Rockabilly Style for Men

Rockabilly Style for Men

  1. Image titled Dress Rockabilly Step 1

    Stock up on wardrobe essentials. It doesn’t take a lot of pieces or a lot of money to put together a rockabilly wardrobe. The look is pure working-class Americana with some flashes of swinger-chic.

    • Do it Dickies style. If there’s one brand name synonymous with rockabilly style, it’s Dickies. This line of work apparel offers basic pieces that speak to the rockabilly aesthetic. The classic rockabilly trousers are a pair of Dickies Original 874 work pants in black.
    • Grab some denim. Slim-cut (not skinny) dark jeans are another wardrobe staple. Be sure to buy them a couple of inches longer than you need so you can cuff them up.
    • Pick up a pack of T’s. You can’t go wrong sporting a thin white T-shirt with the sleeves rolled up and the hem tucked in to your pants; this is a staple of the rockabilly “greaser” look. Pick up some work shirts and western shirts to add a little flair to your wardrobe.
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    Show up in a suit. For dressier occasions, choose a slim-fit suit to show rockabilly style with class. Check that the suit jacket has a skinny collar, two or more buttons and a higher waistline. A sharkskin suit with its high sheen is a true attention-getter, but a good quality suit will set you back more than a few bucks. Scour thrift and vintage stores for this classic suit; if it’s in good shape, fits well or can be easily altered, snap it up. Western suits are another way to add variety to your wardrobe and can be found easily online and in specialty stores.
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    Jack up your look with a jacket. There are a variety of jackets that add that perfect layer of authenticity to a rockabilly look. Each will send a slightly different style message, so give it some thought and decide the right look for you.

    • The letter jacket. Remember when Danny gave Sandy his letter jacket in “Grease?” Give yourself a slightly preppy rockabilly look by picking up a letter jacket. They’re easy to find at flea markets and vintage and thrift stores and give you your chance to be the big man on campus.
    • The motorcycle jacket. Yet another undisputed classic–the leather motorcycle jacket–is at the heart of the “greaser” look. Pick one up new or shop the thrift stores to score a well-worn but sturdy second-hand model.
  4. Image titled Dress Rockabilly Step 4

    Try on a wool tweed jacket. Convey a casual air with a wool tweed jacket. Look for a topper that features knit cuffs, collar and waist reasonably priced at thrift and vintage stores.

    • The shop jacket. Wear the shop jacket to work on your hot rod–or to look like you do. Navy, black, gray and olive green are the classic colors, but you don’t have to stick to that. If you truly want to rock it old school, find a jacket with a name patch or plan to add one to yours.
    • The Western jacket. The Western jacket adds a little pizzazz to your look. The style is slim with a banded waist and cowboy snaps and ornate stitching.
  5. Image titled Dress Rockabilly Step 5

    Refine your look with shoes and accessories. Shoes and accessories truly do complete your look and can solidify the direction of your style.

    • Give ’em the boot. Worn work boots or motorcycle boots are a no-brainer choice for this look. If you’re going for a more of a “swinger” style, pick up a pair of wing tips or oxfords. If you consider yourself a fashion daredevil, chose a pair of creepers. These thick-soled platform shoes have been described as “clunky” and “cinder block chic.” They have roots in the punk scene but fit right into a rockabilly wardrobe, especially those that sport plaids, polka dots or flames. They should be easy to find–they’re a major fall 2013 fashion statement.[1]
    • Accessorize to suit your style. Add a skinny tie with a tie tack or tie bar to a suit and consider a pair of cufflinks (think dice, hot rods or playing card motifs). Buddy Holly-style glasses (get clear lenses if your vision is 20/20)can give you a rockin’ edge, and nothing complements a basic white T better than a pack of smokes rolled up in the sleeve.
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    Get the hair right. Perhaps the most popular men’s hairstyle of the the 1950s–the pompadour–is the totally today look of a rockabilly man. When the style first became popular, men used cream to slick the hair down and give it a wet look, which earned them the nickname “Greasers.”

    • Wear a pompadour. GQ describes the pompadour as “Shorn on the sides and back, long enough on top to be swept forward and back onto itself, the whole thing looks like one big, bold whoosh! sound effect.”[2]
      • To get your pompadour on, be sure your hair is cut properly–short on the sides and in the back with a top that starts short in the back and gets longer as the hair moves forward.
      • Rub some pomade or wax in your hands to warm it up and slick the product evenly through the sides and back of your hair. Comb the sides back and the back straight down; keep the hair as close to the scalp as possible.
      • Warm up some more wax and apply it to the top of your hair. Create a side part by combing this section in a diagonal starting from the back and working toward the front. Flip the front up and back to give it some height.

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