Ah that rock and roll lifestyle. We might not all have it, but can we look like we do…? You’re damn right. So if you’re wondering how to dress like a rockstar without looking like a guy trying to dress like a rockstar, we’ve got some tips for you.
OK, first things first. You don’t need to play rock music, and you don’t need to take up a drug habit and drink a bottle of JD every night. Truth be told, rock stars these days are into yoga and clean living anyways. Yeah I know…
But what I will say is you’ll need to be in ‘decent’ shape physically. By this I mean, spend some time in the gym, try and shift your gut and just generally look like you look after yourself. (yes yes, I know Keith Richards looks like he hasn’t done a days exercise in his life, but he is an actual rock star).
Grooming is also a useful addition to your rock star look – so make sure to pay attention to elements such as your hair or beard.
In this article though, we’re gonna focus on your attire. So…
Heres our guide to dressing like you’re a rock and roll heavy hitter.
Simple monochrome colours
As a general style rule, your average rock n roll fashion icon is gonna be dressed in a black leather jacket, white t-shirt, plaid shirts optional and black jeans. Add in combat boots or casual trainers such as a pair of white Vans (depending on the rock star style you’re going for)
If you wanna carry that rock star look, this is basic. And I don’t mean basic in a bad way, this is a look you’ll need to master.
Stock up on clean white t-shirts (you will need multiple, and make sure they’re quality cotton, with no logo).
Switch it up with a few plain black tees too.
Whether you’re looking to emulate heavy metal and goth styles, or more of a focus on the punk rock stars a la Joey Ramone or 1970’s John Lydon/Johnny Rotten – the monochrome look is timeless and the preferred style of pretty much any rock n roll musician.
The black leather jacket
While we’re tackling the basics, a black leather jacket is an absolute must when adding to your rock star wardrobe.
The black leather jacket is one of those staple items that can go with anything, is hard wearing and just looks fresh as fuck with pretty much any outfit.
A good example is G-Eazy, who rocks a leather jacket in that unmistakably cool rock and roll star style.
Find one that suits you, and matches your outfits.
Keep footwear simple
When pairing your rock n roll style with footwear, your best bet is to go for a simple set up.
- Fresh white sneakers – many rockers wear skate shoes such as Vans, but any plain white training shoe should be ideal
- Simple black shoes such combat boots or other forms of chunky boots
- Smart casual – if you’re trying to emulate the more modern art rock performers, you might want to go for a formal dress shoe such as the brogue or chelsea boot
Look for either simple sneakers or cool leather shoes online.
Wear a hat
Rock stars love a hat. And if you want to carry off that effortless rock and roll style icon vibe then get yourself a hat. Again, simplicity is key here.
Some rock and roll icons like to rock a fedora, others might look better in a flat cap.
A good example here is Jack White, who tends to go with the fedora.
You may prefer a snapback/baseball cap, or maybe even a trilby. Again, it’s gonna depend on your style – but a hat is a solid style addition if you’re looking to rock the cool musician vibe.
Pretty much any Indie rock star or punk rock icon is gonna be squeezed into skinny jeans. Whether you go for ripped or not is your choice – but a pair of black skinny jeans will be an essential part of your rock star outfit.
Tattered and torn clothes can fit with the rock star aesthetic, especially if you’re going for that grunge or punk style. In this case, a pair of second hand Levis will be perfect for your rock n roll look.
Are there specific brands you should wear if you want to dress like a rockstar? Truthfully, not really.
In fact, truth be told, the stealth wealth aesthetic is growing in popularity more than ever. That means brands and labels are irrelavent.
But instead of brand, you should be aiming for quality. You want to look like you’re wearing the finest gear, as quality shows from a mile off.
And when it comes to dressing the part, you don’t want to let your look down with a cheap jacket.
Having said that… Retro and vintage styling is VERY MUCH a good option. You can find some incredibly stylish pieces at knock down prices if you’re prepared to shop at thrift stores/charity shops and vintage stores.
So don’t worry too much about the brand name, but look at whether the items are built to last.
You can’t carry off that rock n roll star look without a cool pair of classic shades in your pocket. Your actual style will vary as the best sunglasses and specs will depend on the shape of your head and other factors.
As a general rule, a pair of aviators or wayfarers are going to be a good choice whatever your look.
If you’re going for more of a glam rock star style (I’m thinking 1970’s David Bowie) then you can obviously go much more flamboyant. You’ll probably want to match your eyeshadow too 😉
Want rock n roll star style sunglasses with a sustainable edge? Check out FacePlant who offer excellent quality and recycled materials too.
The flannel shirt
One last item for your rock star wardrobe is the flannel shirt. This can be worn with your jacket and t-shirt combo, and is the ideal addition to your late night lounging look.
Go with a check shirt, or simple pattern for the best look. Avoid going for an out there Hawaiian shirt… Although that can work too if you have that kinda loud personality.
Rock that hair
If you think of rockstars and their appearances, you’ll realise that hair plays a big part in their styling. Think of the classic styling of David Bowie (who had countless hairstyles in his time), though to Keith and Mick from the Rolling Stones, or even the punk styles of The Ramones, Sex Pistols or The Clash.
Coming towards the slightly more contemporary, we have the long shaggy locks of grunge stars like Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, or the seemingly effortless (but obviously styled) looks of modern rock and roll stars like Alex Turner from the Arctic Monkeys or Kevin Parker from Tame Impala.
Hair matters if you want to rock the rock and roll star look effortlessly. Look for a modern and contemporary style, or go for something retro or ironic such as the wolf cut or even a mullet (if you can pull it off stylishly).
Keep it simple
The aim of the game when it comes to dressing like a rock star is understated.
Crazy colours, bold logos and crazy bling is… Well, it’s more EDM star than rock star, and that’s a look for a whole other article….
Find your rock and roll style icons, whether that’s Josh Homme, Michael Tuck (Bullet for my Valentine), Alex Tucker or Dave Grohl; or more classic styling from Jim Morrison, David Bowie or even Elvis.
Be bold, but keep it simple. And crucially, be confident and be YOU.
Wanna get more geeky? Check out how to dress nerd style