Streetwear has seen a major breakthrough in everyday fashion in recent years, and as high-tech fabric is no longer exclusive to the gym, designers are applying it to every form of clothing. Whether it has something to do with rise of athleisure or the demand for longer-wearing, functional pieces, the rise of technical fabrics is changing the style game.

Technical clothing comes in many fabrications and has different performance functions, so if you don’t quite understand exactly what you should look for in high-performance gear, listen up.


One of the most recognised technical fabrics, Neoprene is most commonly seen in wetsuits. Becoming increasingly popular by designers and labels in recent years, Neoprene is heat and weather resistant, waterproof and is an excellent insulator, thanks to its foam texture. Meaning it will keep you super warm and won’t disintegrate.

Neil Barrett Geometric-Inset Neoprene Sweatshirt / $690 AUD SHOP NOW
Kenzo Black Neoprene Tiger Backpack / $285 USD SHOP NOW
Diesel Black Gold White Leather & Neoprene Sneakers / $350 USD SHOP NOW


Gore-Tex was accidentally invented by Wilbert L. Gore in 1969, and like neoprene, it is microporous and is waterproof, windproof but also breathable. The main difference between the two, is that Gore-Tex is much thinner.

The porous membrane is enclosed in a high-performance lining, which allows you to be warm and dry in the rain but if you end up hot and sweating, the fabric will wick moisture away from your body. Gore-Tex is the perfect, all-weather fabric.

Herno Tech-Poplin Bomber Jacket / $409 USD SHOP NOW
Adidas Originals White EQT Support 93/17 GTX Sneakers / $195 USD SHOP NOW
The North Face Black Down Cryos GTX Expedition Bomber Jacket / $950 USD SHOP NOW


A trademarked product developed by Ermenegildo Zegna, Techmerino fabric allow the garments to be gently washed at 30 degrees without altering the wear, performance or quality of your suit. Made from biodegradable certified Merino wool via a controlled sustainable production – this fabric is responsible in respecting both the environment and your dry cleaning bills.

Z Zegna Techmerino Wash and Go Blue Suit / $2,355 AUD SHOP NOW

Rubberised Cotton

While it may sound slightly bizarre on paper, rubberised cotton has been around since its invention by Charles Mackintosh. It was originally sticky with a strong smell, but fast-forward a few hundred years, modern versions involve bonding flexible rubber to a cotton base. The result is a high-quality, waterproof material that is lightweight and sturdy.

Mackintosh 0002 Rubberised Cotton Trench Coat / $2,629 AUD SHOP NOW
Mackintosh 0002 Rubberised Cotton Wool-Blend Cropped Jacket / $1,095 AUD SHOP NOW
Burberry Belt Detail Check and Rubber Rain Boots / $605 AUD SHOP NOW


A favourite for high-street retailer Uniqlo, HeatTech is a technical spin on the old fashion thermals. Developed in partnership with Japanese textile specialist Toray Industries, HeatTech is made from a blend of cellulose and milk protein fibres, transforming excess moisture from the skin into heat. And the fabric is designed with anti-bacterial agents so you don’t have to worry about being smelly. Winner.

Uniqlo HeatTech V Neck T-Shirt Long Sleeve / $20 AUD SHOP NOW
Uniqlo HeatTech Long Johns / $20 AUD SHOP NOW
Uniqlo HeatTech Crew Neck T-Shirt / $15 AUD SHOP NOW


Most commonly found on the bottom of sneakers, Polyurethane was developed in 1937 in Germany and is now used on a number of styles thanks to its ability to be compressed down to thin textiles. Both hardwearing yet lightweight, this material is waterproof, abrasion-resistant and won’t loose its shape.

Dsqaured2 Icon Logo Sneakers / $677 AUD SHOP NOW
Jil Sander Plastic Raincoat / $1,640 AUD SHOP NOW
Kenzo Signature Print Clutch Bag / $210 AUD SHOP NOW

Cover Image: Instagram @marcforne