Words by Jake Taylor
For the last few years streetwear has been awash with men wearing drop crotch pants that made them look like they’d shat themselves and blacks on blacks on blacks was the in thing. The fuccboi movement (as it was commonly regarded) involved replacing all vowels with X’s and V’s – LVKX THXS – and religious listening to Trap Lord on repeat, whilst desperately trying to pretend to your friends that you liked it. Thankfully, the days of the fuccboi seem to be over as streetwear makes the steps out of the dark and into the light. This year, the ‘palewave’ movement is having a real moment with pastels and earthy colored tones beginning to dominate lookbooks.
Palewave is exactly what it says on the tin: a movement based on pale, clean fitted clothing. It’s a step away from the previous over-saturated and monochromatic styles that have dominated streetwear for years and invites its followers to take the look into their own hands. The main perk of the movement is that unlike the recent boom in sportswear or the current trend of vintage high fashion brands is that the palewave look can be achieved easily and cheaply. White/Cream and Pale tees can be bought from anywhere with the likes of Gildan and Fruit of the Loom stocking them for less than a fiver a pop to form the basic staple of the look. White trainers are available from most brands and if you’re looking for the cheaper alternative then the likes of Reebok Classics and Workouts are always a shoulder to lean on, as are the fashionistas favorite – Adidas Stan Smiths. Team these up with a stone coach jacket and a neutral coloured dad hat and you’re in business. All you need now is an industrial background featuring plenty of greys and whites and VSCO Cam to edit your pictures and you’re basically a fashion blogger.
Palewave’s status as the ‘in-look’ within streetwear highlights a growing trend within the creative industry in which a ‘back to basics’ look is strongly rising to prominence. Minimalism is the in thing and brands are moving away from the Aztec and floral patterned garms worn by the Topman Lads of yesteryear in favor of striped back, basic and high quality pieces. The fact that the whole premise of the movement is based upon basic and untouched clothing means that it can’t become over saturated in the way the fuccboi movement was, whereby brands like Primark and market stalls across the country were selling t-shirts and hats with ‘DOPE’ and ‘TRVP LXRD’ printed across them. The cheaper brands selling items that fit the Palewave aesthetic may not be made with the same quality as the higher bracket of clothing, but it will look pretty much the same and that’s the beauty of it all – anyone can achieve the Palewave look.
Palewave is clean, it’s fresh and it doesn’t look like you’re on our way to the Watch The Throne tour that happened 4 years ago. It’s time to drop the Been Trill, step away from the ‘Commes de Fuckdown’ beanie and burn the ‘Cocaine and Caviar’ tee. Get yourself some jeans that fit, a couple of crisp white tee’s and trainers and join the wave.