Dear STEEZY,

Not to seem like a hypebeast, but I’m hoping a lot of people feel the same way. Where does one go to buy “hip hop” clothes and how does one afford it, especially with competition fees, food, and classes? All the harem pants, baseball jerseys, crewnecks, beanies, snapbacks, bustiers, combat boots, flannels, high tops etc. It’s hard to shop Stussy, Crooks and Castles, Civil, or Obey sometimes without breaking the bank.

Thanks,

Practical

Dear Practical,

We’re glad you asked this question, it’s tough to keep up with the trends without breaking the bank, as you said. That’s why we have 4 thoughts for you to bear in mind!

1) Invest in Key Pieces:

If balling on a budget, investing in key pieces and being frugal with the rest of your wardrobe is key. Spend a little more with items that’ll last you longer: hats, shoes, jackets, a few nice shirts, etc. These items are liable to last you years and can be recycled with a new look time and time again! For sartorial versatility, stick to blues, greys, and blacks. These colors are timeless and match with almost everything. To add a little funk, keep a small arsenal of accessories that make your outfit pop. A personal favorite of mine is a red hat (essential). Having something that pops juxtaposed to an otherwise neutral-colored outfit, gives that little bit of flava to your ensemble without overdoing it. As with exceptional choreo, it’s all in the details. Perfect the subtle stunt.

2) Happy Feet

Now, the question of shoes. This is kind of tough since they’re so many different styles. With that being said, I’ve never seen anybody go wrong with a nice pair of all white/all black Vans or Chucks. These have been staples in the dance community for years and come in clutch when your director requests that you all wear black shoes for the set. Make sure to throw in a nice hightop or some Timbs (trendy now, but a staple amongst rappers for years) for those times you step out or attend a mixer.

For function and performance, think about purchasing a runner (Nike Lunars, Adidas Boost, Pumas, etc.) These provide your feet the comfort and support they need while looking fly as well. Furthermore, they’re breathable, can take a lot of wear and tear, and will last you a long time. Keep your feet happy.

3) Get Creative

For the rest of your gear, be frugal and mimic looks. H&M/Cotton On are great if balling on a budget. You can often get the same look as a big department store for a significantly lower price. Shop the sales rack at Urban Outfitters, get plain Tees from target, raid your parents’ closets, shop out of season, get creative!
For practice, wear breathable fabric that can be worn multiple times. Think performance gear. (adidas pants, nike shirts, runners, old t-shirts etc.) You really only need about 3 solid pair of sweats and a few solid old shirts. Recycle.

4) Do You

Most importantly, do you. Brand names don’t make the look, you do. It’s your presence, that HOW you wear what you wear and your demeanor that really does it. Be confident. Own the skin you’re in. Work on developing your style/look because trends come and go, but style is forever.

 

P.S.
NUMBER #1 #STEEZYNATION CARDINAL RULE:

Practice the art of the “subtle stunt”. That is – do all things with STEEZE, style and ease.
Effortless.

Stay #STEEZY, friends!

 

Do you have any other tips to add onto the ones we’ve provided here? Share with the community by commenting below!

Want to become a better choreographer? Check out these concepts to keep in mind before you continue down this path here!