I’m on a continual quest for cute clothes to flatter my full figure, and the search has led me far and wide. But rarely has it led me to hip hop fashion or ‘urban clothing’ labels, for two main reasons.

1. A part of me kind of balks at buying clothes from dudes who spit rhymes that objectify women. Queen Latifah still speaks for me in that regard.

2. I’m extremely allergic to excessive displays of logos, and clothes that are too shiny, bright, tight, or otherwise this-will-be-over-in-six-months trendy.

My personal style has evolved, and I really try to get pieces that are timeless. Will I want to wear this in a year? Or will this be another thing I wear once and never again? I question myself repeatedly when I shop. Which is why it feels crazy to even utter these words: there’s some good stuff out there for plus size bellas, in the hip hop fashion world.

I know. Sounds crazy, right? But it’s true. Come with me to the world of quote-unquote urban clothing!

First up, Rocawear. The brand Jay-Z built has come a long way, and I’m so happy to report that it isn’t all about big shiny logos all over everything. Well, there’s this. And this. And this. But the rest of it? Not so bad! And super cute for spring.

Take for example the Aztec razorback dress you see up above. Love the length — short, but not too short for this married lady, and the sequined v-neck isn’t too much look for a fun evening out. And it’s on sale for $45.90!

In the same vein, I’d totally rock the freedom top. And speaking of timeless closet staples — hello, excursion top!. That top could go from work to after-work cocktails in a snap, I could dress it up, down, and sideways. Same goes for the Girl’s Best Friend cardigan, which is the kind of staple item I’d wear all.the.time. Rocawear’s surprising me with the classic clothes — for example, this here gray peacoat. Who would have thought I’d be this down with the Roc? Not I!

When it comes to plus size chic, few hip hop fashion lines get it done better than Kimora Lee Simmons and Baby Phat. Yeah, they’re often guilty of excessive display of logo crimes, but Kimora understands, bellas bigger than a size 14 love cute clothes just as much as the littler chicks do. Check out their ice cold Marilyn halter dress to get your Seven Year Itch on, or the ruffle dress with self belt, which is buttoned up but still super-sexy.

The shirred dress with medallion is totally a dress I’d buy — it’s $74 now, but won’t be forever, and I’m willing to wait for a sale!

Speaking of which — the Baby Phat sale section has some super cute dresses! The stretch wrap dress and the crystal strapped dress are the kinds of dresses I am talking about — LBD’s that aren’t likely to go totally out of style anytime soon. And for my bellas who love funky pants — what do you think about these pinstripe wide leg trousers? Too much? What about in basic black?

With a name like Apple Bottoms, it’s obvious Nelly would have a plus size line… and I can’t say that I had high expectations. Having seen that infamous uncut video, I assumed Apple Bottoms would have nothing to suit my style. But surprisingly, they came up aces in the maxi dress search. There’s something very earth mother and bella-friendly about this denim maxi dress, no?

And I absolutely love the Angelina maxi dress. Unexpectedly feminine styles and patterns from the man who brought us Hot in Herrre? I never would have thought.

I couldn’t do a hip hop fashion post without mentioning House of Dereon. I know many a bella who shake their derriere in their Dereons, but I must admit — the finds I’ve discovered in my local TJ Maxx have made my blood run cold. Teeshirts emblazoned with Beyonce’s lyrics on them are simply not my style (no matter how catchy said songs may be).

However! The House of Dereon does appear to be steering away from a preponderance of puffy, shiny, look-at-me clubbin’ gear, and more into the land of the grown and sexy. Lo, this dolman sleeve cherry red sweater top, $79 at the moment, but I’m waiting for the day when it appears at TJ Maxx. Hold on, I’m coming!

The sweet and chic halter dress deserves those adjectives, but I fear the print would look too tableclothy on me. The Diva Deluxe Dress is a gorgeous rose color, something I’d be more likely to accessorize or match with items I already own.

Do you own any clothes by the mainstream ‘urban clothing’ brand, bellas — or would you don this stuff only at pain of gunpoint? Tell me how you really feel!

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