Have you heard of Rockabilly style, but don’t know what, exactly, it is? This is the low-down on Rockabilly style, so that you can wear it or at least impress your friends during your next vintage-inspired conversation. We’ll cover the origins, the essential wardrobe items, and some cool, little known facts about the style. Ready?
The Origins Of Rockabilly
The term Rockabilly was originally used to label a type of music that emerged in the fifties. The word combines “rock n roll” with “hill billy,” which was how people used to describe country western music. Think of artists like Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley when you think of this music genre.
In time, the word Rockabilly started to describe a style of clothing, and a way of life! It is sweet yet sexy. There’s nothing luxurious or sophisticated about this look — it is all about blue-collar, grass-roots Americana.
The Look: Essential Wardrobe Pieces
Here are some clothing items that are key for creating this look.
Women will need a few foundational Rockabilly items to mix and match. Top outfits off with accessories like a hair bandana (worn in a band around the head and tied front and center), chunky bangle bracelets, and a pair of Mary Jane shoes.
- Halter-tops with thick straps
- Undergarments to create hourglass shape
- Wide Belts
- Full swing skirts or high waisted pencil skirts
- Sweetheart Dress
Men can create this look easily with a few key items. Here they are:
- Western styled shirts
- Work shirts with sleeves rolled up
- Greaser jean jacket
- Long, slim fitting black jeans
Twists on Rockabilly Style
The working class edginess of rockabilly style lends itself to cool, modern twists on the look. Today you might see rockabilly style with punk undertones; tattoos, piercings, and skull printed fabrics all add to the look. You could also see rockabilly style that emphasizes the “hill billy”, western side of the origins. Cowboy boots and denim would be a part of every outfit if that’s the subculture you feel drawn to.
Little Known Facts
- Though it originated in the ’50s, Rockabilly style came back in a big way in the ’70s and ’80s.
- The Beatles were influenced by Rockabilly music and culture: The band’s name is inspired by a song from Buddy Holly
- Once it was established in the US, Rockabilly style hit the UK. People who followed the style were called Teddy Boys
Rockabilly style is budget friendly. After all, a pair of black Dickies and a pack of white tee shirts could get you started. It is also flattering and expressive. Women can show off a curvy figure by creating an hourglass shape with a wide belt.
Fun patterns and colors like bright red roses and cherries, black and white skulls, or bold floral prints add excitement to the look. Do you like the sound of sweet, classic Rockabilly style, or are you drawn to the edgy, punk-rock side of this look? Or is western your thing? Leave a comment below!