Perhaps the biggest poster child for teenage rebellion and the leather jacket, James Dean was an American actor who left a major impression on the world. Although he had a timely death at the age of 24 – the result of a fatal car crash – Dean starred in three successful films that made him unforgettable: East of Eden (1955), Rebel Without a Cause (1955), and Giant (1956).
Ironically, his rise to stardom continued even after he died, with his fashion sense inspiring the greasers and bad boys of yesterday as well as the hipsters and rockers of today. The Classic James Dean look is one that balances simple and chic with hardcore and rebellious – the type of look that has become androgynously popular over the years.
Ready to steal the look of Classic James Dean? Styling suggestions ahead!
Top Looks From “East of Eden”
Warm tones contribute to an outfit's overall warm vibe, which is calming and easy-going. To add some edge to a preppy look, explore strong contrasting shades and have fun pairing bold tones together and exploring different sweater styles. Buttons or no buttons, this Classic James Dean look is totally mod and sophisticated. Adding a pair of punk rock creepers will then make the entire ensemble that much cooler!
Stripes are way cool – always have been and always will be! The androgyny of bold, horizontal stripes makes a for a great top to style a guy or girl, which can be worn fitting or loose, by itself or under a leather jacket, and with or without an rocker necklace!
Iconic Statements from “Rebel Without a Cause”
A black motorcycle jacket is the ultimate “bad boy” fashion piece, and it’s likely to be the clothing item that most people think of when they conjure images of Dean! With a cigarette hanging from his lip, a brooding scowl, and the nice-guy sensibility we've idealized, Dean continues to inspire both guys and girls on how to style a black motorcycle jacket and how to wear distressed jeans. After “Rebel Without a Cause” came out in 1955, jeans became a super-popular clothing item among American youthful rebels -- a trend that has yet to die cease.
Sporty and classic, with a twist of edge – this reddish bomber jacket worn by Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause” is famous in itself! Having a black biker jacket is a given for any rocker, but so is a colored leather jacket. It, too, looks awesome on both genders. Try with a plain or graphic T-shirt and distressed denim or dark pants for a Classic James Dean look. A major statement necklace or other type of punk rock jewelry adds a cool touch to a simple outfit.
“Giant” Fashion Inspiration
The infamous cowboy hat is a clothing item that is typically representative of the south and country music. And while that is still true, many guys and girls wear a cowboy hat for creative style. The same goes for vests over a button-up or tee! The style of today is about showing you really are with the creative fashion pieces, and just like some of Dean’s other signature look in film, this look is still Classic James Dean. Want more of a rocker vibe with the hat and vest paired together? Take a cue from Johnny Depp’s use of dark colors and boho-gothic accessories!
Denim on denim, as well as denim paired with lightweight tops can be ultra-chic. In the film, “Giant,” Dean showed us the sexiness can naturally result from a few buttons undone and a pair of great-fitting jeans. It’s no wonder why Dean is at the top of many people’s “hottest celebrities” lists! In a very easy-going, effortless style, the iconic trendsetter proves that simple does not mean boring. No way – Dean’s fashion is a minimalist approach to making a rebellious statement.
Does the Classic James Dean look inspired you personal style? Leave a comment and share your story with us!