Rock stars have been arbiters of taste since Mozart melted hearts in his powdered wig. But having a microphone in hand makes certain looks rather easier to pull off. To inject some onstage edge into your everyday wear, you need to look to key pieces which will inject that frontman swagger without turning your outfit into fancy dress.
We’re not talking latter-day Dylan here: the man’s look peaked at the same time as his music. And that 1960s style – onstage and on record – is about stripping things back. “Bob Dylan led the movement with lean cuts, sleek shades and Cuban Heels,” says stylist Amanda Lee Shirrefs. “To me, he is the leading example of how good a man can look when he simplifies his look and finds the right tailor.” It’s a look that suits guys who like to make style effortless, not flamboyant. But in order for simple pieces to shine, you need to invest in quality – like a buttery soft leather jacket and a pair of boots you can wear until they’ve got as much personality as you. Combine with wardrobe basics and you’re ready to rock and roll.
Pop’s most chameleonic artist may have tragically passed on, but his style legacy will endure as long as his music. After all, you don’t get a V&A retrospective unless you’ve made a sizeable impact on fashion. Any Bowie era would make a solid jumping off point, but in light of the 1970s trend that’s dominating runways (steered, in no small part, by Bowie’s own look during that decade) it seems a sensible place to start. If Bowie’s gender-blurring – picked up almost note-for-note by J.W.Anderson – is too much, lighter touches can still nudge your style towards glam. “To channel Ziggy Stardust, incorporate some colour and print into your look,” says Shireffs. Florals are trending, and easier-to-wear than they appear: just keep the rest of your outfit monochrome. We’d steer shy of the lightning bolt make-up, though.
In keeping with his image as hip-hop’s savviest business, man, Jay Z blends the style of a boardroom baller with picks straight from the street. “He can perfectly blend classics and urban flair in such an age-appropriate way,” Shireffs says. “He knows what works for him and stays within the parameters of that, but doesn’t shy from experimenting with accessories.” Sportswear should be your starting point, but mix in tailored pieces too – when you’re not feeling the oversized tee, a short-sleeved button-up and bomber is the perfect foil to a snapback. But remember that quality is all. When you’re sitting on an estimated half-billion-dollar fortune, you don’t skrimp.
Pulp’s lead singer Jarvis Cocker epitomises everything that’s great about England’s dandy gents, from velvet jackets and skinny ties to drainpipe jeans and pointed loafers. “One of my personal fashion icons, Jarvis is the definitive King of Charity Shop chic,” says Shireffs. “His take on the 1970s, seen through the eyes of 1990s Britpop, is still so influential today. As shown on the
Last but in no way least, Pharrell Williams is the perfect modern-day artist who knows how to experiment with both sound and style. “Pharrell approaches fashion with such individualism, adventure and ease,” says Shireffs. “Connecting sportswear with street style influences and high fashion flair, he births trends. And his choice to wear the vintage Vivienne Westwood’s ‘Buffalo Hat’ sparked influence on the runway and made exaggerated hats the must-have accessory.” Though we’d advise against emulating his headwear, the rest of his look comes courtesy of Japan’s streetwear dons: think A Bathing Ape, Commes Des Garçons Shirt and Billionaire Boys Club, Pharell’s own hook-up with BAPE’s Nigo. Reach for brights and prints – especially camo – then finish with a smile more infectious than the Get Lucky hook.