How To Dress Like A Rolling Stone
01 Sep 2023
Words By Amy W. Burgess
Introduced on stage in 1969 as “the greatest rock and roll band in the world”, the Rolling Stones took their place in music history long ago, as the indelible forefront of British rock. Alongside their explosive back catalogue of rhythm and blues, the Stones act as a lesson in fashion history — marrying modish elegance with dandy sensibilities in the ‘60s, forming their signature rock’n’roll glamour into the ‘70s and beyond. Grab your record player and your aviators: here’s how to capture their distinctive style in the 21st century.
1967 was bookended by two Stones albums: Between the Buttons and Their Satanic Majesties Request. While the former was more in line with the band’s previous image as sartorial blues rockers, the latter was a definitive move into psychedelic territory and was reflected in the clothes they wore. Brian Jones in particular leaned into the fashion of the movement, wearing baroque jewellery, fur coats and vests, ruffled shirts, and patterned flares. His outfit worn at the Monterey Pop Festival featured fabrics like lace, velvet, and fur in flowing oversized silhouettes. Wear the Hippie Shake’s Can You Dig It Concho Belt to truly tie a kaleidoscopic outfit together. Jones’s love of fur can be seen as him and Keith Richards wear matching fur vests — the Day Tripper Blue Reversible Vest combines vintage embroidery with a faux fur trim, in an androgynous nod to the psychedelic era.
The Rock and Roll Circus
Doomed concert film The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus spent thirty years locked away, finally reaching completion in 1996 after lost footage was discovered in a bin in the Who’s private film vault. It acts as a time capsule of the late ‘60s as it transitioned into the ‘70s, reflected no doubt in the fashion. The high concept circus look blends effortlessly with sleek dandy elements, creating an otherworldly image.
The Stones’ more laid-back look for the musical numbers highlights everything special about their fashion. Mick’s pink long-sleeve and bootleg trouser combination is ahead of its time as always; Bill Wyman is draped in white flowing lace like a precursor to Freddie Mercury; Keith channels the medieval revival while Brian’s purple velvet and calf-length boots place him firmly in 1968. The Hippie Shake’s Like A Rolling Stone Striped Flares capture the bridge between ‘60s and ‘70s Stones, where tailored grace meets reckless candour.
On the flip side, the Rock and Roll Circus showcases a theatrical side to the Stones’ style. While the average vintage fashion lover is unlikely to take to the streets wearing a top hat and scarlet tailcoat, a paired-down alternative is surely possible. Look for snakeskin boots, embroidered jackets, bohemian silhouettes and, of course, a statement hat or two (though we recommend straying far from a top hat!) The Revolution 1967 Embroidered Dream Coat ticks all the boxes while staying versatile for modern life.
No guide to vintage fashion would be complete without mentioning the mod subculture. Making its mark on practically every musician of the time — no matter how subtle — it was immortalised in a string of Rolling Stones album covers across the ‘60s. The British cover of their 1965 album Out of Our Heads, shot by band favourite Gered Mankowitz, features the Stones peering moodily from within an alleyway, decked in a collection of mod staples. To replicate their style, look no further than black turtlenecks, striped formal shirts (upturned collar optional), and monochrome blazers. For a feminine angle, try the Hippie Shake’s Layla Striped Corduroy Double Breasted Coat to take classic tailoring to another level.
By 1967, the Stones began experimenting with different styles, epitomised in the Green Park photoshoot. Reading as a mismatch of both mod and dandy influences, our reaction can be summed up by the two gentlemen in the distance, stopping and staring … hopefully in wonder. Bill and Charlie mix inoffensive blazers and pea coats with brightly-coloured shirts, while Mick ditches convention and opts for a black fur coat instead. Brian and Keith both incorporate statement vintage jewellery, with the latter throwing a beige fur coat over his outfit, as if to signal the new era of expression the late ‘60s ushered in. Pair the psychedelic A Hard Day’s Night Striped Flares with the eternally chic Marianne Brown Cropped Jacket to hit the same notes.
Perhaps their most famous era, the ‘70s saw a dramatic shift in the make-up of the Rolling Stones. Mick Taylor joined the lineup after the untimely death of Brian Jones in 1969, leaving in 1974 to be replaced by Ronnie Woods. What was both a shaky yet explosive era was reflected in their dynamic fashion choices. The band’s previous dandy edge continued in the form of bohemian elements, including clashing patterns and fabrics. Their previous tailored silhouette gave way to loose flowing garments like silk blouses, flared jeans and skinny scarves. Look for striped patterns, sequins, statement belts, and dagger collars: wear the Lovely Rita Long Skinny Scarf paired with the Let The Good Times Roll Cream Ruffle Blouse for Jagger-Richards style à la mode.
The Rolling Stones’ fashion catalogue is just as extensive as their music’s. With fifty years of style to take inspiration from, you’ll never be lost for style.