The most iconic trends inspired by 50 years of hip-hop history

From Mary J. Blige to Run-DMC, artists have long used hip-hop to express themselves well beyond the music itself—especially in terms of style. Although hip-hop artists were making waves on the music charts early on, the fashion world was initially hesitant to fully embrace them.

Ultimately, however, many brands do gain recognition and respect from household names like Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas, and Gap—just to name a few of the many brands that collaborate with creators A small part that introduced this burgeoning genre to a new, previously untapped audience.

Of course, there are Black and brown designers like Dapper Dan who raised the profile of trends like logomania and oversized silhouettes, while other brands like Rocawear, Sean John, and Baby Phat helped popularize these styles and connect with stars to connect directly with the people hip-hop fans know and love.

It all paved the way for today's giants, many of whom have close ties to fashion houses (see: Cardi B and Schiaparelli, or Pharrell Williams' newly appointed creative director of Louis Vuitton menswear).

As the Bronx music scene celebrates 50 years of hip-hop, take a look back at hip-hop's most memorable fashion looks over the years and see how they inspired some of your own iconic modern styles.

Embellished double denim

Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The head-to-toe Dior denim worn by Missy Elliott at the 2006 Grammy Awards was sure to turn heads (and still turns heads). Decorative floral details, as well as distressed logo details on the sides of the legs, prevent the look from becoming more feminine. If you want to try it out for yourself, layer different denim washes to complement each other and wear oversized jackets and jeans with corsets for added dimension. Canadian tuxedos have never looked better.

Rensberry WashMadewell oversized denim trench coat

Sizes XXS - XXL Indigo Vintage Washed Seam Front Denim Bustier Top PrettyLittleThing

Sizes 0 - 12 Gemini JeanEB Denim

Sizes 24 - 34 Dali Denim MultiSteve Madden

Sizes 5 - 12


Ron Galera/The Ron Galera Collection/Getty Images

You can never go wrong wearing all white for an incredibly chic look. At the 1995 Soul Train Awards, Mary J. Blige wore a long white trench coat over a miniskirt, paired with sheer white tights and contrasting shoes. Pair an ivory sheer trench coat with a tonal bandeau dress and a pair of strappy sandals to bring the iconic style into the 21st century.

Dolan sheer trench coat Anthropologie

Sizes XXS - Large Joana Silk DressReformation

XS – XL Liliana Ankle Strap Heel Sandals: pm

Sizes 5 - 10

red hot crush

Lil' Kim's red look from her 1997 "Crush On You" video is instantly recognizable and is now constantly referenced in art, fashion and music. While head-to-toe red might feel a little intimidating, don't be afraid to take this look to the street by experimenting with a variety of textures, from patent leather to a velvet dress. Finish with your favorite neutral heels to elongate the silhouette.

Avec Les Filles Ruby patent leather trench coat Anthropologie

Sizes XXS – Velvet Strapless Mini Dress Los Angeles Apparel

Available in sizes XS - XL Mocha Open ToeAminah Abdul Jillil

Sizes 6 - 10

Striped A pose

Brenda Chase/Helton Archives/Getty Images

Busta Rhymes defies expectations of male fashion in hip-hop by playing with style, silhouette and gender. Try a classic pajama suit style with a loose seersucker suit and style it with colorful loafers or slippers.

Ludlow slim fit unstructured blazer J Crew

Sizes 34 - 46 Shark Gray Logo Tank Top Daily Newspaper

Sizes XS - XL Ludlow Seersucker Slim Fit Unstructured Suit Pants J Crew

Sizes 28 - 38 Townee Penny LoaferVinny's

Sizes 39 - 46

outside court

Michael Ochs Archives/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Known for its head-to-toe Adidas and Kangol suits, Run-DMC takes activewear out of the gym. Update your off-court look with a softer tracksuit and its classic vertical branding.

Adicolor Neuclassics track jacket adidas

Sizes S-2XL Tank H&M

Adicolor Neuclassics Sweatpants Adidas

Sizes XS- 2XL Optic CasualKangol

Size M - XL Origin X ReedLOCI

Sizes 7-13