Fashion and clothing has long been a major part of heavy metal and rock music. The way that rockers look and dress has evolved over the years but have always separated them from other genres and other people. Here is a look that outlines (roughly) the timeline and evolution of heavy metal fashion and influences:
- Trashy looks; back in the 80’s, the best way to recognize and identify a rocker, or to dress or become one was to pair tight skinny jeans with a studded belt, graphic t shirts (sleeves optional), high top shoes (preferably scuffed up), a distressed jean jacket and, the signature long, messy, unruly hair.
- Hair Metal Inspiration; Fans of Twisted Sister are all to familiar with these types of look which include statement hair that is teased, dyed, or uniquely styled for the sake of making a statement as well as leather, spandex or printed pants, chaps, fingerless gloves, outrageous and loud prints and plenty of accessories.
- Costumes; Kiss is one prime example of the inspiration and significance of costumes in the world of rock n’ roll and heavy metal. The costumes didn’t always make sense and varied from knights to clowns to aliens and everything in between. The best part was that the costumes didn’t have to make sense.
- Hybrid Looks; Heavy metal as a genre evolved strongly in the 90’s and blended with and drew inspiration from pop, rap and funk and therefore the fashion and looks did too. High socks, toques, trucker style hats, tank tops, baggy jeans, long sweaters, facial hair, nothing was off limits. Looks varied and interpreted differently by different artists, fans and individuals.
- Black, dark metal; Chains, blood, spikes are the motif for these looks. Black was the only colour but mixed textures and motifs including leather, camo, and various accessories with studs, spikes and chains were key.
Here are a few pieces that are threaded and staples in each of the above looks and that remain timeless in the styling of heavy metal and rock n’ roll:
- Distressed Jeans; jeans that are acid washed, ripped or frayed have been a longstanding symbol of heavy metal and worn by some of the biggest names in heavy metal both on and off the stage. These jeans can be tight or baggy and often have patches, chains, paint or other unique features
- Motorcycle jackets; these jackets are basically the heavy metal claim to fame. Rock N’ Roll has a forever love affair with motorbike jackets and leather in general that will never go out of style.
- Chains; whether worn on jeans, wrists, or around one’s neck, there is always a place for chains in heavy metal and in rock n’ roll. Chains remain a staple in this genre.