Women have been on the mic, and involved in hip hop almost as long as men have, and have made great impact on our culture. This style of clothing for women, however, did not emerge as a distinct entity until the last decade or so.
Hip hop clothing for women started out being almost identical to men’s styles. Some of the colors were different then men would wear (like hot pinks and purples), but the style for everyone was big, boxy, and baggy. Women sported boxer shorts, baggy pants, and baseball caps with tee shirts. If they were feeling sexy, they would maybe wear a sporty bustier or bra top with their humongous pants and Timberland boots.
The accessories at this time were gold, gold, and gold. Early on in this fashion style, jewelry became a major part of the culture. People piled on rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Gold hoop earrings have long been the staple piece of jewelry for any trendy girl. Now big, thin hoops dominate, while it used to be ornate, fat, hoops, sometimes with a nameplate attached. Nameplates used to be very popular.
After a while, nameplates went “out” and so did the big, baggy style for women. Over time, a style for women has emerged that is ultra feminine, and accentuates women’s curves rather than hiding them. Pants and tops hug the silhouette, while giving enough “wiggle room” to be comfortable.
Hip hop clothing for women highlights a major feature of hip culture in general in that it is far more acceptable, and even desirable for a woman to be more on the curvaceous side than what popular culture has made the “norm”. This makes a lot of hip hop labels much more comfortable and easy to wear for women than their pop counterparts.
Even though you will still see women wearing Timberlands and sneakers, a wide variety of shoes, including wedges, pumps, and sandals, is available from almost any designer who specializes in hip fashion.
Handbags are also very trendy, and are intended to make a statement. Currently, most fashionable handbags are big, like tote bags, and come in all colors and textures, the more luxurious, the better.
The trend in the rest of hip jewelry followed the lead of the earrings, and got smaller. Platinum has replaced gold as the metal of choice, and everything has more gems. While many people still layer their jewelry on, it is not as chunky, and looks much more feminine now than in the “old days” of hip hop.
There are now many hip hop labels devoted specifically to women. Dresses abound, as do skirts and other ultra feminine styles. Most women’s fashion lines include their own accessories such as handbags, shoes (oh, the shoes!), fragrances, and jewelry. Gone are the days of limited choices and dressing like a man.