A look at the 80s’ hip-hop fashion


As we wrote down in our mindmap, hip-hop fashion is super important for hip-hop culture.

They LOVED loosed jeans and bling-bling jewellery!


Hip-hop in the eighties, like jazz, was a manifestation of the development of black culture who’s lineage goes back to Africa. It was, and still is, a medium by which disadvantaged urban black artists could express their creativity.

It encompassed many forms such as dance, m.c.-ing, rap, performance poetry, graffiti and can be considered a genre, rather than just a trend. Hip-hop fashion was inspired originally by the artists themselves, rather than designers. For this reason, there is not a single ‘uniform’, more a collection of elements that can be adhered to to a greater or lesser extent by individuals. There are no rules to the hip-hop look.

Early on in the 80s, the main form hip-hop took was dance, especially breakdance, so people wore clothes that were comfortable to dance in. Loose trousers, with braces, trainers, loose colourful t-shirts. A subversion of the military look was also strongly evident.

As hip-hop developed these principles became more stylised and individually important figures such as Run DMC brought in new elements, such as black leather and hefty gold jewelry. This is a continuing process because the whole point about hip-hop is that it is not a dogma, but a means of individual expression.

All the way through the 80s hip-hop fashion had a strong Afro-centred flavour, including African print, rasta colours and dreadlocks. The other major element was branded sportswear which became enormously popular both within and outside of the hip-hop phenomena.

So out of this rather confusing set of elements, how would you go about putting together an authentic 80s hip-hop look? Well, first of all it would help to be black and to have a strong awareness of black history and culture in America. Second, a rule of thumb is ‘big, baggy and branded’

You can go for the sporty look, colourful branded tracksuits with open matching trainers. Individual baggy t-shirts, and jeans with huge legs always work. Alternatively you can go for the Run DMC style of baggy black leather, black t’s, leather shoes, dark glasses (big and branded of course).

If you have African hair you have an advantage because you can go for jerry curls or dreadlocks. In any case a sculpted crew-cut with embellishments such as patterns shaved into it is possible with any hair. Baseball caps and Kangol hats are also worth trying.

To really finish off your look you need to have plenty of heavy gold, or gold effect, jewelry. Big ropes of chains, fat rings. The point is to show how successful hip-hop culture has become.

Most importantly, listen to the music, the poetry, hear what hip-hop was trying to express in the 80s, let it seep into you, let it become part of you. Express yourself.

written by Briar Shaw



Hip Hop culture was a mixture of rap, break dancing, graffiti and DJing.

When you think of Hip Hop fashions you may think of the over sized brand name clothing that was worn on MTV or rap videos, but the eighties was full of differentstyle and some of the
Hip Hop fashions of the eighties included, Adidas jump suits, thick laced puma sneakers, stylish sweatshirts, tight fitting jeans, multi fingered rings, thick gold chains, kangol, jheri curls, glitter, lots of make-up, being creative was the important thing and the hip hop music. Fashion and culture was called a fad though out the eighties and part of the nineties.

The fashions of this Hip hop era have also had a great influence on cultures around the world.
When the eighties fashions introduced hip hop culture, the punk fashions and the yuppie movement also emerged.

Multicolored Mohawks, bleached hair, short spiky hair, Punk was all about rebelling against any and all social structures. The less the real reason to rebel the more punk they were.

The yuppie ladies wore the spike bangs, heavy make-up, both men and women liked to wear the padded shoulder business jackets, also popular were sweater vest that they could be tied loosely around the neck over button down shirts.
The yuppie men were clean shaved, orderly and polite, which made people think of them as conceited snobs that was drunk on dreams.

Even today hip hop and rap are still a favorite among our young people, along with their fashions and music

written by Carolyn Lanier



reference_ http://www.helium.com/items/799570-a-look-at-the-80s-hip-hop-fashion