Classic Fashion Moments From John Singleton Films

Singleton not only nailed scripts, he nailed style.

The legendary John Singleton not only paved the way for a marginalized group of people to be seen on the big screen, but he was also true to the aesthetic of Black culture, never once compromising our reality of the hood for Hollywood.

This not only reflected in the late director's film dialogues and use of colloquial euphemisms, but in their authentic portrayal of cultural fashion and set style as well.

Check out some of of Singleton's most fashionable moments from some of his iconic movies.

  1. Boyz n the Hood

    Possibly one of Singleton's most nostalgic '90s film, Boyz N the Hood took Black culture from our backyards to the big screen. Some of the more memorable choices in fashion included Singleton's emphasis on South Central and Crenshaw style.

    Notably starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Morris Chestnut and Ice Cube, the film's fashion choices included emblazoned sports' team shirts, snapback caps, colorful and bold patterned dress shirts, gaudy gold jewelry, body suits, mesh shirts and unisex crop tops. Some of the more memorable hairstyles included braids and candy curls for girls and high top fades and jerry curls for men.

  2. Poetic Justice

    Who could forget Singleton's romantic drama starring none other than musician-actors Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur, who played the hood's Homie-O and Juliet.

    Not only was Janet's wardrobe true to the '90s tomboy-era, she also set a few trends herself, namely the styling of her waist-long braids, often referred to as "Poetic Justice Braids" thereafter.

    While Janet's character didn't exactly place the popular African hairstyle on the map, the various styling of her hair as seen in the film, especially the mirror montage where she tried a few looks before settling for a half-up, half-down style complete with a headband.

    Other memorable women's wardrobe stylings from the '93 film include high waist, stone wash jeans, oversize hats, combat boots and of course, androgynous  wear (baseball jersey's, men's shirts, etc.).

  3. Higher Learning

    Singleton's 1995 classic, Higher Learning, presented more of an understated sense of style, but still highly reflective of not only the '90s take on casual wear, but also on-campus fashion.

    While the woke drama led with an A-list cast of actors, including Omar Epps, Tyra Banks, Ice Cube, Busta Rhymes, Regina King and Lawrence Fishburne, it was one of Singleton's first films with a white, supporting cast, who were also dressed accordingly to the decades take on grunge and carefree clothing.

    Some of the standout stylings in the race-based film included the lax aesthetic of the typical college student, including plaid shirts, athletic wear, logo hoodies and denim-on-denim. Per the theme of racial tension within the film, accessories included African-inspired jewelry, afro picks and of course, the afros to go with them.

  4. Baby Boy

    California love! No stranger to tapping into the West Coast aesthetic (as seen in his 1991 classic Boyz N the Hood), Singleton's Baby Boy embodied the South Central LA look to a tee... shirt.

    The hood drama starred the likes of Tyrese, Taraji P. Henson, Snoop Dogg, Ving Rhames, Omar Gooding and many others. Notable styles (both in fashion and on set) included white wife-beaters, plaid shirts buttoned all the way to the top, Dickies two-pieces, low-rider bikes and of course, Snoop Doggs' bomb perm. 

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

Select the types of notification you would like to receive from us. Please note, you must choose at least one.

By clicking subscribe, I consent to receiving newsletters and other marketing emails. Newsletters are subject to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Users can unsubscribe at any time.