Hip Hop Fashion and Style
Even though men’s fashion is more understated than women’s fashion, it is still very important. You may not hear about it as much, or see as many ads with men as the fashion models, but fashion IS a man’s world too, especially in the realm of hip hop.
Men’s clothing has changed over the years, but there are a few staples that have not really changed. The b-boys know what they are. Baseball caps, under tees, t-shirts, loose fitting jeans and white sneakers seem as if they will never go out of style.
Of course, as with anything (especially fashions) even the most classic things get updated. New color schemes and textures come into play. Right now you see a lot of bright, almost neon colors, whereas in the early 90’s it was blacks, reds, and greens, and other muted primary color, a tribute to the colors of Africa. In the 80’s, the beginning of hip hop, it was black and leather.
Baseball caps are not just a hip hopstyle, but an American classic that will never go away. The only thing that has changed is the fact that an actual baseball team need not be advertised on the hat. They can be plain, make a political statement, or have a brand or band logo on them. They are in fact a major money maker for many hip trend clothing labels.
Plain white undershirts are worn by many more people than people in the hip hop world as well, but rock bands made it popular to wear them alone. Many a woman will tell you that it looks very sexy to see a man in nothing more than a clean white under tank, or “wife-beater”, jeans, and white sneakers on.
The t-shirt is another American classic that has been commandeered by the hip hop world. Many people think of tees as strictly casual, but the world of fashion knows how to dress them up. Matching your t-shirt to your hat and shoes is, and has been for some time, quite popular in hip hop. Tees come in varieties never thought possible and aren’t just casual any longer. Every major clothing brand has a plethora of tee shirts available to choose from.
While loose fitting pants are still “in”, they should not be as loose as they have been worn in the past. In the 1990’s, it was not uncommon to see a man walking down the streets with his pants so low that most of his boxer shorts were showing. Now, to wear your pants that way is generally considered tacky, and isn’t seen much anymore. It is, however, acceptable and stylish for the top band of boxers to be seen above the tops of pants.
The most common type of footwear in this trend is white sneakers. Nothing can beat them; they go with everything, and are best if kept spotlessly clean. Some famous artists have been known to walk very gingerly in their shoes so as to keep them clean and not crease them in any way. The sneakers do not need to be white, though. Sneakers today come in every available color scheme, and are carefully matched by the fashionable man to his hat, shirt, or both.
Men’s fashion may have fewer choices than women’s and not be as stressed in our society, but it is far from obsolete. It is just not as public. Hip hop clothing is no different. It is a spectrum. The men of hip hop can make looking put together an art, without it being girlish at all, using the above staple items. Yet, even the most low maintenance man already owns gear considered by many to be “hip hop”.