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How to dress like Run-DMC

Updated April 17, 2017

While hip-hop musicians have long made an impression on clothing trends, some artists have created styles that make them stand out as fashion icons. Run-DMC is such an act. The rap trio was so inspired by their signature Adidas sneakers that they wrote a song about them. In fact, "My Adidas" led to an endorsement deal, the first ever between hip-hop artists and a major corporation. Of course, dressing like Run-DMC requires more than just name-brand athletic shoes.

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  1. Wear basic black shirt, trousers and jacket. In their heyday, the members of Run-DMC typically wore either black jeans and black jackets, black athletic track suits, or coordinating black leather trousers and jackets -- all worn over a dark T-shirt. The Run-DMC, Adidas or other iconic logo is optional.

  2. Pull on the signature Adidas Superstars -- the classic shell-toe basketball trainers. Run-DMC members Run (Joseph Simmons), D.M.C. (Darryl McDaniels) and Jam Master Jay (Jason Mizell) wore theirs without laces. The attention they brought to the Adidas brand was rewarded with a major endorsement deal with the corporation. In fact, they made the shoes so popular, you may even be able to find a knock-off brand that provides a similar look.

  3. Accessorise with a chunky gold chain, very popular in the 1980s. Run-DMC was one of the hip-hop acts that made them fashionable during the years they were cranking out hits such as "My Adidas," "It's Tricky" and "Walk This Way," a collaboration the band did with rock band Aerosmith. Don't go overboard like Mr. T -- just a single thick gold chain will do.

  4. Top off the look with a black bowler hat or fedora, another signature item that the band was rarely seen without.

  5. Tip

    While one person can pull off the Run-DMC look, if you are going for a costume or tribute, get together a couple of friends. A trio dressed in Run-DMC garb will be much more recognisable than just one person. An optional addition to the typical Run-DMC outfit is a pair of thick-rimmed glasses or sunglasses -- black frames, of course.

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Things You'll Need

  • Black bowler hat or fedora
  • Black jeans or leather trousers with coordinating black jacket, or dark track suit
  • Black T-shirt, which may include Run-DMC or adidas logo
  • Adidas shell-toe basketball trainers, without laces
  • Chunky gold chain

About the Author

Anne Shelton is a writer and editor living in Columbia, S.C. She honed her skills doing corporate communications and marketing in the health-care, insurance, manufacturing and business fields. She now enjoys writing about an even wider array of topics. Shelton earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Louisiana State University.

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