What Is Rockabilly Style? Everything You Wanted To Know

by Bonnie in 2 Comments — Updated December 19, 2023

Curious about Rockabilly style? If yes, then you’re in for a treat! If not, then get ready to be blown away by this awesome vintage vibe!

Looking for a hint? Just think of Elvis Presley’s “Cry Baby,” the cool outfits and a bit of rock ‘n’ roll swagger.What Is Rocakbilly Style? Everything You Wanted To Know

In this article, I’ll break down what the Rockabilly style is all about – from its origins in the 1950s to the essential wardrobe items.

Whether you love fashion or just want to have some fun at the next old-school party, this article is your ticket to the world of Rockabilly fashion.

So, let’s get started and rock your style!

The Origins of “Rockabilly”: It All Started With the Music

What Is Rockabilly Style? Everything You Wanted To Know 9

In the 1950s, a new genre of music, Rockabilly – a mixture of rock n’ roll and Western country music with a hint of blues – burst onto the scene. Even the term itself is essentially a fusion of “rock ‘n’ roll” and “hillbilly” – which was how people used to describe country music at the time.

Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, and the King himself, Elvis Presley, were the icons of this musical genre.

Although Rockabilly started as a music genre, it soon became more than a fashion statement; it became a lifestyle.

It’s a style that effortlessly combines sweetness and sexiness, leaving no room for luxury or sophistication. At its core, Rockabilly fashion is a celebration of blue-collar, grass-roots Americana, a nod to the working-class spirit that made it all possible.

The Rockabilly Look: Essential Wardrobe Pieces

Classic Rockabilly styling for both men adn women
Source: https://www.dobi.nu/yourscenesucks

It doesn’t really matter if you are a man or a woman; there are some common elements that define the Rockabilly style.

The main idea is to mix the 1950s vintage vibe with some modern edgy elements that make it stand out.

The Rockabilly closet usually includes some classic items – like bandanas, high-waisted jeans and skirts, big belts, jackets, white T-shirts, and retro dresses. These are the basics of the look.

Apart from the clothing, the Rockabilly style is also about expressing your confidence and attitude. This iconic look is a nod to the rebel spirit – and it’s all about being yourself.

That is to say:

It’s not just what you wear; it’s how you wear it.

Oh, and one more thing:

The Rockabilly look is not complete without a bold and rebellious perfume or cologne. Versace Eros fits the bill perfectly. With a daring mix of mint, green apple, and tonka bean, it’s a true reflection of the Rockabilly attitude.

Another example of an adventurous one is the Blackbird Moto Oud, a scent with notes of leather and gasoline, evoking the spirit of a desert motorcycle ride. Be careful, though – you might attract a few bikers along the way.

Regardless of your chosen fragrance, the key thing is to wear it confidently. After all, Rockabilly style is all about owning your individuality and embracing your inner rebel.

And with that said, here are some clothing items that are key for creating this look:

1. Rockabilly – Inspired Fashion for Women

What Is Rocakbilly Style? Everything You Wanted To Know
Source: lasvegasweekly.com

Retro Hairstyles and Accessories

Alright, ladies, let’s talk hair and accessories – the heart of Rockabilly style! You want to go for a classic style, maybe a pompadour or a Victory Roll that gives you that vintage vibe. Also, think about wearing a bandana tied on top of your head or a hair flower behind your ear.

Vintage Clothing

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Source: Flickr

When it comes to threads, high-waisted pants and pencil skirts are your besties, giving you that timeless silhouette. And what about patterns? You can go wild with polka dots, stripes, and checkerboard.

And for the final sizzle, slip into wiggle or swing dresses. Trust me when I say this – you’ll channel the 50s in no time.

What Is Rocakbilly Style? Everything You Wanted To Know
Source: pinterest.com


You can step up your shoe game with peep-toe heels and wedges; they’re cute and comfy. For that extra flair, I personally love ballet flats and sassy saddle shoes.


Cat-eye sunglasses are a timeless accessory piece that always turns heads – so don’t hesitate to snag them! Also, you can’t forget the chunky necklaces and hoop earrings to add some bling to the look. And for wrapping the style up, add a wide belt that cinches the waist, plus a vintage handbag or a clutch purse.

2. Rockabilly – Inspired Fashion for Men

What Is Rocakbilly Style? Everything You Wanted To Know
Source: pinterest.com

Hairstyles and Grooming

Okay, guys, let’s start from the very top – your hair!

Going for that Rockabilly aesthetic often means classic pompadour and slicked-back hair. And for that finishing touch, whether you’re rocking facial hair or staying clean-shaven, it’s all about looking sharp.

What Is Rocakbilly Style? Everything You Wanted To Know
Source: pinterest.com

Vintage Clothing

Moving on, let’s see some of the vintage fashion pieces that’ll have you looking like a true Rockabilly rebel.

So, Western-style shirts are a must since they give you that rugged charm. But don’t avoid the timeless work shirts with sleeves rolled up – they’re classic cool. And for getting that ultimate ’50s vibe, put on a greaser jean jacket and pair it up with some long, slim-fitting black jeans, and you’re good to go.


For your feet, you want to go for something sturdy and stylish. Boots are your best bet for that edgy Rockabilly vibe. Whether you go for the classic black leather or something more fun, they’ll do the work.


Last but not least, let’s talk about accessories. Wayfarer sunglasses are your ticket to that vintage cool factor. Add some personality with skinny ties or bow ties, and don’t forget a fedora hat for that classic touch. If you’re the wallet-carrying type, consider a chain wallet for that extra dose of attitude.

Subcultures and Modern-Day Twists on Rockabilly Style

Nowadays, you can see some cool variations and modern twists of the working-class edginess of Rockabilly. So, let’s explore them!

Psychobilly Outfit

Source: ninjacosmico

First up, we’ve got Rockabilly mixed with punk rock and gothic aesthetics – Psychobilly. We’re talking tattoos, piercings, and fabrics adorned with skulls – it’s all part of the rebellious package. Hairstyles are mostly exaggerated, with large pompadours and brightly colored hair.

This fusion takes Rockabilly fashion to a whole new level of edginess, giving you that “bad-to-the-bone” vibe.

Punkabilly styles
Credit: Punkabilly styles – ranker.com 

Another subculture worth mentioning is Punkabilly, a genre that blends punk and vintage Rockabilly fashion. You can be as bold, rebellious, and unique as you want. Think retro Rockabilly dresses or shirts paired with punk accessories like studded belts, leather jackets, or band patches. Punkabilly hairstyles include colorful and asymmetrical styles featuring punk-inspired hair dyes.

For those drawn to the “hillbilly” and western roots, Rockabilly style takes on a cowboy-infused charm. Picture every outfit featuring cowboy boots and denim – it’s a reference to the rugged, Western side of the origins.

In the contemporary Rockabilly scene, you’ll find modern twists that mix the classic charm of the 1950s with a fresh flair. This creates an eclectic, gender-inclusive look that’s as sustainable as it is stylish.

Vintage finds and eco-conscious brands are in vogue, while tattoos and DIY customization add a personal touch. When it comes to music, the playlist extends beyond classic rockabilly, with punk and indie rock influencing fashion choices.

Shopping for Rockabilly Clothes

rockabilly fashion shopping

By now, you probably have a clear picture of what Rockabilly fashion is all about – so let’s go through some tips on how to find Rockabilly clothing items that will help you achieve the look you’re going for:

  • Visit local thrift stores, flea markets, or garage sales to hunt for vintage treasures. You can even go to some of the Rockabilly festivals that are held all around the globe. Once you go, look for items that have bright colors, fun prints, and interesting details – such as buttons, embroidery, and patches.
  • Be sure to check the labels to see if they’re from a vintage brand or era.
  • Look for online stores that specialize in rockabilly and vintage clothing. Some examples are RebelsMarket, Rockabilly Rules, and Vintage Dancer. The last-mentioned one is a platform that searches the web for the best fits and connects you with it, so you’ll always find something interesting.
  • Make your own rockabilly clothes with some DIY skills. Customize your existing clothes or buy plain items and add your own touches. For example, you can sew patches, studs, or buttons on a denim jacket or jeans for that rocky look. You can also paint or embroider designs on a plain shirt or dress. And even making your own accessories like necklaces, earrings, and rings is a breeze with some beads, charms, or chains.

There you have it – a guide to shopping for Rockabilly clothes that’ll help you embrace this iconic style authentically without burning a hole in your pocket.

Final Thoughts

In a world where fashion changes like the wind, the Rockabilly style still stands strong. We’ve explored its roots, must-have fashion elements, subcultures – from the edgy Psychobilly to the unique Punkabilly – and shopping tips.

Whether you are thrifting, DIYing, or adding a modern twist, Rockabilly fashion allows you to have fun with mixing and matching. But most importantly, Rockabilly lets you be you.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Rockabilly expert or just a beginner, don’t be afraid to try this timeless and unique style and let your personality shine through!

2 thoughts on “What Is Rockabilly Style? Everything You Wanted To Know”

  1. A great bit of info on the Rockabilly history and style that I can identify with. I’m an upright bass player that grew up listening to 80’s hair metal, with a hard working father that listened to old country. I get it, it is my blend for edge, piston power, hard work, honesty, for love of country, that truly defines my spirit! Thanks.

  2. I lived in Lubbock during the height of Buddy Holly rockabilly and we ROCKED!!! Then enter the punk era combined with Rockabilly and we were bar groupies at all the hot bars! Joe Ely, Richard Hell and the Voidoids!! Can’t remember all the bands names I rocked out to from 1978-1983 because we partied in the good old days to quarter beer night! This poor college girl could get WASTED with only $5 in my pocket! Ahhhh, the good ol’ days before greed and capitalism ruined America!


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