Tips from this recreational dancer on how to keep the ‘hip’ in hip hop fashion.
By Aiden Jewelle Gonzales
“I never used to dress this way,” 22-year-old Amardeep ‘Bobby’ Singh tells me with a laugh as he indicates his ubiquitous snapback cap and carefully-chosen getup. “Growing up in Thailand, I wasn’t into dressing up that much, but when I went to uni in Chicago, which is the birthplace of a lot of hip hop and rap, the hip hop culture there really inspired me – the music, the dances, and the outfits.”
Born and raised in Bangkok, Bobby’s dress sense stands out from the crowd with its loose-fitting ease and clear point of view. “I listen to hip hop every day, and I dress according to what I listen to,” he explains. Being able to represent his own personal style every time he goes out gives him a boost of confidence. “I’ve found that I feel most comfortable in this style – I feel cooler as a person and I have more confidence. If I wear something I’m not comfortable in, I wouldn’t be as confident.”
Dance to Your Own Tune: The quintessential dance uniform, the outfit combines a loose-fitting white sweater with navy blue joggers pulled up to show off the all-important footwear. A snapback cap completes the look. “Almost every single dancer dresses like this because they’re loose and comfortable – and they always have white socks and white shoes.” Sweater from H&M; sneakers from Nike Air Max; snapback hat from Aape
As he demonstrates his clothes’ comfort with an impromptu dance, Bobby lists his fashion inspirations: “Dance crews and dancers, mostly. Quick Style from Norway, Julian DeGuzman, the Brotherhood Dance Crew, or hip hop artists like A$AP Rocky. But mostly it’s all about how good I feel – if I feel good wearing it, then I’ll wear it. If I don’t, I won’t. It’s that simple.”
It’s the Bomb(er): A bomber jacket in maroon adds energy to this combination that pairs violet trousers with a matching snapback cap. “When I go out at night, I always wear some kind of bomber because I feel like I’m dressed for an occasion, and I love the colour maroon.” Bomber jacket from H&M, trousers from Zara
These days, brands don’t feature in Bobby’s consideration when he shops for clothes. “I used to shop in department stores a lot,” he says, “but now I mostly shop online – Facebook and Instagram advertisements, or Lazada and Shopee. You can get really specific items online.” As for fashion advice, Bobby dispenses a single proverb: “If you want to look fresh, always wear white shoes.”
Horsin’ Around: An equestrian from a young age, this outfit is ready to ride with classic white breeches and knee-high leather boots that mean business. “I wore this outfit to every single polo match – the key is wearing white pants that are super stretchable to easily get on and off the horse.” White bridges from La Martina, shirt from Rip Curl, boots custom-made in India
IF YOU COULD BRING ONE ITEM OF CLOTHING TO A DESSERT ISLAND, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
“I’d bring a cap – a snapback. I always wear one, and hey it’s a dessert island, so it’ll provide protection from the sun as well.”
- Custom-made bracelet: “Made by my dad, this bracelet has been an essential item for me since I was young. I just don’t like having my wrist empty.”
- Snapback cap from AAPE: “Snapbacks save anyone from bad hair days.”
- White sneakers from Nike Air Max: “White sneakers are the key to looking fresh. If you want to be extra fresh, add white socks.”
- Sunglasses from H&M: “Absolutely essential for traveling around sunny Bangkok.”
- Bomber jacket from H&M: “The bomber makes me always feel a little more dressed for an occasion – it adds extra swag to any outfit.”