Since the original rise of the Teddy Boy and the furious cultural clashes of the mods and rockers, the rockabilly biker look has been iconic among many a generation. It’s a look and a feeling that has endured and will continue to endure.
Today the rockabilly biker style is considered punk-casual or ‘Elvis-with-added-edge’. It’s an aesthetic that transcends gender, with foundations that offer no end of flexibility or versatility.
But, of course, winter is here and yes, it’s very cold. That said, while achieving rockabilly perfection might be a top priority, it’s unlikely that you’re willing to freeze in the process.
To help you adopt the perfect rockabilly biker look this winter, here are a few helpful hints and ideas for your reading pleasure.
Get the Rockabilly Biker Look: A Basic Framework
Whether you’re going for leather-clad perfection or that searing James-Dean-leaning-on-his-hog look, by following the basic framework, you’ll achieve winter-clad rockabilly biker glory for sure. And, to help you on your journey, here are some top tips:
Don’t overdo it: The first rule of a rockabilly biker club? Don’t overdo it. The most fundamental (and powerful aspect) of rockabilly style is that less is more.
Refrain from filling your outfit with bundles of accessories, icons or logos and ensure that every single garment (from your underwear right through to your jacket) adds meaning to your ensemble. Anything you believe is surplus to requirement in any way, leave it in the wardrobe for another day.
Layer up: Naturally, we mean layer up to keep yourself warm, but we also mean that when it comes to getting the rockabilly biker look, you should build your outfit based on a series of layers (like a rock & roll lasagne). Start with a striking pin-up-style dress or fitted t-shirt, before adding a cardigan or shirt. Your footwear and bottom half should complement your upper layers, with a belt to punctuate your outfit. If you’ve layered well, you’ll leave yourself ample opportunity to pick a winter jacket that will bestow you with ultimate rockabilly biker perfection.
Consider the middle layer: Circling back to cardigans or shirts: to give your rockabilly biker look real shape and character, you should give ample thought to your middle layer. When it comes to rockabilly fashion, knitwear and shirts are a joy as there is no end of choice and versatility.
If you’re thinking about going leather bound with your jacket choice, you might want to snag yourself a dark patterned shirt or if a trench or pea-style coat is more your thing, perhaps a fitted cardigan or vintage knit will work best (fashion and functionality in one neat package).
Rockabilly Biker Perfection: Top Style Tips
Now that you have a framework for guidance, here are some tip-top style tips to guide you to rockabilly perfection.
Footwear: In the winter especially, you should place a strong emphasis on your footwear if you want to look like a real biker. That said, you should opt for chunky leather boots (the more robust the better) or brogue-style lace-up shoes that work cohesively with your drainpipe jeans, tights or knee socks. Your footwear will make or break your outfit, so make sure you choose wisely.
Accessories: As we said, you should by no means go overboard with your accessories, but by choosing three solid outfit additions, you’ll be able to personalize your rockabilly ensemble with maximum impact.
Headwear works really well in winter, as do handbags. And, if you throw a patch or striking belt into the mix, you will turn heads while remaining functional (and most importantly, warm) at all times. Take some time to mull over your accessories or additions, making sure that each of your three selections works effectively as an overall fashion composition.
Jackets & coats: Any solid alternative winter outfit should be framed with an epic coat or jacket—and the rockabilly biker look is no exception. Your jacket will not only house one of your accessories but along with your footwear, it will make or break the success of your rocker look.
When it comes to rockabilly-style jackets, you can venture into areas of goth or mod if you’re looking to diversify, but a good old fashioned leather jacket always works wonderfully.
If you’ve taken care of business and layered your outfit to perfection, you’ll have created a solid canvas for your jacket choice. If you’ve selected a pinup dress and warm tights, a lined leather jacket will look incredible or if you’ve gone for the robust boot and jean combo, a lengthy vintage overcoat will make you look as cool as a proverbial cucumber, rock & roll style!
To me, rockabilly music paralleled punk's energy and feeling, but the players were much better.—Brian Setzer
We hope these tips will help you navigate your way to your perfect rockabilly biker look this winter. Use this advice as a working guide, staying true to yourself while letting your alternative creativity be your guide, and you will turn heads with your new warm and rocking look.
Without a doubt, the rockabilly look is as iconic as it is timeless and by adding your personal touch, you will keep the trend alive. We wish you the best of luck with your fashion choices.
Do you want to take your winter style choices that one step further and set new trends? Check out our definitive guide to 11 essential edgy fashion styles and create an ensemble that drops jaws and turns heads wherever you go.