Why were 90s hip-hop clothes so extra, extra baggy? Well, there’s an interesting story behind this phenomenon which started around 1991 and lasted until about 2005.
If you are someone who studies fashion, you will know that 1990s fashion was very much on the baggy, loose and relaxed side. So here comes the interesting part! When the brothers from the hood would visit the department store they would often check out the bargains section. Because that’s all they could afford on their public assistance. Or as they call it in the UK, the dole!
The clothing that they would find in the bargains or sales bins, was naturally items that the store had not been able to sell to its regular customers. And by doing a process of elimination, the most abnormal customers are very tall and/or very fat customers. So naturally, the sizes found here were XXL and above!
So here we have these brothers with meager amounts to spend buying clothes that are far too big for them. And since loose and baggy clothes were En Vogue during the 90s and early 2000s — They could easily justify buying ridiculously large outfits. The clothing they bought ranged from Sports jerseys, hoodies, to jeans. And possibly even sneakers. Who knows!?!?
So gradually, this style of comically oversized clothing became the actual fashion in the hood. Which naturally appeared on hip hop music scene in the form of album covers and music videos seen around the world. Before long, Hip Hop kids in European countries such as Germany, Italy, Sweden, France, and the UK were rocking the extra, extra baggy clothes!
This style remained the norm in hip-hop & rap culture for almost 25 years before the skinny jeans phase became all the rage. But the baggy look remained the “authentic“ look for fans of old-school, 90s a.k.a. real hip-hop. From my research, I see that there are a great many stores still selling this style. Most prominently the Retro Hip-Hop Shop that markets to the European market where old-school hip-hop is still going strong.