Nikki’s Inbox: When Hip Hop Meets Prep

Hi Nikki!

I love your tips! I have a fashion dilemma.

I’m short (5’4”) and a bit chubby, and I don’t know what I should wear that would make me look somewhat presentable. Before, I was into the hip-hop gear, but now that I’m in university, I’m starting to drift towards the preppy look. What I want to ask is, is if there’s a way to combine the two looks for someone with my body type?

Thank you!

Richie /18/Toronto


Wow, you’re a fashion-forward fellow aren’t you? While we have yet to see Eminem sport popped-collar polos and collegiate blazers, prep-hop/preppy hip-hop (the hip-hop meets prep style you’re seeking) is just emerging.

I did some snooping around and realized that a lot of hip-hop artists-cum-fashion designers like Kanye West, Andre 3000, and J-rap group Nitro Underground are starting to influence this trend. Gone are the (very) baggy silhouettes and athletic looks that define hip-hop fashion; instead it’s been replaced with skinny-everythings for a form-fitting shape. Athletic wear is still there, especially to incorporate bright colors that add that hip-hop funk.

Take a look at the celebrities’ clothing lines for some inspiration: they’re slick, sharp and eye-catching. The look is mostly preppy, with collars and slim-fitting and smart clothes flying everywhere. The hip-hop cool comes through the details like bright colors, patterns and athletic wear.

Slim it Down
Preppy hip-hop calls for major trim. Leave all your saggy jeans and hoodies behind (bury them!) and condition your mind that it’s all about FIT – that’s what prep is all about. Select pants or jeans that lean towards skinny; tapered legs with extra room at the crotch for throwback to your hip-hop roots are perfect.

Keep it Sharp and Smart
You can’t inject prep without the collegiate blazer. Keep yours minimal and in colors like navy, gray or plaid-trimmed. Save black for especially slick looks because it’s more 007 than Gold Digger. Swap your oversized tees for buttoned-shirts with the sleeves rolled up. Keep the shirt waist-length or tucked in to show off accessories. A tie worn loose will top off the look.

Loud Accessories
Hip-hop is all about being outrageously fashionable and at times, obnoxiously and blindingly so. Accessorize your way through a preppy brother’s wardrobe to upgrade your style. Skull-shaped jewelry, a few bling-bling luxury items, aviators and neon colors are some of my suggestions.

Don’t Leave the ‘Hood
You might be prepping up your hip-hop style but stay true to the spirit and don’t leave the athletic wear and hoodies behind (okay, dig them up again)! Instead, pick bright-colored ones that are fitted. A neon-colored windbreaker over a buttoned-shirt and tie would bring da house down.

Lastly, 5’4” is an average build – you’re not particularly short if that’s what you’re worried about, and a little bit of meat or muscle never hurt anyone. I don’t think your style needs to be catered for size, but if you’re really worried, lay off the skin-tight clothes that make you appear like you’re the Incredible Bulk, err, Hulk.

Nikki

Have a question for our resident Style Guru?
Submit your question to Nikki now!
If your question is selected (lucky you!), it may appear in a future post here at Ask Nikki!.

3 comments on “Nikki’s Inbox: When Hip Hop Meets Prep

  1. Aishah Ahmed November 24, 2010 8:04 am

    girl version plz!! =)