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.
What You Need to Get Cara Delevingne's '90s Fly Girl Look
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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.
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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.
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Ashish S/S 13
Ashish’s collection was playfully irreverent and oh-so-‘90s, particularly the Oversized Shirt Dress With Sequined Numbers ($467) paired with denim shorts and sneakers.
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Balmain S/S 13
Door-knocker earrings, much like Balmain’s oversized Metal Circle Earrings ($322), were a trademark of hip-hip trio Salt-n-Pepa.
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Chunky chain-link jewelry and denim jacket elevates this stylephile’s white top and jeans.
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Aside from basketball shoes, rappers in the ‘90s favored lace-up boots. This street style muse gets it right in Dr. Martens paired with a vintage jersey and acid-wash jeans.
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The British model shows her love for the ‘90s--literally!--in Minkpink’s 90’s Tunic Tank ($46), lace-up sneakers, and, of course, a backwards baseball cap.
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Team Topshop’s Stripe Sleeve Sweatshirt ($45) in Green with a kicky skirt and Timberland boots.
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The more chains the better right? Slip on Sara Designs’ Woven Chain Wrap Watch ($328) in Black/Gold for a watch and cuff bracelet all in one.
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Your ensemble wouldn’t be complete without a pair of really cool black shades, such as Thierry Lasry’s Slutty Cat Eye Acetate Sunglasses ($564) in Black/White.
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Commit to the overall look by styling Vision Streetwear’s Graffiti Print Tee ($60) in Multi with slouchy leather trousers.
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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.
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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).
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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.
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Nike’s Blazer Mid Mesh High Top Sneakers ($145) in Black are classics that go with everything.
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Wear Bebe’s Chain & Stud Jewel Buckle Belt ($39) low on your waist over a ribbed tank top.
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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).
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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).
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Polish your outfit with Borsalino’s Baseball Quilted Faux Leather Hat ($137), worn backwards or titled to the side of course!
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We love the Versace-inspired feel of Nasty Gal’s Lion Medallion Earrings ($20).
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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.
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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.