How to Dress Like a Rapper

Since Run-D.M.C. declared their love for Adidas, rap music and fashion have been bizarrely (and lucratively) intertwined. Every generation has their own style icons who are known for their clever rhymes first, eclectic style second. Here?s how you can incorporate the look into your wardrobe without overdoing it.

Hip hop style isn?t for everyone- and it certainly isn?t for every context. Wear it casually or when you?re going out and your fashion sense can be a conversation starter, but you?re best advised not to dress like a rapper, sans microphone, in a setting where you want to be taken seriously.

Bright colors

Rappers don?t shy away from eye-catching bright colors. A bright red jacket adds a touch of hip hop style to an otherwise regular outfit. However, bright colors do not make the rapper. If you want it to be obvious that your outfit is inspired by hip hop, you?ll need to add more than just a splash of neon.

Skinny jeans

Skinny jeans are the essential pants for a rapper. They?re even known to wear women?s styles for that extra snug fit. Skinny jeans go perfectly with the colored blazers, drop-arm singlet tops and puffy jackets that rappers so frequently wear.

Animal print

Rappers have an affinity for all kinds of animal prints, from textured snakeskin, to zebra, to plain old leopard. Some of the more outlandish rappers make a habit of leopard print pants- but this is not totally acceptable in everyday life. Channel the look with animal printed accessories. A snakeskin satchel or a leopard print belt injects some hip hop flavor into your outfit.

The glasses

Kanye?s shutter shades from 2007 used to be weirdly fashionable. Today, a pair of sunglasses or glasses is essential for the hip hop look. Never wear sunglasses inside or at night, but plenty of rappers don a pair of Ray-Bans for indoor use. Who would have thought that nerd glasses could be so cool?

Keep it current

There have been some iconic looks in rap music over the last few decades, but you?ll get laughed at for adopting them into your wardrobe in 2013. Leave MC Hammer?s parachute pants in the 90s where they belong. Instead, look to current rappers such as Pharrell Williams, Kid Cudi, Drake, and my all-time favorite Kanye West, for inspiration.

Don?t be Lil Wayne

There are plenty of well-dressed rappers, so you don?t need to look to Lil Wayne for fashion inspiration. You want incorporate hip hop style into your wardrobe in an aesthetically pleasing way. It?s easy for the look to become tacky. Lil Wayne does it with copious splashes of leopard print, cheap white tee-shirts, bad haircuts and sunglasses at night. Believe it or not, he even has a stylist employed to help him look that bad. Hip hop style is bold, but there is a point where it becomes too much. If you have friends that really care about you, they will tell you when your swag is turning to sag.

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About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at: