Hip-Hop Fashion: Can You Rock it Like This

RUN DMC look | Hip-hop fashion | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Thank God I'm Natural

An individualist at heart, I love to check the time period fashion is in and then give it my own twist. In the last month especially, hip-hop fashion from the 80’s has been catching my eye. I even busted out an old Run-DMC album recently, which told me where my inspiration was starting to head. The icing on the cake was this last weekend, when I sat down to watch Netflix’s new documentary, “Hip-Hop Evolution“. !!

B-Boys Makin’ With the Freak Freak

The documentary takes you through a joyous ride as the host speaks with the pioneers of the music genre.  Being a music fanatic and a fashion junkie, I was jumping through the roof once they got to the 80’s and 90’s.  I clearly remember how stoked I was when “Walk This Way” first aired on MTV.  Talk about OBSESSED with the Beastie Boys and I had huge posters of them on my wall up through college.  I transitioned right along with the masses into Death Row and gangster rap.  Ah, suburban white girl, riding the train of magical hip-hop mainstream.

Run-DMC the ultimate hip-hop fashion inspiration from the 80's | Girlfriend is Better
Boyfriends: Run-DMC | Photo courtesy: Black History Album
The Beastie Boys | Hip-hop fashion icons from the 80's and 90's | Girlfriend is Better
Boyfriends: The Beastie Boys | Photo courtesy: humungus.tumblr.com

Hip-Hop Fashion Be Illin’

As much as I loved it, I was surprised that the documentary kind of stops there. It doesn’t really branch too much more into the 90’s. As much as I LOVE Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Ice Cube, I also felt a little lack of coverage for females in the mix. Let’s examine hip-hop fashion inspired by all of these amazing artists. I’ll mix in vintage images with current trends and hopefully you’ll get inspired to change up your look!  Start small with a label tee, or hat, and that’s still cool.

Run-DMC sweatshirt | 90's hip-hop fashion | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: snoblak
Missy Elliott + Madonna Gap ad | 90's hip-hop fashion | Girlfriend is Better
Girlfriends: Missy Elliott + Madonna | Photo courtesy: Getty Images

My Adidas

When Run-DMC came on the scene, they were always stomping around in white Adidas shoes with no laces. Pair yours with fishnet tights, or go full-out with an Adidas track suit. I think it would be coolest to stick with the three-stripes look, but you can modernize it with one of their patterned versions. Why not?

Adidas gear hip-hop fashion | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: omgoldness.tumblr.com

Firebird Track Pants | Hip-hop fashion | AdidasGet the Look! Track suits and three striped gear from Adidas.  These iconic pants are currently on sale for $49!

Adidas gear is perfect 80's hip-hop fashion | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: otakugangsta.com
Adidas + Puma | Hip-hop fashion from the 80's and 90's | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Jesse Maricic & Micah Gianneli

Kangol Hats

Take parts of the old school 80’s and 90’s style and incorporate them into any outfit. Kangol hats are essential to old school hip-hop fashion. The bucket hat looks especially smashing with a bomber. Do the same thing here – stick with the O.G. bucket hat or change it up with one of their newer styles.  The point for some of these fashion items lies within the label itself.  So you can do your own thing, per usual.

Kangol hat + bomber jacket | 80's hip-hop fashion guide | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Who What Wear
Hip-hop fashion from the 80's | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: moonshineeeeee

Gold Chainz

If you can find one gold chain necklace that is more than 1″ thick, you are officially a rock star. Alternatively, get the effect by layering multiple gold chains. The thicker the better. I remember seeing Nelly Furtado in her “Turn off the Light” video pulling this look off perfectly.

Gold chains + Adidas | Hip-hop fashion from the 80's | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: LiLGeekette
Layer gold chains for an 80's hip-hop fashion DO | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: WordPress.com

Cazal Glasses

These are anything but square, man. If I was going to drop some cash on the look, I would head straight to the Cazal vintage shop and find myself a pair of square glasses. Darryl McDaniels (D.M.C) popularized the minimalist brand and hip-hop stars are still wearing it today. Gorgeous! They’re all in the $500 range, so ballers only.

Jamel Shabazz photographer | Cazal glasses 80's hip-hop fashion | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Jamel Shabazz

Side note: Love this photo? Check out Jamel Shabazz for tons and tons of street photography in 80’s NYC for more inspiration.

Cazal sunglasses for the hip-hop fashion splurge | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Jesse Maricic & Micah Gianneli

Track Jackets

I played on the volleyball team during these years, and we were quite a crew! We would listen to the artists above and Salt N’ Pepa, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, and more. Our track jackets were the best part of our uniform and they were CLASSIC 80’s hip-hop fashion. These are best found vintage, so look for them in teal, especially.

Vintage track jackets | 80's hip-hop fashion | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Joshua Arias Photography

90's jacket | hip hop fashion | RagstockGet the Look! Vintage track jackets from Ragstock.  Super legit and this one is only $24.99.

Track jackets perfect 80' and 90's hip-hop fashion | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: AFRODESIAC ETHNIC WOMEN OF CULTURE WORLDWIDE

Over-sized Bomber Jackets

As we started to head into the 90’s over-sized clothing started to be cool thanks to hip-hop fashion. Salt N’ Pepa rocked the over-sized bomber jackets and TLC brought in wide-cut pants. As with any over-sized top, they are best paired with leggings or shorts. We don’t want to lose you in there! For California winters, you can still get away with shorts if you pair them with fishnets, I’d say.

Over-sized bomber jacket | Hip-hop fashion of the 90's Honey of California ZINE
Photo courtesy: Keith Haring Foundation
Salt N' Pepa | 80's hip-hop fashion inspiration | Girlfriend is Better
Girlfriends: Salt N’ Pepa | Photo courtesy: New York Magazine
Music Alert! Take this look to the dance floor where it belongs. Klangkeunstler mashes hip-hop with deep house perfectly. Please break dance or at least do a robot at one point.
Press “Listen in Browser” to play immediately.
Rihanna shows here Salt N' Pepa bomber style | 90's hip-hop fashion | Girlfriend is Better
Girlfriend: Rihanna | Photo courtesy: Global Grind
Over-sized bomber jackets | Hip-hop fashion from the 90's | Honey of California ZINE
Photo courtesy: weheartit.com

Overalls and bare midriffs

Okay, let’s take a look at overalls. These were definitely more of an early 90’s look and were best paired with tube tops or bra tops.  Second to the overalls was the bare midriff and athletic gear.  Female artists such as TLC and Aaliyah made this look popular.  Aaliyah had that Tommy Hilfiger going from top to bottom!

Overalls complete 90's hip-hop fashion | Honey of California ZINE
Honey celebrity: Rihanna | Photo courtesy: Globalgrind
Aaliyah in Tommy Hilfiger gear | 90's hip-hop fashion guide | Girlfriend is Better
Girfriend: Aaliyah | Photo courtesy: Vibe Vixen

ommy Jeans For UO '90s Bomber Jacket | Hip-hop fashion | Urban OutfittersGet the Look! Tommy Hilfiger gear at Urban Outfitters. They’ve got the overalls, too.

TLC 90's hip-hop fashion inspiration | Girlfriend is Better
Girlfriends: TLC | Photo courtesy: Jeff Kravitz

Natural African American Beauty

As I got a little older, I started getting into Lauryn Hill, Black-Eyed Peas (pre-Fergie days), and De La Soul. I loved their eclectic sampling and smoother melodies. Hip-hop fashion started to take more of a grown-up look and natural afros abounded. Erykah Badu and Queen Latifah added grace and beauty to the hip-hop scene.  Props to these strong and lovely ladies. xox

Lauryn Hill shows natural beauty is part of 90's hip-hop fashion | Girlfriend is Better
Girlfriend: Lauryn Hill | Photo courtesy: naturalblkgirlsrock.tumblr.com
Queen Latifah + Monie Love | Strong black women hip-hop fashion from the 90's | Girlfriend is Better
Girlfriends: Queen Latifah and Monie Love | Photo courtesy: Marcus Foggle

Ready or Not

So this is a fashion trend I’m NOT looking to couture brands to dictate. I just like seeing new things and following general trends in unique ways. Hip-hop fashion is the best way to make a statement, and sister – you’ve got something to say! If you do this look, PLEASE email a photo. I am dying to see.

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