3 colours to dip into this summer
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Turns out, in the world of fashion, Elvis never really left the building. And just ahead of Austin Butler’s performance as The King of Rock in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, his style legacy is about to become all the more apparent. But, before you shudder at the thought of tight leather slacks and big ‘ol Western belts coming in for round two, our stylists predict the ‘50s comeback to be a subtler affair.
After all, off-stage, Elvis Presley’s looks were a little less bedazzled and actually very wearable – you might even have some of his staple pieces in your wardrobe already. We’ve enlisted the help of stylist Toby Standing who’s broken down four ways to channel his style in a way that’s appropriate for 2022. Uh-huh.
At the time, yes Elvis was wearing (or creating) the most current fashion trends of the era. 70 years on, however, these have become stone-cold classics of men’s dressing. Wardrobe staples you may already own, think a chambray shirt, penny loafer, and straight-cut blue jeans, are all synonymous with the styles Elvis was rocking in the ‘50s. And if you don’t own them, they’re definitely easy to come by and are all great entry level pieces that won’t make you come off costume-y and won’t cost you a lot of money.
If you’re heading to an Elvis-themed fancy dress party anytime soon, go ahead and pull out the double leather. If that’s not on brand for you, leave the leather jumpsuit recreations to Britney and Lady Gaga and lean into double denim instead.
Embracing a denim shirt and jean combo is a great way to tap into Elvis’s style without looking like you’re about to ride a motorcycle. It was once rumoured that Elvis himself debuted the first pair of Levi’s black jeans while promoting his film Jailhouse Rock. And while it turned out to be just a rumour, he was known to favour them over blue denim – so if black jeans feel more you, the King approves.
Despite his showmanship off the stage, Elvis tended to rely on fairly simple outfits with hero items that do a lot of heavy lifting style wise. Brightly coloured bowling shirts, checked or striped jackets, and blazers were frequent pieces for him, as were even simpler styles like cable-knit jumpers and knitted polos. Oh, and socks. He was into good socks. All of which lend themselves nicely to the occasion season we’re in the midst of right now.
Nothing was slim-fit in the ‘50s, you’ll be glad to know. The silhouettes of the time favoured more relaxed trousers, shorter jackets, and higher waists – all things that are definitely back in (or at least quickly on their way). So to nod to the icon in an “if you know you know” kind of way, start by incorporating these kinds of fits into your rotation – the trick is relaxed but still tailored. Also key? Making the pieces feel like your own. Think an undone few buttons here, a rolled up sleeve there – you know, a bit of carelessness. Just no nonchalance when it comes to the hair, he never did that.
Words: Yasmine Kennedy
Styling: Toby Standing