Hip Hop clothing Style

A guide to Hip Hop fashion, its history, elements, and how to incorporate it into your own style.

hip-hop clothing

To know all about hip-hop clothing you needn’t go far. If you walk down an American street you will see lots of people wearing oversized T-shirts, hooded sweatshirts or coats, low-slung pants with lots of extras hanging down, and hip hop caps – all of them looking super ‘cool’. The rap-influenced fashion has integrated itself into mainstream fashion, slowly but steadily. It is not wrong to say that hip-hop clothing is an emotion for a lot of people around the world. 

Other than the obvious special music style including rapping, hip hop culture is closely associated with elements like break dancing (b-boying), DJ-ing, MC-ing, graffiti, a particular style of slang language and a special style of street wear. 

Hip Hop Fashion History

Hip hop music genre started among the young Urban working class African Americans and Latinos as a mix of different music styles like jazz, soul, gospel, and reggae. The music genre is said to have been conceived in 1973 by Kool DJ of New York’s South Bronx. The term Hip Hop was first coined by Keith “Cowboy” ( Stage name of artist Robert Keith Wiggins, a member of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five) in 1978. The 1980s and 1990s were the heydays of hip hop. A-list hip hop artists like Ice cube, Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg, Tupac , Biggie, Jam Master Jay established hip hop as a very important music movement around the world. 

Today it has become a part of the urban culture of all of America and also of the world. It is not longer restricted to a particular section of society. Internationally acclaimed and influential hip-hop artists like Jay Z, Eminem, Kanye west, Lil Wayne,  Wiz Khalifa,  Minaj, Drake are household names. All the bad rep that the hip hop culure has got because of associations with violence, drug abuse, etc. are forgotten in the evergreen pulses of rap music. 

Hip-hop clothing

The clothing style has evolved a lot from the 1970s when it first came into existence. In the 1980’s hip hop clothing style included sneakers and lots of gold chains. In the late 1980s, the style included MC hammer genie pants (harem pants). In the 1990s baggy jeans and Anti-fit jeans came to be the style.

Today, a lot of Hip hop clothing can be termed as high-end luxury street wear, a big difference from the time of its emergence. A lot of brands like Gucci, Adidas, Reebok, Nike, Burberry, Troops and British Knights started to appeal to the hip-hop enthusiasts. Many of these brands began to partner with Hip-Hop artists. Exclusive hip-hop brands like Sean John, Cross Colors, Mecca, Walker Wear, and Karl Kani cater to the needs of the youth who want to be associated with the evergreen hip-hop culture.

What to buy if you want to dress in hip-hop style?

hip hop clothing

Loose pants

This included Baggy hip hop pants, Low-slung jeans and track pants of big brands like Addidas.

hiphop clothiing

Rapper t-shirts & sweatshirts


Usually, this is a graphic print oversized t-shirt or Long line t-shirts in black are with long sleeves.

Bomber jackets / Padded nylon or leather jackets

hip hop


Baseball caps

Learn more about hip hop culture: Documentary  “Fresh Dressed,” the history of hip-hop fashion ; Book ‘Flyboy in the Buttermilk‘ published in 1986 by Greg Tate ; Book “Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Con
temporary America” by Tricia Rose.

Related post: Modern outfits in fashion ; Fashion subcultures

Girly fashion style; Punk fashion; Preppy fashion style; Boho bohemian fashion; Grunge fashion; Gothic fashion.

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.