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Rockabilly Style

post #1 of 161
Thread Starter 
I don't see much of this style but I really like it. Is it still out there or is it too dated? Any designers? Any pics? Clothes? Sites? Books? Inspiration? Some great looks especially with denim.
post #2 of 161
I see people in Rockabilly bands, and at Rockabilly shows wearing rockabilly stuff.

Most of those people seem to go the vintage route.
post #3 of 161
I used to be hardcore in the traditional RAB scene....

depends on what subgenre of "rockabilly" yer talking about..

-Traditional, which is more about vintage clothes from 40s-50s. The Trad RAB scene was for the longest time the only people I knew who were into selvage denim. The LVC repro's in the 90s were huge in rockabilly circles which spawned some local brands like Glory (USA), Ace (Germany), Evil (USA) etc. Shirt-wise, it's all about gabardines, from s/s to l/s. All that cherry, flames, martini shit you see wouldnt be caught anywhere near a traditional rockabilly. Shoes tend to be winklepickers, spectators, and esp Jubilees. Currently, the traditional guys in LA are into vintage workwear, and one of my friends is making repro of work denim using selvage denim from Cone Mills.

-Modern/Neo.....this is more of what you see nowadays. Brands like Lucky 13 are huge. Lot of punk influences without being psychobilly. Bowling shirts, gas station shirts etc are a big part of this look. Along with creepers for shoes.

-Psychobilly....more of a punk look, with neo-rockabilly influences....lot of leopard print sewn onto denim jackets, the wedge haircut...really tight jeans with creepers.

The traditional scene has more 'style' but it can look very dated and almost like you're a walking museum piece. The Modern scene has a more 2007 relevant look since the gear is all new. Depends on what floats yer boat, but I wouldnt dress "rockabilly" without being hardcore into the music.

As for pics, sites, books.....shit, where to start???

check out which is the official RAB weekender site, it has TONS of photos from the past events and encompasses a variety of looks. Shit, you'll prolly see my ugly mug on there, as I know some photos of us were uploaded.

Books....for info or pics? A great one for pics is TEDS, which is hard to get, but it focuses on the British teddy boy scene and is all pictures.


This is one of my favorites, again a Teddy Boy site. When I was into RAB, I was more about the British Teds since it wasnt too far of an offshoot from my skinhead/mod past. There isnt any Ted scene in the USA, as it's more of a Euro thing (esp Germany and Scandinavia)

Geronimo is probably THE best repro clothing company but they got busted for evading import taxes and have been banned from entering the country for about 6 years

tons more....I'll give you more info if you want it...
post #4 of 161
Not really "authentic" but Pringle was doing some rockabilly inspired stuff a year or two ago.

post #5 of 161
John Galliano has also done some rather unfortunate interpretations of the look, with some particularly ugly leopard print items.
post #6 of 161
Without sounding too man-crushy, GetSmart is awesome, I love his knowledge of all these cool/obscure subcultures (I'm totally fascinated by subcultures like this).

post #7 of 161
I'm very much into the rockabilly style..
I think that most of the Japanese denim companies have a bit of RAB style within their lines. Flat Head doing it the strongest, especially considering their line is
50's Americana based.
post #8 of 161
one of my homies is a big time Psychobilly, he usually wears tight dark denim (cuffed), Creepers, band shirts, and vintage Jackets. Top it all off with a pompadour or the Psychobilly spike (or whatever its called)
post #9 of 161
As I relearned last night, visit the Bigfoot Lodge in Los Feliz to get an idea on the 'billy scene. It's alive and well.
post #10 of 161
You know, i just remembered..
I posted a similar post to this on Superfuture a few months ago and got zero love over there..
post #11 of 161
I'm not a rockabilly or psychobilly, but I dig a lot of the music and will be seeing Unknown Hinson tomorrow night. I'm sure some of the locals will be flossing, so I'll try to get pics.
post #12 of 161
I've posted this site before, it's run by a German rockabilly couple and has a lot of the brands that hepcats are into

Other books I'd recommend on it:

Rockabilly - 40 year Journey by Billy Poore is really good if you want info on the authentic era. He includes a lot of rare photos and the author was there for it all so it's from a first hand (tho biased) point of view. Published by Hal Leonard ISBN 0-7935-9142-2

Go Cat Go! by Craig pics, but probably the best written book about rockabilly as it covers the 50s up til modern times. Univ of Illinois Press ISBN 0-252-06538-7

All Shook Up by Joseph Connolly.......not a RAB book per se, but it's about 50s teenager life in London. It's all photos, a great visual reference to authentic dress and style of that era. Cassell & Co ISBN 0-304-35596-8

The Teds by Chris Steel-Perkins and Richard Smith.....this book was out of print for years and was reprinted around 2000. All photos with just enough text to put everything in context. Teddy Boys were the first organized scene of rockabillies from the early 50s. Back then kids just listened to rocknroll, rockabilly, R&B...but the Teds put a name to their group dynamic, had a distinct uniform look and became the first youth subculture ever. And they were clothes obsessives, having everything tailormade for them. Dewi Lewis Publishing ISBN 1-899235-44-2
post #13 of 161
While I dont know much about the culture, I do appriciate how it looks (except for that leopard prints and creepers stuff..)

here´s two swedish shops with a rockabilly profile:
post #14 of 161
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Get Smart View Post
I used to be hardcore in the traditional RAB scene....

depends on what subgenre of "rockabilly" yer talking about..


tons more....I'll give you more info if you want it...

I was actually going to pm you about this but then I thought I'd start a thread to see what happens.

I need to do some shopping and I've always been attracted to and worn some of the RAB style in addition to the '50s and '60s style clothing. I've always gone for some of the style points (listed below) except for the skulls / flames and such.

When I was in college, I designed a line based on the '50s and '60s. It included lots of denim and leather.

Some of the style points (in the clothing): Squared / boxy shirts - jackets that are boxy, cuffed / dark? jeans and workwear, flames, skulls, cars, motorcycles

Any other suggestions as far as style points? Any quality designers making clothing or shoes that isn't necessarily RAB but could be worn as such? I'm just looking for ideas to put together a look.

The shoes are especially hard as there are no creepers and such that are stitched and very well made (not that it matters but it would be nice). They hold up but they're not at the quality of, say, AE or whomever. Except maybe motorcycle boots by Frye, Red Wing and a couple of other brands.

I'm sick of trying to buy vintage. I'm about 5' 11" and nothing seems to be large enough. The sizing of vintage stuff is usually too small.
post #15 of 161
some style points in a nutshell: -traditional/hepcat/purist: Pants: denim is almost always selvage (usually '37 buckleback or '47 repro cut cuffed around 2"), trousers are pleated & cuffed gabardine high waisted (preferably flecked) Shirts: range from Ts to gabardine longsleeves, short sleeve shirtjacs (boxy fit that ends at waist), 40s cableknit shortsleeve sweaters (the ones with prints knitted into them are really sought after), Hawaiian shirts (rayon...Avanti and Sunsurf make the popular models based on 40s/50s originals) Jackets: Type I or Type II Levis denim.....Gabardine 'ricky' jackets when worn with trousers Belts: the studded and jeweled 50s motorcycle belts were really popular til about 2003, and still are, tho a lot of guys stopped wearing them ever since they became trendy at places like Fred Segal, Baltazar etc. For trousers, it's all about the thin .5" wide belt Shoes: Motorcycle boots, spectator loafers and laceups, white bucks Here's a site for an LA store that sells repro vintage shoes, including some cool ones for men that a lot of guys wear (my fiancee has most of their women's shoes) -Modern/Neo Pants: always jeans, these guys don't really 'dress up'. Rarely selvage, they just buy normal Levis and oftentimes wear with 4" cuffs. Ironically, this is more of an authentic spirit than what the traditionals do since back in the 50s guys just went out and bought jeans, cuffed them, and never gave much thought about looking "like something". Shirts: bowling shirts, work shirts, gas station shirts, western shirts, repro 50s shirts (which are almost always cheesy), lounge shirts Shoes: converse, motorcycle boots Jackets: motorcycle perfecto, work jackets (Dickies), denim Belts: studded punker belt, anything with huge ass buckle Teddy Boys: Pants: drainpipe trousers, very fitted Jackets: velvet collared 3/4 length drape coats, fitted in a columnar cut....velvet sleeve cuffs and pocket trims popular too Shirts: western shirts, dress shirts, bolo ties worn a lot Shoes: brothel creepers with a real crepe sole, winklepickers You mentioned not finding a quality made Creeper, but George Cox makes the original (since 1949) and their shoes are goodyear welted. Their creepers are the best made ones, tho nearly impossible to get since Cox only has 3 official retail points in the world...LA, Tokyo and UK. I used to have a few pairs and they are so much better made than TUK, from the stitchign around the lace buckles to the welted sole. And Cox uses real rubber crepe, not that hard black rubber that most brands use. Obviously I'm pigeonholing the look a bit for brevity but you get the idea. Also good to check out some good ol fashioned 1950s J.D. movies, here are some faves in my collection: -Don't Knock the Rock/Rock Around the Clock (you can get both on a single dvd now) -Dragstrip Girl -Running Wild -Rock Baby Rock It -Untamed Youth -Hot Rod Gang -Ghost of Sleepy Hollow -High School Hellcats -Rock Rock Rock -Go Johnny Go -High School Confidential *I'm surprised vintage doesnt fit seems most everything was made for a fella around 5'9 - 5'11. One of my friends was a bigger guy at 6'2" and he had a whole closet full of vintage that once he started selling stuff off made a killing since his sizes are near impossible to find.
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