The 1950s, the 60s, and the 70s were decades that observed many cultural changes. Many art movements started during the 1950s and this period witnessed several art practices being influenced by it. Gender roles were rather strict and rigid. The employment patterns were re-established – men were considered as heads of the family and women were expected to take care of the family and were looked down upon. Although, these practices changed a little during the first wave of feminism around the 1960s. Music, like art, saw a noticeable difference. Genres like jazz, rock, and roll, rockabilly, blues became exceedingly popular during this time. Rock n’ Roll and Rockabilly are believed to have impacted the United States in the most outrageous and far out ways, and fashion was one of its ‘victims’. Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock n’ roll music and the term is derived from “rock n’ roll” and “hillbilly”.
Rockabilly men and women followed the traditional patterns in fashion, but with a slight edge to it. Women would go for all things feminine, like a floral dress, but with a little twist. They would be covered in tattoos (animal prints on some occasions), bold red lipstick and bandanas, and the basic Converse All-Star. Rockabilly men would prefer the greaser James Dean look- leather and biker jackets, plaid and bowling shirts, jet black jeans, and chunky boots!
“Good girls often fall for the boys in leather jackets” might have been beyond your comprehension a few years ago, but now you know. Pay attention, ladies and gentlemen, you know just what I’m talking about. Now that we’ve covered what Rockabilly culture comprises of, let’s help you with 5 tips to adopt rockabilly style into a casual everyday look-
A leather jacket and polka dots
Men can always wear leather jackets over basic white t-shirts for a dinner with the boys, and women can wear polka dot short dresses for a Sunday barbeque brunch. Polka dots and leather never left the fashion scene, so one can always add a little “rockabilly” in their otherwise casual days.
Workplace/ office-friendly suit and skirts
Remember Joan from the show, Mad Men, anyone? Office friendly suits and skirts emanate, (lowkey scream), classy. It’s convenient, casual, and chic. Oh, don’t forget to wear red lipstick.
I mean, we all remember Charlie Sheen from Two and a Half Men, don’t we? Bowling shirts, coupled with tattoos make up for any occasion. Put on a bowling shirt and the right pair of trousers to go with it. Bowling shirts are somewhere in the middle. They can never be too much or too little.
Pencil dresses dramatically accentuate a woman’s curves and body. This is one fantastic alternative for a late-night dinner with someone close. It brings out a woman’s body and I don’t think there’s anything more empowering than that.
Denim shorts with vintage knotted blouses
All the ladies know this look too well. You can always wear denim shorts with a vintage knotted blouse with platform heels and top it off with a set of vintage rollers and tie it up using a bandanna. You can wear this on a night out bowling, having cocktails with your girls, or just to pick up groceries!
Rockabilly fashion is a whirlpool of all things retro with a touch of all things bold. It’s a statement and I believe most of us like to keep up with it because it’s different and doesn’t require too much of our time. Presley, we hope we didn’t disappoint you?
Oh, and while we’re at it, remember John Travolta with a leather jacket in his hand, a slicked black pompadour? Hmmm.