High street fashion is the type of fashion that is worn daily by the majority of people in the public, instead of purely catwalk-inspired couture. This type of clothing is typically available to most people in their everyday shopping stores, whereas clothing from haute couture fashion shows is exclusive and spotted on celebrities. High street fashion brings fashion to the everyday person, adapting it from the luxury catwalk scene.
History of High Street Fashion
High street fashion has been around for many years, gaining traction in the 1970s and 1980s, mainly in the United Kingdom, where streetwear was influenced by the punk movement. This style was heavily reflective of the countercultural movement at the time and pushed the boundaries of what fashion was available to the masses.
In the mid-1980s, the rise of high street fashion saw the appearance of so-called ‘power suits’ – matching jackets, trousers, and accessories most famously seen on English Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. This look was very popular with working women and was adopted by fashion houses such as Armani and Chanel.
The 1990s saw the birth of more casual styles of streetwear and fashion, popularized by the grunge movement. This era saw the arrival of urban style clothing, such as baggy trousers, sports luxe, and logo tees. The industry itself witnessed the development of brands like Nike, Adidas, and Puma and the introduction of new fabrics such as Lycra.
Today, high street fashion is seen in the majority of clothing stores and includes athleisure and leisurewear, with many brands designing collections around vintage styles or modern favourites.
What Makes High Street Fashion Different from Luxury Designer Wear?
One of the most obvious differences between high street fashion and luxury designer wear is the price tag. While designer clothing has glamour and expensive fabrics, high street fashion offers the same style but at more attainable prices.
High street fashion also aims to provide stylish clothing to the masses and generally targets the current trends that are popular in the fashion industry. Luxury designer wear, on the other hand, creates something that is unique and exclusive to the catwalk and its wearer.
Another distinction between high street fashion and designer wear is the influence taken from cultural movements. High street fashion often mimics the latest trends and designer clothing has the flexibility to be experimental with trend forecasting, enabling them to stand out from the crowd. Designer wear usually takes political movements into consideration and may even be accompanied by a message or ethical cause.
Benefits of High Street Fashion
High street fashion offers a number of benefits over luxury designer wear, as it is affordable, diverse, and available to everyone. Here are just some of the reasons why people love high street fashion:
• Price: High street fashion is much more accessible in terms of price, allowing more people to buy the latest trends and styles.
• Diversity: With a number of different stores offering different takes on the same styles, it allows shoppers to find something that truly fits their individual style.
• Sustainable: With the rising trend of ethical fashion, high street fashion is much more sustainable and thoughtful when it comes to its production; it is mass-produced and uses less resources than luxury designer wear.
• Accessible: High street fashion is readily available in stores, online, and on the high street, making it incredibly accessible for everyone.
New Directions for High Street Fashion
High street fashion is constantly evolving and has recently taken inspiration from streetwear and current trends, such as oversized clothing, athleisure and statement sweatshirts. This type of fashion also has more colour, allowing people to experiment and express their own style.
Stores are also including a much larger range of sizes, making them more inclusive to customers who have previously been neglected. High street fashion stores are also increasingly catering to a younger audience, with brands like Zara, H&M and Topshop providing the latest trends that are in demand.
High street fashion is the type of fashion that is worn daily by the majority of people in the public instead of solely catwalk-inspired couture. It has been around for many years, gaining traction initially in the 1970s. This type of fashion is affordable, diverse, and available to everyone. It has recently taken inspiration from streetwear and current trends, such as oversized clothing, athleisure and statement sweatshirts, creating a unique style for everyone. High street fashion has become increasingly popular and forward-thinking, creating a more accessible and inclusive fashion market for all.