There’s something about Rockabilly Style that simply states Cool. Perhaps it’s the iconic styles left behind by musicians who’ve channeled the style over the years. Or perhaps it’s due to the edgier modern update seen today, tattoos and all. Regardless, the spirit of rockabilly is hard to match.
For true Rockabillies – those men (and women) who live and breathe the culture – it’s much more than just a ‘trend’ – it’s a way of life. With that in mind, we’ll simply explore how key elements of the aesthetic can be incorporated into a your look.
Jacket: Rockabilly style begins with the right jacket. Whether you go for a beaten-up leather biker jacket or faded denim, this is the piece that will finish off your confident, carefree look – wear it with pride. Choose a style with additional detailing such as exposed zipper pockets or hidden compartments for both aesthetic and practical purposes. After all, where else will you keep your comb to ensure your pomp is in check?
Shirts: You’ll want to invest in an array of retro shirts to alternate throughout the year. Ideal for layering underneath your jacket, every rockabilly needs a variety of checked/plaid designs in his wardrobe. Whether you go for a classic blue / white gingham version crafted from pure lightweight cotton or a thicker red and black tartan over-shirt, your selection of casual shirts will not only be practical enough to layer in the colder months, but effortlessly stylish too. If you’re slightly more daring, you’ll also want to consider purchasing a couple of bowling shirts, to really nail the 1950s rockabilly look. Similar to a Hawaiian shirt in shape, a bowling shirt is typically more conservative as it doesn’t feature the tropical prints of its warm-weather cousin.
Trousers: Although skinny and slim fits are the go-to for any rock or indie look these days, there are no set rules when it comes to your jeans. If you’re more comfortable in straight cuts or simply aren’t a fan of skinnies, there’s no reason why you can’t try pairing your plaid shirt and denim jacket with straight-legged styles. Only you know the type of jeans you feel most comfortable in and that suit you the best – remember, confidence and a carefree attitude play a huge part in truly pulling off this aesthetic.
Shoes/Boots: No rockabilly’s style is complete without the right footwear. The original Doc Martens 8-eyelet boots in black are a great choice as they’re strong, sturdy, go with anything and actually quite comfy once you’ve worn them in. If you want to bring the aesthetic bang up to date, it might even be worth trying out a pair in a bright hue such as red or blue to inject some color into your wardrobe. You can also consider creepers. Not everyone will be a fan of this style of footwear, but if you can look past their association with underground subcultures they’re actually a sturdy and stylish shoe that ooze individuality and will give any outfit an edge. Finally, if you prefer to take a more polished approach to your everyday wear, why not consider a two-tone brogue? Coming in a wide array of color combinations, these lace-ups will add a touch of retro panache to your tailoring collection or smart-casual outfits.
Accessories: These should be used to cement the aesthetic and really give it an edge. Obviously the slick quiff/pompadour hairstyle and a penchant for colorful tattoos are two integral aspects of rockabilly style that will only be relevant if they appeal directly to your lifestyle and personality, yet there are a number of modern accessories that will also help you get the look. Braces, reader style glasses/wayfarer sunglasses, masculine metal jewelry and wallet chains will help toughen up your appearance and exude the easy, effortless style rockabillies are renowned for. Bear in mind, rockabilly fashion isn’t particularly complicated – many of the key pieces identified above are already wardrobe staples for the modern man – it’s the attitude, confidence and finishing touches that will set you apart.
The Hair: Hair is a huge part of rockabilly style. The quiff and pompadour are the most prominent hairstyles sported by Rockabilly men, and these days there are so many ways you can take these iconic cuts and make them your own. From disconnected/shaved sides to slick, high shine finishes, take a look through our excellent hairstyle gallery above for more inspiration on how to individualize your look.