Rockabilly is not just about the music….it’s also a lifestyle. And while the youth of ’50s America were quick to embrace the sounds of rockabilly, they were also just as quick to adopot the “look”. It’s a culture that’s managed to stretch through five decades. Rockabilly clothing has had an influence on fashion trends from the Teds in the UK to the Mods, Punks and right through to today’s psychobilly.
Back in the ’50s the rock ‘n’ rollers adopted a look to match the crazy music they were making. Rockabilly clothing was all about sharp cuts, swept back hair, piled high. For the teeangers that took on the look, rockabilly clothes were pretty much clean cut with a dash of edge. For the boys it was pants with wide cuffs, simple shirts and jackets while for girls it was full skirt dresses and lots of crinolines, flats and ponytails.
The more rebellious teenagers took Rockabilly clothing to its limit …crazy patterns and colours in menswear – two-tone shirts and jackets as well as leather jackets. Girls wanting to show off their bad side opted for the scandalous pencil skirt and tight sweater, stiletto heels and red lipstick.
And while it all died down in the ’60s, the subculture’s influence lived on. Rockabilly fashion has provided a template for most every pop style that’s followed. You could say today’s psychobilly is just a younger relation the Rockabilly of the 1950’s…taking its place in a family that refuses to go away.