Elvis Presley’s Influence on Fashion

Elvis Presley is known to be the King of Rock n’ Roll. But aside from that, he was also the king of men’s fashion during his time. His style was not a look that would be easily pulled off unless you are a rock n’ roll legend or a TT Race rider. His existence singlehandedly changed the way men dress. This is why he remains one of the rare icons whose fashion legacy has outlived their career. 

Even though we are not all wearing lame jumpsuits these days, Elvis Presley’s influence on our wardrobe remains as big as ever. If you’d like to learn more about his influence on fashion, read on as we’re giving you more information about it. 

Elvis Presley and Colors

As a fashion icon, we can say that Elvis Presley was the Lady Gaga of his day. When he wore outlandish clothing one day, you will automatically see it become street fashion the next day. It’s quite challenging to imagine someone before Elvis, a straight guy particularly, to wear a pink shirt, pink socks, and a pink belt. The King also wore handmade shirts and casual suits, and as well as flashy custom-made shoes and jewelry pieces. These things made him the rock n’ roll royalty dresser to adhere to. He also even wore his hair long before everyone else thought it was fashionable. 

Elvis Presley was the Patron of Bling

Elvis Presley was born pool in a wooden shack in the Deep South. But he was able to get out of his poor childhood when he scored his first-ever Billboard top one, “Heartbreak Hotel,” when he was just 21 years old. With his success, he was able to fully indulge in his taste for flashy fashion. According to Tommy Hilfiger, Elvis Presley was the first white boy to really bling it up. 

In 1957, he did his style fabulously when he donned a gold ensemble for the album cover of 50000000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong. His astounding outfit costs $10,000, and it was a bling harbinger that showed the world that the poor boy from Mississippi was prepared to take his throne as the golden boy in the world of entertainment. 

Others followed Elvis everywhere he led. Artists as wide-ranging as Brandon Flowers and Tupac have since given their couture the Midas touch. Big brands like Versace and Costume National have also sent models down the runway in head-to-toe gold. Other modern artists, such as Bruno Mars, Justine Bieber, and Jared Leto, were also inspired but chose to wear a metallic gold sports jacket with Elvis-esque black collars. 

Elvis Presley Established Gender-Fluid Fashion

During the mid-50s, Elvis Presley bent the rigid gender rules of the era and encouraged young men to experiment with their clothes, which was usually a popular female pastime. The status quo was disordered by Elvis’ fondness for bubble-gum pink clothes, lace, and navel-baring cropped shorts. He actually spearheaded gender-fluidity way before it was even a thing. His style paved the way for the hot pink suits of Harry Styles. 

Throughout his career, Elvis Presley pushed gender boundaries by making floral prints cool. One example was during the ‘60s when he wore a red hibiscus shirt for the movie Blue Hawaii. Since then, big brands like Dior, Prada, and Saint Laurent have all adapted the Aloha style. 

Among all these, Elvis Presley’s most memorable binary-busting look is still his colorful, body-skimming jumpsuits. It liberated men to wear clothes that were more outrageous compared to those they had worn since the 19th century. And after many years, people are still enjoying the clothing freedoms that Elvis ushered in.

Elvis Presley Made Leather Outfits Cool

One of the defining moments in the history of rock n’ roll is Elvis Presley dressed head-to-toe in provocative leather as he whirled his way through the ’68 Comeback Special concert. It was after the years he spent making more and more bland movies in Hollywood. He was pressured to show the world that he was still relevant. 

As Elvis Presley stepped on the stage with his leather outfit, he was no longer a has-been as he was back and was dangerous. During this time, he understood that slipping on a layer of cordovan is an authorizing act. 

Since then, black leather has been the go-to for any on-the-ropes artist or performer who is looking into reinventing themselves with a desperado edge. Some of the artists that have worn interpretations of Elvis Presley’s seductive leather suit include Robbie Williams, Britney Spears, and Lady Gaga. It has secured its place in fashion folklore. Big designers like John Lawrence Sullivan and Saint Laurent have sent all-over cowhide down the catwalk. 


Elvis Presley indeed had a huge impact on the fashion industry and fashion styles of the artists today. In addition to artists and celebrities, many people are also adopting his look to their wardrobes, including his hairstyle. We hope this article helped you learn more about Elvis Presley’s influence on fashion. For more information about fashion in the ‘50s, you can also read our article about the Interesting Facts About the 1950s Fashion Scene.