pants of water repellent fabric can provide excellent articulation as well as protection from extreme weather conditions. Greys, browns or even olive greens keep things muted, but are a touch more accessible than all-black.
The 042 Steven cargos are top-seller techwear pants, featuring magnetic pockets, auto-locking zippers and even removable straps.
If your budget is a bit bigger and you want to go with something that has a bit more heft to it, the MPG Geo Panel Pant is going to be the perfect choice for you. Made of water-resistant high-density twill with an inner storm placket that’s padded to protect you from the cold.
Finally, focus on footwear. Even with space-age layers and every detail in line, the wrong shoes can throw off your vibe entirely.
As a general rule, choose sneakers either made of cutting-edge materials (Flyknit, Primeknit, neoprene, etc.) or have visible “tech” features that supplant their more humble construction (ex. a leather sneaker with a zipper entry). A common styling pattern that is usually found in techwear sneakers is a mid or high-rise shoe with a tapered ankle and a bold design.
Here are some of the top-rated brands for technical footwear. These sneakers pair really well with the whole techwear aesthetic as they all have this very futuristic aesthetic.
From the rock-shielded outsole to the high collar and GORE-TEX water repellency, the Nike SFB Field 2 8” GORE-TEX boot has it all.
While shoes like PUMA x NEMEN Centaur Mid DISC, definitely have a lot of futuristic vibes with innovative disc technology.
The laces are all intertwined with a disc and you just spin the disc to tighten the shoe. Avoid wearing these with baggy jeans or pants. Instead prefer slim-cut or tapered style pants that can enhance the shoe.
Accessories are a key part of techwear fashion and self-expression. They have that kind of personal link in a way that many clothing pieces don’t. Not only will they provide functionality but also help to elevate the overall outfit aesthetically.
Techwear bags, such as backpacks, messenger bags, utility pouches and sling bags are built for a high-mobility urban lifestyle. The Acronym 3A-1 is one of the most iconic messenger bags. It’s quite long without being too bulky. For a relatively small messenger bag, you’ve got a lot of storage options.
Another great option that will add to your outfit a more futuristic and utilitarian vibe is the JWEEP TB2 – WN “Tactical Totebag. In terms of construction and quality-wise, this is a very well constructed piece made of a lightweight water repellent nylon material.
It comes in this black colorway making it super versatile and easy to style. While there is also the possibility to attach additional pouches for better organization.
Beanie, Boonie, bucket and baseball hats are a really nice accessory towards a technically minded outfit. Not only they are super stylish but also functional since they block the sun from the face.
There are loads of different options that could just match the color palette that you’re going for with the rest of the outfit. Boonies and beanies are a little bit more protective than a baseball cap because they have a brim that goes the whole way around. One notable option is the TECHWEAR BUCKET HAT which has quite a sleek minimal look and the brim is quite nice and oversized.
If you want to go bold, then this extravagant hat piece is for you. It’s a combo of a utility vest and a hat which although looks very different from a hat, kind of functions the same way as a hat.
It is a cool way of getting rain protection without wearing a full jacket and this is certainly going to keep you much more protected than a baseball cap. You can wear this under an outerwear layer or a jacket that doesn’t have a hood and make use of that head covering.