Photo by Steve Morley/Redferns

Elvis Presley's Best Fashion Through the Years, From Jumpsuits to Iconic Leather Jackets


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Elvis Presley might have been the King of Rock n' Roll, but he was also the king of making a fashion statement. In addition to his rolling hips and unique moves on stage, he always wowed the crowd with blingy outfits that set him apart from other popular singers of his time. From rising to rockabilly fame to covering himself head to toe in bling, his fashion choices have outlived the late superstar just as much as his music has. His choices inspired both men and women and continue to be revived in streetwear trends decades after his death. He had a true rags-to-riches story from his youth growing up in a shack in Mississippi to reaching global fame with his first number one hit at the age of 21. Presley's life and legacy continue to impress and inspire since the days he really set the tone as one of fashion's early rebels.

One of the exciting things about Presley's fashion choices is he was unapologetically adventurous. He was an early trendsetter and one of the first white men in music to embrace rhinestone-clad outfits and large quantities of jewelry. His looks not only inspired the world but other performers as well. Just look at David Bowie and Mick Jagger. Presley fully embraced his bling and in the process, became a cultural icon.

"The flamboyance of Elvis's stage-wear liberated men to wear clothes that were more outrageous than they had worn since the nineteenth century," British tailor Edward Sexton told Esquire.

Here are some of Presley's most noteworthy looks from his historic career.

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1957- Jailhouse Rock

Elvis Presley (1935 - 1977) dancing in a stylized prison uniform in a promotional portrait for director Richard Thorpe's film, 'Jailhouse Rock.'

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Sure, this was for one of Presley's most iconic movies but it makes a statement nonetheless. He managed to make his jail ensemble the epitome of edgy, perfect for showing off his dance moves and serving as inspiration for teenage rebels in the 50s and 60s from the loafers to the denim on denim.

1962- The white jacket

Rock and roll singer Elvis Presley performs in the film "Girls Girls Girls" at Paramount Studios in April of 1962 in Los Angeles, California

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The effortless choice of pairing the white jacket with the black pants and tie is *chef's kiss* perfection. He may be more closely affiliated with his popped collar but Presley sure could clean up nice.

1964- Just a dapper suit

Rock and roll singer Elvis Presley strums his guitar in a movie still from circa 1964

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

While Presley is really well known for all of his wacky outfits, this is a friendly reminder that the guy could seriously rock a nice suit. Hair slicked back, strumming on his guitar, he looks like a million bucks in this grey suit.

1968- The sparkly gold jacket

Rock and roll musician Elvis Presley performing the song "Trouble" on the Elvis comeback TV special on June 27, 1968 in Burbank, California

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The Elvis comeback TV special was full of incredible wardrobe moments but this gold jacket deserves some recognition. Only The King could pull off something this flashy and make it look classy and cool.

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1968- Leather on leather

Elvis Presley's landmark TV special was taped in June 1968 and aired December 3, 1968, on NBC.

Getty/ Bettmann / Contributor

Speaking of cool, how about this leather on leather? Another notable outfit choice from his 1968 TV special and it's one of my favorites on the entire list. To me, this photo is just a friendly reminder of why Presley was considered one of the biggest heartthrobs of his time. It's safe to say we can credit The King for making head-to-toe leather cool.

1970 - This black-on-black ensemble with a scarf

Elvis Presley (1935-1977) and his father, Vernon Presley (1916 - 1979), laugh while attending a party hosted by singer and actor Frank Sinatra for the opening of his daughter Nancy's nightclub act

Photo by Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images

One thing I love about Elvis Presley is he's fashionable on and off the stage. Here he is at an event with his father Vernon wearing a seriously suave black coat and pants, accented with a silk scarf. The man loved his accessories. Presley was effortlessly stylish and it showed no matter where he was photographed.

1970 - The Nixon suit

American singer and actor Elvis Aron Presley (1935 - 1977) meets 37th president of the United States Richard Milhous Nixon (1913 - 1994)

Photo by MPI/Getty Images

Leave it to Elvis to show up to a meeting with the President of the United States and make it a fashion statement. The massive 70s collar on his shirt and jacket. The belt buckle. Honestly, the outfit is as iconic as this meeting itself. Hollywood did a solid job recreating this outfit in the 2016 movie that followed this notable moment in history, Elvis & Nixon.

1972 - The red rhinestone suit

American singer Elvis Presley (1935 - 1977) performing on stage, 1972

Photo by Fotos International/Archive Photos/Getty Images

These amazing suits are probably what first come to find when thinking about Elvis's style. While the white one is iconic, this red one is equally notable. Paired with the white leather shoes, white tie, and large belt buckle, Presley fully encompasses his legendary style right here. He was known for choosing different colors like red and pink, fully embracing gender-fluid wardrobe choices that had never been seen before.

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1973 - The signature white rhinestone suit

Elvis Presley performs onstage at the International Convention Center in Honolulu Hawaii on January 14 1973

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

It's the white lamé jumpsuit that will forever be remembered in history. With the bellbottoms and open chest, Presley was perfectly capturing the 70s while inspiring other singers to get crazy with their performance wear. This might be one of his most iconic looks of all time.

1975- The blue rhinestone ensemble

NASSAU COLISEUM Photo of Elvis PRESLEY, performing live onstage

Photo by Steve Morley/Redferns

It's not an Elvis jumpsuit unless it's covered in bling. This blue ensemble is exactly what you'd expect from the King, from the many rhinestones to the large signature belt buckle.

READ MORE: Elvis Presley's 'Jailhouse Rock' Name-Drops a Real Life Group of Bootleggers

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