90s Hip Hop Fashion Famous velour tracksuits, recognizable Timberlands, and a variety of baggy jeans and t-shirts are all staples. Hip-hop style from the 1990s evokes happy memories of what seems to have been a golden age.
Some of the most iconic designs from this significant decade dominated virtually everyone’s wardrobes for a very long time. The most well-known trend-setters of the era—from Run-D.M.C. and Queen Latifah to LL Cool J, N.W.A., and Aaliyah—shook up an entire era.
Rappers in the 1990s made the crossover from being artists to setting fashion trends. Leading figures like Ice Cube and Biggie Smalls contributed to the popularity of Timberland boots, hyper-buggy joggers, dungarees, and hoodies. With new sportswear from the late 1980s flooding the streets, New York City swiftly assumed centre stage. Films like 8 Mile, All Eyes On Me, and Straight Outta Compton present some of the most desirable looks this era has to offer for anyone who wants to see how authentic 90s hip-hop fashion ruled the scene.
90’s Hip-Hop Fashion: The Influences
Given its unique history, it should go without saying that Hip Hop fashion and style are a reflection of one’s inner style, identity, and what they stand for. One of hip hop’s most popular genres is gangsta rap, and by the mid-1990s, inmates’ and street thugs’ attire had had a significant impact on hip-hop fashion.
The prison, where belts were among the first items taken when newly arrived offenders were given their uniforms, had an influence on the common appearance of wearing baggy jeans without a belt. In New York City and the West Coast street culture, hoodies, paramilitary boots like Timberlands, and field jackets were in vogue. Additionally, Converse Chuck Taylors and flannel overskirts were staples of 90s hip-hop fashion.
90s Hip Hop fashion for women
Although women’s 90s fashion had previously been largely similar, there was a subtle split during the 1990s. However, like Da Brat, many women were on a mission to make industrial work trousers and Timberlands look a little bit more feminine with the use of barely-there makeup and some lip gloss. Baggy jeans, sunglasses, and military-style boots were still very much in style.
Later, Kimora Lee Simmons brought the ultra-glamorous 90s hip-hop fashion for women, in contrast to well-known figures like Eve and Lauryn Hill who continued to have a huge impact on millions of people with their more traditional yet distinctly feminine styles.
The popular platinum and silver jewelry of everyone was covered with a variety of blinks. At this time, platinum had mostly taken the place of gold, and the general public loved it!
How Hip-Hop Artists Styled Their Fashion Looks in the 1990s
90s hip pop fashion The legendary suede boot, which has a deep cultural background and rich legacy, must be included while discussing 90s fashion for both men and women. Yes, these boots were seen on every east coast hip-hop musician. Jay-Z, Biggie, Tupac, Mobbs Deep, and a host of other celebrities have all been spotted wearing suede boots. Timberland initially designed these styles with construction workers in mind, but by the mid-1990s, drug dealers in New York City were favoring them because they needed a sturdy and warm design to get them through the long nights of “work.”
Hip hop artists lived close to several drug dealers who influenced their sense of style in the 1990s while they were rapping about extreme real-life hardships like injustice and police violence in their neighborhoods.
The first “urban” buyers of Timberland boots, according to legend, were New York drug dealers who had to stand on the street all night and required the best footwear to keep them warm and dry. Rob Walker wrote about this in his book “Buying In,” which is full of social science studies, observations, and interviews.
More and more musicians, including Rihanna, Kanye West, and J. Lo, continue to wear Timberlands 6′′ today.
Baggy T-shirts & graffiti
90s hip pop fashion Baggy t-shirts come to mind when you think of 90s hip-hop fashion. Baggy tees, which are adored by both sexes equally, will always be a part of this icon era.
Almost all teenagers used to borrow their older brothers’ or cousins’ t-shirts. The uniform for the streets of New York City was a plain-colored t-shirt, oversized sweatpants, their go-to Timberlands, and a striking chain.
Graffiti was a well-known aspect of the culture and a unique means of artistic expression for people. Soon enough, t-shirts received the royal treatment alongside the trains, streets, and subways. Hip Hop culture was centred around vivid, striking colors, intricate designs, and pattern-filled clothing for a long time.
Although the baggy T-shirt trend was popular in the 1990s, today’s loose-fitted t-shirts are more commonly worn with straight-leg pants, cargo pants, and sweatpants as opposed to the ultra-oversized fit. Nevertheless, chains continue to be a classic piece of hip-hop clothing.
Paisley & Bandanas
Similar to Timberlands, bandanas dominated the hip-hop fashion scene in the 1990s.90s hip pop fashion Back in the day, the three most feared inner-city gangs, each of which had its own distinctive color, defined the most well-known hip-hop subgenres of gangsta rap. The Los Angeles-based gangs Bloods and Crips wore the colors red and blue, while the Latino gang Latin Kings, which originated in Chicago, wore the colors black and gold.
Paisley bandanas represented their ties to the other members of the group for each of these three gangs. The colors of a rapper’s gang remained to “dress” him even after he achieved substantial musical success. Everyone from Aaliyah to Tupac has been seen sporting a paisley bandana, although some were more noticeable than others.
These days, bandanas can be worn in a variety of ways, including typically, traditionally wrapped around a purse handle, and tied around the wrist. In addition, some women use them as a hair decoration by wrapping them around their ponytails.
Bucket Hat/Kangol hats
In the 1980s and 1990s, when LL Cool J wore his favorite Kangol hat, he undoubtedly had no idea of its fame. As seen in the majority of his music videos, these hats provided the perfect finishing touch for each outfit, and the 90s Hip-hop fashion scene was quick to take notice. In response to the fashion, Ice Cube said in F. Gary Gray’s Straight Outta Compton, “Wearing Kangal don’t make you LL Cool J.” The rapper was frequently spotted wearing his Kangol hats with a PUMA t-shirt and bulky gold chains.
90s hip pop fashion Bucket hats were Kangal’s younger sibling, but they had a much lower price tag. The latter fashion is less common today, but almost everyone owns at least one bucket hat.
Today, both men and women wear bucket hats with tracksuits and other types of streetwear.
Plaid Shirts and jackets
90s hip pop fashion Every American man’s wardrobe should include a check flannel shirt, but these shirts and jackets once held the absolute throne. These oversized designs dominated 90s hip-hop fashion, and Snoop Dog has frequently been seen wearing his favorite style. Having made a comeback in 2021, flannels can now be worn with anything from jeans and denim skirts to hoodies, t-shirts, and dresses.
In the 1990s, a lot of hip-hop artists followed the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s lead and wore dungarees. Similar to the Timbs, this style was also created with workers in mind, but instead of remaining a protective garment, it has become completely hip-hop-inspired from the 1990s. These denim ensembles have been seen on well-known performers like TLC, Will Smith, Tupac, and The Fugees.