Fashion Inspired by the Hiplet Dance Movement

Get familiar with this ballet/hip-hop hybrid from Chicago.

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Hiplet dancer

In case you haven’t heard, hiplet (pronounced hip-lay) is making a splash in the dance world – for a number of reasons. Born out of the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center, this dance style combines ballet and hip-hop for a fun, fresh take on the classical style.

This video explains it better than I ever could:

Hip-Hop En Pointe: The Rhythm and Beat of Hiplet

Hiplet is so refreshing — and worth your understanding — first and foremost because it empowers young women. Hiplet still preserves the importance of classical ballet, and respects the art form, but also puts a unique spin on the style. 

For many young dancers in Chicago, it is a more personal form of self-expression than ballet, allowing young women to truly be themselves, rather than rigidly hold to tradition, through expression in movement. 

For years, fashion has been inspired by dance – especially ballet. Here at College Fashion, we’ve done numerous articles covering fashion inspired by ballet (think lace-up flats, delicate pinks, and bodysuits). 

Fashion inspired by hiplet is different, though. Hiplet, while still grounded in classical roots, is also new and modern. Hiplet is about staying true to roots, but allowing women to empower themselves in a field where diversity is not often present.

Truthfully, I’ve been so amazed by these young dancers. In light of their inspiration, I’ve put together two outfits that embody the style and strength of this hip-hop/ballet combination.

Hiplet Outfit One

Jean Jacket – LL Bean / Leggings – Adidas / Top – JJ Boutique / Earrings – Forever 21 / Bag – Cynthia Rowley / Shoes – Lucky Brand

I styled this outfit with major inspiration from actual hiplet dancers. The jean jacket is a tried-and-true classic, and brings a more grounded feel to the look. The lace-up ballet pink top pays homage to the lace-up ballet slipper.

I styled this look with leggings because hiplet is all about free movement (and while some dancers in the video were in jeans, I simply could not understand how they could move like that in denim). The Adidas brand embodies streetwear style, while offering needed athletic performance.

Hiplet Outfit Two

Jeans – River Island / Top – Aeropostale / Bag – Cynthia Rowley / Shoes – Michael Kors / Earrings – Humble Chic / Nail Polish – Essie

These patchwork jeans have such a street style feel to them – perfect for the cool, cutting-edge feel of hiplet. Balanced with delicate pinks, this outfit is equally parts pretty and tough. The fun bag and bright red earrings make for unique statement accessories. 


Are you as inspired by hiplet as I am? How do you feel about the combination of hip-hop and ballet? Do you let dance inspire your fashion choices? Let me know down below in the comments!

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