Rockin’ Fashion

by Melanie Slusar

Rock & roll Idols were not just famous for their music, they had some amazing style! From white jumpsuits to matching plaid jackets, these artists gave the world a new sense of fashion.

The Pompadour

Little Richard kept up with fashion from his head to his toes. He always had an eye for sequins, but it was his towering hair that made an equally lasting impression. As his costumes became wilder and shinier, Little Richard’s famous Pompadour hair became bigger and better.

The Matching Plaid Suits

Bill Haley & His Comets flew onto the scene and shocked the world with their matching plaid jackets. The bright red plaid added to the already high energy of the band. Even more iconic is Bill Haley’s infamous spit curl which went on to inspire a multitude of characters hair ranging from the hit musical Hairspray to the comic book legend Superman.

The Capes and Cutouts

James Brown continued Elvis’ tradition of jumpsuits and rock & roll, but with a slight twist. James Brown was infamous for his jumpsuits with large chest cutouts and a matching cape. This outfit was worn for the highly anticipated fight between Muhamad Ali and George Foreman. His jumpsuits frequently contained the acronym GFOS, meaning God Father of Soul, around where the belt would go. In this case, James Brown wrote the words out in rhinestones on the back of his cape.

The Sunglasses

Ray Charles, who was blind from a young age, always had on a pair of sunglasses whenever he performed. These famous glasses were all designed by Billy Sickles. Contrary to popular belief, Ray Charles was not the inspiration for Ray Bans, another popular sunglasses designer.

The Leopard Skin Jacket

The Big Bopper may have died at a young age, but his fashion sense lived on. Who knew that the song Chantilly Lace would forever be remembered with a leopard skin jacket? Although the coat was a showstopper, it was not the coolest of clothing. A fur coat under hot lights combined with the energetic performance of The Big Bopper was frequently so sweaty after a performance that he could barely take the jacket off!

The White Jumpsuit

The mystery of the white jumpsuit enthralled Elvis fans until long after his death with conspiracies that he never actually died. But did your know, Elvis started wearing these iconic jumpsuits simply because he didn’t want to wear a tux. The first of the famous jumpsuits was so tight he couldn’t even move! Spandex had to be added so he could perform his signature kicks and splits. The legend ended up owning about 120 jumpsuits and the highest selling suit, The Peacock, sold for $300,000!

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