Rock Style Clothing

March 12, 2012

Rock clothing trends: face the world in style and never surrender

Rock style clothing has been around long enough to mean different things to different generations of people from 1960s to present. The fashion trends in rock style clothing for men and women diversified as the new sub-genres of rock emerged. Some elements of the rock style were made popular by a single group and were relatively short-lived, like the custom-tailored suits, collarless blazers, and boots of the Beatles. Others, like hippie culture influences, jeans, printed shirts, and leather have remained a constant part of the rock style clothing since the very beginning.

Rock Inspired Fashion

Many rock musicians have left their trademark on the rock clothing and have become style icons in their own right. Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks, Jim Morrison, Keith Richards, David Bowie, Kurt Cobain, Motley Crue, Gene Vincent, Ozzy Osbourne, Bruce Springsteen, Alice Cooper have used clothes as the means to augment their message as musicians.

Rock musicians adopted hippie and tough, leather-clad trends around the mid-60s as a reflection of early influences from folk, blues, and rock and roll. In addition to frayed jeans, dyed custom t-shirts, and folk-inspired accessories, Nehru jackets were popular during the early rock period. The hip-length tailored jacket with a closed neck was modeled on the garment worn by Jawaharlal Nehru. The Beatles, the Mamas and the Papas, the Doors, and the Byrds wore Nehru jackets.
The glam rock of the 1970s, focused on very flashy, spectacle performances popularized glamour and glitter. The extreme, over-the-top clothes of Iggy Pop, David Bowie, and Alex Cooper found their expression in the widespread use of shiny fabrics, rhinestone-embellished denim and pants, platform shoes, tight-fitting lurex and sequin pieces.

Heavy metal clothing, true to the volume, power and speed of its music, embraced leather, studded jackets, chains, pins, dark colors, black skinny jeans, and torn t-shirts. The heavy metal style involved transformation hairstyles, make up and actual body modification by the means of tattoos and piercing. Judas Priest and its lead singer, Rob Halford, have set the trends defining the heavy metal fashion. Echoes of heavy metal aesthetics can be seen in clothing lines for women offered by Zara, Mango, and Guess fashion labels in 2011.

Heartland rock, with champions like Bruce Springsteen and Bob Sager, was a strong influence in music throughout the 1980s. While it did not have same exuberance of expression as glam and heavy metal, its clothing style, with skinny jeans, sleeveless vests, and sneakers had the same anti-establishment attitude.

The deep-seated influence of the rock and roll style clothing trends of the 1950s on the modern day rock fashion can be seen particularly well in the long leather or bomber jackets, dresses, and black-on-black outfits featured in several collections during the 2011 New York fall fashion shows. Signature tough-attitude leather pieces are paired with chunky knit sweaters or black shirts, and skinny ties. Rock style clothing offers a provocative combination of leather dresses with intricate details or goth-rocker chic outfits with a twist of punk.

For slightly over five decades, rock music and fashion have been closely linked to one another. It is not uncommon for popular rock musicians to be featured as fashion models, especially for magazine spreads. The segmentation and diversification of rock music brought along numerous distinct clothing styles, all striving to authentically express the anti-mainstream notions upheld by the rock musicians.

Hot topic, Rock and Republic (available at Kohl’s), Metropark, Rock Rebel, FanFire, Flyclothing as well as the high-end fashion labels Mango, Zara, and Guess are good sources for mainstream and more edgy rock style clothing for women and men.

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