Techwear – an abbreviation of "technical wear" – is the term given to apparel and accessories which combine technical functionality with a futuristic aesthetic. Techwear clothing and accessories such as bags generally use innovative man-made fabrics and advanced construction techniques, to achieve advanced performance in areas such as breathability, movement, water-resistance, durability, carrying capacity, and comfort. The advanced nature of the fabrics and construction techniques used in these garments mean the clothing tends to have a high price point.
The principles of techwear draw on influences from three types of highly functional clothing: sportswear, military uniforms and outdoor apparel. Italian designer Massimo Osti is credited with being one of the early proponents of the techwear aesthetic.
Techwear tends to use a restricted colour palette, often black or shades of grey. The emphasis on practicality is what distinguishes it from other fashion subcultures which have aesthetic similarities.
One fashion industry site states that, "Techwear is on route to becoming the most status-conferring style right now."
Tech Wear (two words) was registered as a trade mark in the United States in 1995, in use since 1987, for "garments for effective discharge of static electricity from persons to ground, namely smocks, lab coats, shirts, jackets, aprons and sleeve protectors"
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- Official Gazette of the United States Patent and Trademark Office: Trademarks. U.S. Department of Commerce, Patent and Trademark Office. November 28, 1995. p. TM 158.