What is Techwear? Futuristic Fashion with Function

What is Techwear? Futuristic Fashion with Function

From Margiela duvet coats to futuristic and post-apocalypse-inspired Yeezy clothing, apparel is moving towards the future.  At first glance, you would think you were system-hopping in the Star Wars Universe, but techwear has more to offer than just its looks. Techwear is designed for anyone who needs performance, comfort, and functionality in clothing (meaning everyone!). So if the Mandalorian’s Baby Yoda has techwear lined up for his wardrobe, why can’t you? Luckily, we’ve got the best introduction to techwear guide to help you get what you need according to your personal style.

Photo by Cameron Venti on Unsplash


Techwear is made of technical fabrics and one-of-a-kind construction methods to bring functionality and freedom of movement into clothing. This futuristic clothing style belongs to the category that blends material science, aesthetics, and utility. Techwear is the tool that brings form and function into life.


Cyberpunk art, military accents, and sci-fi references (think Blade Runner, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, and more works by Mel Gibson) influence the techwear aesthetic. The design develops from various brand connections and ideas, trademarked by clever cutouts, majorly black and gray tones, and protective layering. Techwear displays deconstructed asymmetrical cuts and a monolithic silhouette.


Techwear is otherwise called technical wear or technical clothing. The meaning roots from designing clothes for performance and using technical fabrics (fabrics with technical properties for a specific purpose).


Many innovators contributed to the advent of techwear. Material technologies, design principles, and construction techniques evolved and shifted the way clothing is made. While several pioneers made their impact, we’ve got you a gist of significant milestones in technology and performance that shaped techwear.


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Photo by Ryan Plomp on Unsplash

Bob Gore discovered ePTFE in 1969 and commercialized GORE-TEX fabric in 1976. This technical fabric resists liquid but lets vapor slip away –  making it waterproof yet highly breathable. With the introduction of Gore-Tex into apparel, space-grade suits were made accessible to the public.

In the same decade, garment engineer and designer Massimo Osti invented his infamous dyeing technique, Raso Gommato. His other inventions like the Ice Jacket, Reflective, and Tecnowool continue to influence the world of fabrics to this day. Since a wide range of options was made available to the market, fashion brands from Zegna to Prada incorporated high-quality and hi-tech textiles in the following decades.


Hiking backpack and a red Patagonia jacket for outdoor sports
Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

The invention of technical fabrics and methods in the 1970s changed the game for clothing. Mountaineers needed protective gear, which should allow for unrestricted movement while climbing in different weather conditions. Refashioned tailoring, textile innovations, and high-tech functionality created a shift from the conventional way of making clothes. Brands like The North Face and Patagonia have long been making apparel best suited for outdoor ventures. Sportswear brands like Nike designed clothes for specific sports. Jackets became lightweight and weatherproof, while shoes had responsive cushioned soles. Pants and shirts became water repellent and breathable.

Gone are heavy fabrics and tight moisture-sucking pants worn on the majority of your urban ventures. Techwear merges functionality and performance while bringing you comfort. Brands have adapted to this phenomenon and infused hi-tech functionality with avant-garde principles and various aesthetics references. The collaboration of sportswear companies with these brands makes techwear attainable by the mass. Nike ACG models this concept. The Urban techwear movement is the response to the emergence of materials technology within the fashion industry. Thus, this tech fashion brings aesthetics and utility to your daily pursuits. 

The subculture regained traction in 2020 with the emergence of the global pandemic. Face masks and face shields are now an essential accessory of the entire population’s apparel. As a result, techwear google searches hiked up by October 2020. For techwear enthusiasts, face masks completed the tech fashion – making them look the part while being socially sensitive.



Anyone who finds cool techwear outfits might get intimidated to try them at first glance. Casual techwear is a straightforward take on this fashion subculture. You don’t need all your outfit pieces to be “techwear” to dress techwear. In fact, making a cohesive attire out of all the items can be more difficult. Popularly known as performance men’s wear, this tech fashion style accompanies you for everyday activities or leisure with the right technical integrations. Cop a long oversized techwear coat for colder days and complete a formal look with a monolithic silhouette. Opt for a casual look with a solid color top on warmer days or a black techwear jacket for cooler ones. Pair it with a minimalist crossbody bag to store your essentials, and you’re good to go. Casual techwear helps get rid of inconvenience by providing you with utility and protection. If you don’t know where to start, try going for techwear pants and get a taste of the real benefits of techwear – breathable and wearable protective apparel for maximum mobility.


If you love adventure or simply want to feel fresh at work, try outdoor techwear. This techwear fashion is designed for mountaineers, runners, sports sailors, and other sports enthusiasts. Ever come across someone rocking Pit Viper sunglasses while doing extreme sports? A pair of techwear adjustable sunglasses is the ideal protective accessory from harmful UV rays during your adventure (even on the way to work). Hiking backpacks assist you in the journey with adequate compartments and technical integrations. Outdoor techwear includes utilitarian details to give you unlimited movement and a functional outfit for extreme sports or simple endeavors. Athletic wear brands make techwear accessible to the public by providing comfortable and breathable techwear targeting specific sports. People use these well-designed clothing for everyday use, which makes perfect sense! Why wouldn’t you want to feel at ease for the bulk of your day when techwear could bring you much convenience?


Do sci-fi, neon color schemes, and manga suit your vibe? If yes, opt for cyberpunk techwear. This techwear style takes inspiration from video games, anime, and cyberpunk aesthetics to create that hi-tech look. Cyberpunk techwear has a futuristic design with science fiction and dystopian themes. Thus, outfits are majorly used in cosplay rather than your regular daily ventures. Nonetheless, there are no rules to fashion. Even when you go all out with an LED cyberpunk helmet (it’s really not all in your head – pun intended!). Cyberpunk is the way to get colorful with your techwear art. For a daily getup, tone it down with a reflective lightning hoodie. Ladies, own your punk persona on a more casual day with reflective details on loose techwear cargo pants or mini overalls. Add more character (and protection) to that techcore fashion with futuristic face shield glasses or techwear ninja gloves. Complete the fit with a bomb hairstyle. You’ve got yourself geared up to battle the day like you would in the cyberpunk universe.


If you’re living for the grunge and streetwear style but want to take it up a notch with some cyberpunk aesthetic, go for urban techwear. This techwear style accompanies you in your city pursuits with urban and futuristic design. Urban techwear takes up Asian culture references (think ninjas, kimonos, Japanese prints, and hi-tech masks). Color schemes range from black-and-gray-dominant dark tones to the occasional white. You can go bold in either extremity: loud visuals with asymmetrical cutouts or minimal aesthetics with clever details. The key is reflecting your personality while using items that you need. Go for women’s techwear pants with a wide leg for that street techwear aesthetic and maximum comfort. Opt for a solid black Harajuku dress to step it up with some Asian street style inspo. Get that male urban techwear look with a streetwear hoodie and techwear cargo pants. Head out with an adjustable and multifunctional techwear crossbody bag to store your essentials – and you’re ready to face the rest of your day.


Black Techwear is for those who love the Matrix and bold military-style utilitarian outfits. These outfits are influenced by black operations and military and outdoor gear.  Fortunately, it doesn’t take so much thinking to look the part. Cargo pants are your essential black techwear item. It has strategic pockets and comfortability if you want that top-tier functionality incorporated into your attire. If you’re into darkwear fits or black operations-inspired fashion inclined on aesthetics, take it to the next level with tech gear like military-inspired vests.



The outerwear forms a techwear attire. Style an outfit with a functional and warm techwear winter jacket for colder seasons and windbreakers for moderately cool days. Learn about which size fits you and add room for the middle layering. Techwear for big sizes is made easier once you know your measurements. Aside from appeal, technical integrations like water resistance, durability, breathability, and ease of mobility polish the tech outfit.


Nothing beats the good ol’ tee in warm seasons. Aesthetics and functionality should fit your environment. Anything breathable while providing adequate protection gets the job done. For cooler days, add a techwear hoodie for a middle layer. When it comes to the functional benefits, going overboard with the technicalities isn’t necessary lest you opt for a design that suits you well.


The simplest way to style a techwear outfit is to wear techwear pants. Cargo pants are the best option if you’re trying the fashion out. Not only are the details and utility on point, but the military-look cops a futuristic twist. Match with monochromatic boots or sneakers of your choice to finish the look.


Wearing comfortable and cushioned sneakers or boots throughout the day is as straightforward as techwear fashion could get. Go for the basic monochrome or step it up with functional and aesthetic zips, explorative color schemes, or hi-tech and protective materials.


Get you a techwear accessory that resonates with you. If you’re looking for something to emphasize your style, opt for a hat or print socks. Carry what you need with multifunctional bags with a roomful of storage.

While techwear does get technical, technology is just one part of the equation. You have the freedom to get creative, have fun, and stay true to your personal style. So whenever you try on something new, don’t ask if it necessarily fits the techwear definition. If that jacket on the rack fits you and your taste, get it on and loosen up (literally and figuratively!) – you look the coolest when you feel comfortable and confident in what you wear.

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