When hip-hop’s burst onto the scene in the 80s and 90s (though it started a decade before), no one expected to reach the level of cultural saturation that it commands today. Hip-hop seeped into every aspect of modern living, from jingles, critically acclaimed cinema and of course, fashion. Fashion in all its bling-laden and expressive glory, with stars such as Pharrell, Kanye West and Jay-Z branding men athletic shoes and so much more.
What’s the hip-hop look then? It’s a mash of different sub-cultures, incorporating features from African-American and Latino traditions. It’s a whole look that encompasses the accessories you wear and the plain old clothes that you sport. Here are the six essential elements of the hip-hop look:
1. The Hip-Hop Style
This will be your biggest challenge. Every rapper’s got their look and the look trickles down into their clothing lines. Are you a Jay-Z or a Rihanna? You can mix and match too, and create a style of your own. That’s the beauty of hip-hop. But first, find a style to start with and only then put the individual clothing together.
2. The Hip-Hop Shoes
Now we’re talking. Arguably, the biggest fashion statement of the genre, almost everyone has worn a pair of hip-hop pumps at some point in their lives. Choose a pair of pumps that suit your personality and the clothes.
3. The Hip-Hop Accessories
What’s a hip-hop look with a hip hop necklace? Whatever some industry insiders might say about materialism, don’t push it too far and you’ll a real statement. Even with all of the in-you-face expression of hip-hop clothing, the bling is what’s the first to stand out. Make sure it says something about you.
4. The Hip-Hop Pants
Wear it baggy, wear it loose, but a little too much cockiness and you’ll be caught with your pants down. Your age matters too. The young have more leeway with clothing, but that doesn’t mean a grown man or woman can’t find their own adult voice in their clothing. Take a look at Jay-Z.
5. The Hip-Hop Tops
Jumpers, hoodies, shirts or polo? You’ve got decisions to make. Pick something that’s appropriate for the make of your body.
6. The Hip-Hop hat
Baseball caps are the norm when it comes to the mens hip hop hat, but you’ve got creative liberty here.
Get out there – buy the top, buy the hat, buy the shoes, buy the pants. But it isn’t worth nothing if you don’t have the confidence to sport it. Hip-hop’s about attitude. Gold snake necklaces can’t be worn by those who don’t know how to wear it. So get out there, get into the hip-hop look and prove that you’ve got the attitude to pull off the look.