Before today’s rappers boasted about wearing Balenciaga, Maison Martin Margiela, and Tom Ford, performers like Aaliyah, Tupac, and TLC were rocking snapbacks, baggy jeans, and high-top sneakers in the ‘90s, revolutionizing the hip-hop fashion scene forever.
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No one was cooler than Will Smith’s Fresh Prince, who brought neon and Nike Jordans to Bel-Air, or In Living Color’s Fly Girls troupe, who danced to Wreckx-n-Effect’s “Rump Shaker” in tribal prints and crop tops. The decade’s influence is undeniable, inspiring Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, and Cara Delevingne to adopt this colorful, edgy style as their own recently. As such, we thought it was time to give your wardrobe a hit of fly appeal, so click through our slideshow to see how to look fresh all summer long.
R&B singer Aaliyah helped popularize the sultry tomboy look in sports bras and slouchy pants. Cyrus nails it in a KTZ Poet Embroidered Short Bomber Jacket ($276), T By Alexander Wang Leather Bralette ($375) and Ashish pants (which are half-sweatpants, half-denim) from the S/S 13 collection.
Photo credit: FameFlynetUK/FAMEFLYNET PICTURES
Ora’s Katie Eary splashy Blue Seas Silk Shirt ($752) and matching skirt would have made Fly Girls like Jennifer Lopez and Carrie Ann Inaba proud.
Commit to the overall look by styling Vision Streetwear’s Graffiti Print Tee ($60) in Multi with slouchy leather trousers.
Luxe, over-the-top clothes had a place alongside urban streetwear in hip-hop too. Remember Biggie’s Versace shades in his “One More Chance” video? Versus’ Printed Pants ($395) in Black Background offer the perfect homage to the late rapper.
Heavy gold chains were a style staple (everyone from P. Diddy to the members of N.W.A. were rarely spotted without them). We like Tom Binns’ take in the form of his statement-making Uber Urban Respect Necklace ($787).
Anyone who’s ever caught an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air recalls Will Smith in an assortment of vibrant bomber jackets or windbreakers. We suggest snagging 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Embroidered Techno Jersey Bomber Jacket ($1395) in Multi-Blue for an equally punchy, fashion-forward look.
On the opposite spectrum of all the tomboy fashion in ‘90s hip-hop? Fly Girl style, which included sequined minis, leather bustiers, and body-conscious pieces, like Sparkle & Fade’s Mesh Block Bodysuit ($39).
We can’t get enough of the luxe quilting and gold accents (including a very appropriate chain strap!) on Lulu Guinness’ Small Patent Leather Clutch ($390).
Watch any of Snoop Dogg’s classic videos, from “Gin and Juice” to “Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang”, and you’ll find him in baggy jeans. Avoid the sag but get just the right amount of slouch in the form of Current/Elliott’s The Boyfriend Jeans ($206) in Super Loved.
If you were a hip-hop act in the ‘90s--male or female--you flaunted brands like Nike and Adidas regularly. Display the latter’s famous three-stripe symbol with the Adilette Slides ($30) in Black/White.