Reflective Collection: how to stand out from the crowd
Are you bored with beige? Uninspired by neutral tones? Sick of not standing out? Welcome to the club, so are we and we’ve got the antidote with our Reflective Collection.
Streetwear designers have historically looked towards the style and functional nature of workwear for inspiration. In the early days of streetwear, we saw pioneers mixing their favourite brands of the time like XLARGE, Fuct and Stussy with our workwear apparel. Both these factors cemented us in the streetwear world. Our streetwear credentials, combined with our near century-long history in workwear, makes us pretty well qualified to release a reflective streetwear collection.
The reflective trend has boldly become entrenched into both streetwear and fashion. Read on to find out how this seemingly utilitarian and unfashionable style has become an icon for streetwear heads and fashion houses alike. Concerned about pulling off such an outlandish style choice? Fear not we’ll walk you through that too!
When we talk about workwear influencing streetwear, it's often in the context of 20th-century pieces like workwear jackets, trousers and overalls. It's not often that we reference contemporary workwear pieces like hi-vis and neon. However, there are countless examples of hi-vis popping up in the modern fashion and streetwear worlds.
Ravers were one of the first subcultures to adopt the trend. They would don hi-vis jackets and vests along with a number of unusual brightly coloured accessories like dummies, candy beads, whistles and glow sticks. It’s easy to see why: the bright neon colours and reflective strips complemented the fluorescent aesthetic and popped under strobe lights. As is the cyclical nature of fashion, we still see rave references in contemporary style, most notably by the likes of bootlegger Jonny Banger, in his infamous brand Sports Banger.
Over the years, fashion brands have appropriated every sort of workwear uniform under the sun. From the military-inspired collections by the likes of Christopher Raeburn and Nigel Cabourn to Vetements surprising collaboration with international courier service DHL, who saw that one coming? It was inevitable then that hi-vis wouldn’t be the exception. Every fashion house worth its salt has released neon and reflective hi-vis options including the likes of Burberry, Heron Preston and Calvin Klein to name a few.
Except for GORE-TEX, 3M reflective is possibly streetwear’s best-loved technical material. It’s utilised in thousands of products by the likes of Palace, Nike, Supreme and Adidas to make their products pop. This has led to an army of Instagram Hypebeasts to find ever more increasingly genius ways of reflecting light off their products in search of the ideal fit pic.
In recent years we’ve seen hi-vis starting to gain some considerable mainstream momentum. This was probably accelerated by the likes of Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West rocking the trend, with Kanye featuring neon details and reflective strips in his YEEZY brand. One of the most fashionable men in hip-hop, A$AP Rocky is no stranger to the trend. He’s often spotted standing out from the crowd by styling a pair of Dickies Enhanced Visibility Work Pants with an array of sought after high fashion pieces.
How to style reflective clothing
As we dive into a new decade, we can all pull major inspiration from the profound power and unflappable work ethic that inspired this style movement. If you are curious about how to wear reflective clothing, this trend can be easily embraced even by those with less experience on the bold side of fashion.
A little goes a long way
If you are not quite ready to venture into a complete outfit composed of reflective or neon clothing, please feel empowered to start small.
When it comes to reflective apparel, a minimalist approach can have maximum impact. For those who are unsure where to commence, we recommend investing in a single piece for your wardrobe and expanding as you move forward.
For the risk-averse, the West Ferriday T-Shirt can be an excellent way of levelling up your look this season. If caps are your thing, you can't go wrong with a Mcrae Reflective Cap. Once you have mastered the basics, you can go from there.
Embrace neon colours
When venturing into this new trend, be sure to embrace the unexpected by utilising neon. Fluorescent lime may be the signature colour you're used to seeing in this style, but variations in orange and red also play a significant role here. Introduce a little brightness to your wardrobe with our Baldwin Hoodie.
Be warned though; it’s not advised to mix neon colours as they can clash very easily!
Make a statement with a neon button up
A flannel in a bright colour can be a very pleasing juxtaposition. Our signature Sacramento in sulphur will shine bright when paired with casual jeans or khaki trousers. Plus, time-honoured comfort in both design and fabric will help ease you through any working day.
Layer your shirt with our Gardere Reflective Tape Eisenhower or a bomber jacket in cooler temperatures. If you're heading on a winter-weather adventure, wear it under a tougher outer layer to trap heat with ease. Your nod to neon will ensure you are unmissable all day, every day.
Pair reflective styles with a neutral base
Pair a neon top half like our Baldwin Long Sleeve T-shirt or Pine Ville Jacket with simple black or khaki trousers to even out the look. If you’d prefer to opt for a reflective vest, you can’t go wrong with a simple white tee underneath to round out your outfit.
Seriously, don't be scared to size up.
Nail the trend with an oversized approach to any item of reflective clothing. From a reflective vest to a bright bomber jacket, you can't go wrong with a bit more fabric to work with. Not only is it comfy but it helps to accentuate a casual, streetwear-inspired look.
For a casual approach that looks effortless, go up a few sizes like Kanye West:
Rocky is the king of perfectly pairing high and low fashion. While much of his rap cohort opt for an ostentatious show of wealth via their sartorial choices, Rocky’s style is less concerned with how much a piece costs and more about how its looks and its cultural significance, well done Rocky, we salute you! Be like Rocky, pair our Gardere Double Knee Reflective Tape Pants with a high fashion jacket and T-shirt for a discerning look.