Hip hop culture hasn’t just pervaded fashion – it’s become fashion. Hip hop fashion has thoroughly entered and gained acceptance in even the most conventional branches of society, with rappers like Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Diddy frequently making the cut of some of the most prominent best dressed lists.
The over-the-top look of hip hop during its mainstream emergence in the 1980s has been both refined and embellished over thirty years later, and can no longer claim just a single aesthetic. To tell the truth, many of today’s biggest trends in men’s accessories have their roots in hip hop culture. Those with even more vanilla tastes can add some of the more universal elements of hip hop fashion and accessories into their wardrobes while remaining true to their personal style. Here’s how to incorporate a little hip hop into your wardrobe using jewelry for men.
Say yes to yellow gold
Over the last fifty years, yellow gold has come in and out of popularity, alternately being considered to be incomparably rich looking or incredibly dated in appearance. The fact is, yellow gold has had a rich history as a highly sought after precious material long before it became the metal of choice for rappers and other hip hop artists.
The only naturally occurring yellow metal in existence, gold’s inherent beauty and malleability have made it an ideal material for jewelry for men. While the hip hop look has since expanded to other metals and materials, yellow gold still holds its timeless appeal as the original hip hop material.
Don’t be scared of diamonds
From bling bling to bling to ice – there’s little doubt that the popularity of diamond jewelry for men has owed much to hip hop culture. Diamond jewelry, especially rings, used to be considered almost exclusively meant for women. However, the prevalence of male hip hop artists wearing diamonds transformed diamond jewelry into something that was suddenly stylishly masculine.
Adding diamond jewelry for men to your wardrobe doesn’t necessarily mean sporting blinding diamond encrusted accessories. Try men’s rings, pendants or bracelets with a single diamond accent for a little something special.
Oversized jewelry for men is currently one of the biggest accessories trends, but hip hop has known that bigger is better for decades. Large accessories project a certain confidence and daring, as well as a willingness to openly display a personal sense of style.
Men’s rings, pendants and chains are some of the most popular items to supersize. To tailor the oversized look to be more versatile for your wardrobe, go for items that are large but more minimal in design and style.
Forget the plain chains – rappers had the right idea when they started adding pendants to their necklaces. Pendants give a necklace personality, and allow men to add a little more polish to an outfit.
Incorporating a hip hop inspired men’s pendant doesn’t mean donning a hefty clock a la Flavor Flav. Some of the most popular forms of pendant jewelry for men are incredibly understated. For an always classic and manly look, try dog tag pendants. These pendants always offer a signature oblong shape but can range from extremely plain to extremely decorated styles.
Get adventurous with design
One constant in hip hop jewelry for men has been a constant pushing of the fashion envelope, taking risks and never being afraid of novelty for novelty’s sake. Hip hop has used accessories to express one’s personality, create an alternate persona and to establish identity, making nearly anything possible when it comes to jewelry for men.
The bottom line? If you like it, try it – the end result may be original, flashy, weird or any of the above, but it’s never a mistake if you have the right attitude to go along with it.