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How to rock the rock-and-roll trend

How to rock the rock-and-roll trend

As Nickelback so aptly sang, “...we all just wanna be big rockstars”. But, seeing as we can’t all get away with wearing sunglasses indoors, inappropriate gyrating, and face-melting guitar solos, we’ll have to settle for a more accessible route: the outfits. Rock and roll may be decades old, but the style still rocks on.

The music of rock and roll, since the days of Elvis and Chuck Berry, has been synonymous with non-conformity. Not only did rock and roll provide a platform for lovelorn youths to express their feelings, it also kickstarted an entire lifestyle – one that rejected tradition and forged its own offbeat path. With Marlon Brando in “The Wild One” and James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause” as the arguable instigators of the style in the 50s, characters like Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix were free to be more outlandish with their style choices in the 60s. The punk rock era of the 80s took things five steps further. Rockstars had fun with fashion because they could get away with it, and were instrumental (pardon the pun) in turning fashion on its head and making it purposefully out-of-the-box.

Now, we’re not suggesting you ease in with metallic suits or purple flares. To guide you in (respectably) rocking the rock-and-roll trend today, we enlisted the help of Thread stylist Luke McDonald, who has styled two rock-and roll-inspired looks that strike a chord with today’s modern man. “The fashion world has long loved the lean, devil-may-care, rock-inspired aesthetic,” Luke says. “To channel this look, I’ve taken inspiration from rock and roll, but adapted it for today.” Walk this way, gents.

The first is a more obvious rock-and-roll look with a leather jacket, black selvedge jeans, and chelsea boots. “Contrasted with a silky, floral-printed shirt, you get a very Rolling Stones feel.” says Luke. The leather jacket is the be all and end all of the rock-and-roll look. A transformative item that has the power to make you 10x cooler in an instant, a good leather jacket is a real swagger-inducer. “The asymmetric zip leather jacket in particular is a classic choice.” But if you’re not into leather, try denim. Denim has a similar cool factor-upping effect in a less obvious way. The material of the patterned shirt, too, is key. “Go for a viscose or rayon fabric to get that relaxed, drapey quality. It’s very David Bowie and very neo dandy.” Finished off with chelsea boots, this very slick, put-together outfit references classic rock-and-roll style without being audacious.

The second look is a bit more contemporary. A pair of washed, slim-fitting Levi’s, much loved by The Ramones and worn on their 1976 eponymous album cover, are excellent for giving off that nonchalant rocker vibe – especially when paired with a 70s-style graphic t-shirt or a proper band t-shirt. “All this under a glen check overcoat references that punk era tendency to throw on random items from a thrift store and mash them together without a care.” In terms of accessories, it’s all about how you wear them. If you throw on a scarf, tie it in a less gentlemanly way. More Mick Jagger, less Idris Elba. And if you’re wearing sunglasses, only wear them indoors (kidding).

Dressing like a rockstar is definitely not wearing head-to-toe black and planting on a pout. Rockers have a lot of fun experimenting with textures, patterns and colour, and they take pride in the results. In the spirit of channelling a rockstar, we’d suggest you adopt a little bit of their ‘give-a-f*ck’ vibe and go for it. For all the grunge and grit associated with rock and roll, the dressing is actually very sharp, full of flair, and well put-together. It’s the attitude that comes with it that’s a little less calculated.


Words: Ashiana Pradhan
Photography: Lola & Pani
Styling: Luke McDonald