Top 10 Rock Star Outfits

Script written by Q.V. Hough Glitz, glam and the exterior aesthetic of rock and roll. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Rock Star Outfits. For this list, we’re focusing on traditional rock outfits, which means that we’re excluding artists that wear masks or heavy makeup as part of their act. Special thanks to our user Paola Garcia for submitting the idea at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Q.V. Hough

Top 10 Rock Star Outfits


Glitz, glam and the exterior aesthetic of rock and roll. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Rock Star Outfits.

For this list, we’re focusing on traditional rock outfits, which means that we’re excluding artists that wear masks or heavy makeup as part of their act.

#10: Jimi Hendrix


During the final years of this legendary guitarist’s life, he often enlisted an American designer named Michael Braun to establish a more pronounced style. However, when Jimi Hendrix first became a star in swinging London, he sported a Royal Hussar military jacket, purchased at one of Notting Hill’s more famous thrift stores. Of course, Jimi was known to don a variety of velvet tops and bright colors during this time, which is the look that he became known for. It’s an image that goes hand in hand with the icon’s electrifying stage presence. You just couldn’t have one without the other.

#9: Johnny Cash


Whereas Jimi Hendrix embraced the full color palette of his psychedelic era, one of his musical contemporaries took a more practical approach back home in the U.S. In March of 1971, Johnny Cash was nearing the end his ABC series “The Johnny Cash Show” and felt a need to communicate the essence of his iconic style. And so, he performed “The Man in the Black”, an ode to the underground man in stark contrast to emerging trends of the genre itself. For an established singer like Johnny, the number provided the exclamation point to a narrative that surrounded him for years. Substance over style.


#8: Andrew W.K.


Though he’s not the most influential musical artist of the early 21st century, this bro adopted a no flair, don’t care type of persona that reminded of pure rock and roll. And while many know Andrew W.K. for his youthful anthems like “Party Hard” and “We Want Fun”, or perhaps even for his insightful advice, not many will associate the rocker with extravagant style. White tee. White pants. Why not? Hey, this guy can make it work given his large physique, and though he may appear a bit filthy at times, you know he buys in bulk.

#7: David Bowie


After the release of Nicholas Roeg’s 1976 film “The Man Who Fell to Earth”, its star essentially stayed in character, so to speak, as a reimagined version of Thomas Jerome Newton. And perhaps it was David Bowie’s self-admitted coke habit that further took him away from his true persona, but as “The Thin White Duke”, he provided a Vogue-ish character with a classic sense of cool….at least on stage. And given the colorful vibe of pop music during this time, the slick outfit heavily contrasted some the singer’s more fabulous stage outfits of years prior.

#6: Freddie Mercury


During the 70s and early 80s, this Queen frontman donned numerous standout looks, sometimes showing off his prominent chest and even wearing a most bushy mustache. And though some of these styles were polarizing at times, no one can deny the classic visual of Freddy in a tight white tank and slicked back hair. It’s more of an 80s “Miami Vice” vibe than your classic 70s rock star getup, but these lasting images show a man fully in command of stardom. And in a way, even the subtle smirk was part of the package.

#5: Prince


Born and raised in Minnesota, and a well-known fan of the local sports teams, including the purple-themed Vikings, this late icon will forever be attached to a specific color. For his classic 1984 film, Prince incorporated a purple theme into the title track, referencing a blood-filled apocalyptic sky and perhaps even noting his impending reign over the music industry. So, for his stage performances, the artist naturally adopted a purple presence time and time again, reminding that home is where the heart is. And in the decades to come, don’t be surprised to see fans showing up to Paisley Park in their favorite Prince-inspired threads.

#4: Slash


Over the years, this powerhouse guitarist has shredded on stage, all the while making it look ridiculously effortless. And the unmistakable outfit no doubt has something to do with it. First of all, Slash’s hair creates somewhat of a mysterious vibe, complemented by the iconic shades. He’s the modern man in black, but one with a giant top hat, and an ability to hypnotize audiences with his presence alone. In essence, the Slash mystique is directly associated with his core look, a product of the times but still timeless in its own way.

#3: The Beatles


Back in 1966, The Fab Four realized that immense fame could have unexpected negative effects. With no real precedent in place, The Beatles conjured up a new performance aesthetic, which allowed them to shed their packaged routine and immerse themselves in a more creative process. And so, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was formed, an Edwardian nod to the past that incidentally changed the future of music. The concept itself caught on with other artists, and the vibrant outfits captured a transformative moment in the history of rock and roll, just like the early black suits that helped set off Beatlemania.

#2: Elvis Presley


As the music industry evolves, certain icons remain at the forefront of historical discussions, yet their entire body of work eludes younger generations. For example, take Elvis Presley, a man easily identified by his bedazzled 70s jumpsuits with chest hair and thick muttonchops on display. For some, THIS is Elvis, and not the one who forever changed American pop culture in the 50s. Then again, the 70s Elvis outfits cemented himself as THE King, even if the styles weren’t exactly embraced by younger consumers. But the times were a-changin’, certainly since the iconic “Jailhouse Rock” outfit, and Elvis gave it his all with his unique rock star wardrobe.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Billie Joe Armstrong

Coldplay

Axl Rose

Stevie Nicks

#1: Angus Young


Before AC/DC became a signature rock band of the 80s, this guitarist was still trying out different looks, even adopting a Superman parody getup called “Super-Ang”. And though Angus Young was no longer a schoolboy when the band formed, he designed his now-famous stage outfit during this time while perpetuating a myth by claiming to be younger than he actually was. So, decades later, as Young continues to go wild out on stage with duckwalks and chaotic performances, he essentially conveys the basics of rock. Youth, rebellion and a whole lotta fun.

So, do you agree with our selections? Which rock star outfit do you think is the most fresh? For more mind-blowing Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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