Hip Hop Fashion Trends – Then and Now

Hip hop fashion trends are not a newcomer to the fashion scene by any means. In fact, this style has been around since the 1980′s, when celebrities like Will Smith and Christopher “Kid” Reid showed youth how it should be done. Of course, hip hop fashion trends have evolved over the past two decades as tastes and styles have changed to correspond with the culture of the time. The following will offer you a brief but colorful history into the world of hip hop, with some of the current fashion design today.Early Hip Hop In the 1980′s, major brand names became synonymous with the hip hop fashion trends. Brands like Nike, Adidas and Clark shoes were sported with leather bomber jackets and brightly-colored track suits. Sports jerseys were a hot commodity, with Will Smith showing them off in his hit television show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire. This was the time when heavy gold jewelry and large sunglasses came into play, creating an image of wealth and luxury in the hip hop culture of this time. In the latter part of this decade, MC Hammer and other rappers introduced hip hop fashion trends like baggy pants and baseball caps.The Gangsta Look In the 1900′s, hip hop fashion trends shifted to the gangsta look in the fashion of the Los Angeles Chicano gangsters. This style sported baggy pants that were worn low and without a belt, shirt tails hanging outside the pants and bandanas on the head. In the midst of this fashion trend, designers were also providing something that the youth of this time liked, and brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Polo and Nautica also came into vogue. At this time, hip hop fashion trends evolved into urban streetwear, with names like Mecca USA, Lugz and Rocawear coming into play.Flash and Bling The turn of the century saw hip hop fashion trends switch to flashy ensembles and bling bling jewelry, made popular by the likes of Jay-Z and The Hot Boys. High end designers like Gucci came onto the hip hop scene during this time as well. Today, the hip hop look has toned down somewhat, with hip hop fashion trends that are more tailored and professional – preppie hip hop, if you will. However, since the hip hop fashion trends are primarily embraced by youth, this style will always be cutting edge and separate from the fashion mainstream. After more than two decades on the fashion scene, it appears that this trend is more than just a trend – it is a fashion icon that is here to stay.

How the Right Clothes Can Make the Man

Ask any fashionista if clothes are an important part of our identity and they will probably talk about how vital style is to their success. To break it down a little further and step away from high fashion and instead focus on the man in the street, how important are his clothing choices? Was Mark Twain right in saying “the clothes make the man” and has this adage been taken too literally of late? Everything that we do has a cause and effect impact on the world, so in that aspect our clothes will to some degree have an effect on how we are treated by others, but in what way?A simple example can be found at a high-end Michelin-starred restaurant. Unless your face is immediately recognisable as being wealthy and successful, it will often be your clothes that the host or waiter makes their decisions on and, if you’re not wearing the right clothes to a restaurant or nightclub, then the chances are you won’t get in. Call it ‘power dressing’ or dressing to impress, but the fact is that a man’s clothes determine how society sees him, this is something that women probably got to grips with a lot earlier than most men too.We’ve all heard the expression ‘first impressions count’, and it is absolutely true; as the average stranger takes no more than 30 seconds to assess another stranger on first meeting them, and this impression can then take up to five years to erase. You can forget the other saying ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’, as anyone in publishing will tell you that it’s the covers that make the books stand out on the shelf.Obviously Hollywood has taken this idea a little too far, with movies like Jackie Chan’s ‘The Tuxedo’, where a down-and-out cab driver’s life is turned around thanks to the discovery of a technologically advanced tuxedo, and obviously James Bond has been known to pick particular threads too. To find serious real-world examples, you don’t have to look far. Politics is full of power dressing, where subtle messages are portrayed in candidate’s clothing choice, like Gordon Brown’s persistent red tie, or George W Bush’s choice of slightly oversized suit jackets to larger his appearance. In the first Kennedy-Nixon presidential race, radio listeners favoured Nixon thanks to his authoritative voice, while TV watchers favoured Kennedy as he looked fresh-faced compared to Nixon’s tired and unconsidered choice of mens clothes.To really understand how clothes can make a man’s appearance though, you can think back to childhood fairytales like ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ or try a simple test. Picture in your head the manager of a petrol station, and then picture the manager of a successful advertising agency. The two managers might be in charge of the same number of people and earn the same salary, but they will probably be dressed pretty differently.

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7
My Dad repaired most of our shoes believe it or not, I can hardly believe it myself now. With 7 pairs of shoes always needing repairs I think he was quite clever to learn how to “Keep us in shoe Leather” to coin a phrase!

He bought several different sizes of cast iron cobbler’s “lasts”. Last, the old English “Laest” meaning footprint. Lasts were holding devices shaped like a human foot. I have no idea where he would have bought the shoe leather. Only that it was a beautiful creamy, shiny colour and the smell was lovely.

But I do remember our shoes turned upside down on and fitted into these lasts, my Dad cutting the leather around the shape of the shoe, and then hammering nails, into the leather shape. Sometimes we’d feel one or 2 of those nails poking through the insides of our shoes, but our dad always fixed it.

Hiking and Swimming Galas
Dad was a very outdoorsy type, unlike my mother, who was probably too busy indoors. She also enjoyed the peace and quiet when he took us off for the day!

Anyway, he often took us hiking in the mountains where we’d have a picnic of sandwiches and flasks of tea. And more often than not we went by steam train.

We loved poking our heads out of the window until our eyes hurt like mad from a blast of soot blowing back from the engine. But sore, bloodshot eyes never dampened our enthusiasm.

Dad was an avid swimmer and water polo player, and he used to take us to swimming galas, as they were called back then. He often took part in these galas. And again we always travelled by steam train.

Rowing Over To Ireland’s Eye
That’s what we did back then, we had to go by rowboat, the only way to get to Ireland’s eye, which is 15 minutes from mainland Howth. From there we could see Malahide, Lambay Island and Howth Head of course. These days you can take a Round Trip Cruise on a small cruise ship!

But we thoroughly enjoyed rowing and once there we couldn’t wait to climb the rocks, and have a swim. We picnicked and watched the friendly seals doing their thing and showing off.

Not to mention all kinds of birdlife including the Puffin.The Martello Tower was also interesting but a bit dangerous to attempt entering. I’m getting lost in the past as I write, and have to drag myself back to the present.

Fun Outings with The camera Club
Dad was also a very keen amateur photographer, and was a member of a camera Club. There were many Sunday photography outings and along with us came other kids of the members of the club.

And we always had great fun while the adults busied themselves taking photos of everything and anything, it seemed to us. Dad was so serious about his photography that he set up a dark room where he developed and printed his photographs.

All black and white at the time. He and his camera club entered many of their favourites in exhibitions throughout Europe. I’m quite proud to say that many cups and medals were won by Dad. They have been shared amongst all his grandchildren which I find quite special.

He liked taking portraits of us kids too, mostly when we were in a state of untidiness, usually during play. Dad always preferred the natural look of messy hair and clothes in the photos of his children.