When one thinks about style, one can’t go wrong when looking back at Elvis Presley. The man wasn’t just the “King of Rock and Roll” with his significant contribution to the development of Rockabilly, one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music, which combines the sound of country, rhythm, and blues.
Elvis Presley was also a “style icon,” donning the optimal combination of items such as leather and denim jackets, jumpsuits, and even a Hamilton Ventura watch. In this list, we offer some of Elvis Presley’s iconic fashion styles and items that became popular, along with his rock and roll music.
1. Jailhouse Rocker
Probably many of you already know the drill for this one – a combination of black denim and vertical stripes, and voila! You get one of Elvis’ signature styles. The style became popular when Elvis wore it in Jailhouse Rock, and it sure did stand out.
The outfit consists of a rather conspicuous vertical striped shirt, akin to the design of clothes that prisoners wore. He coupled this with a black denim jacket, a pair of black denim jeans, and a pair of black loafers. Truly a monochrome outfit, but it sure did stand out!
2. “Taking Care of Business” Necklace
There’s one phrase that Elvis Presley used a lot, and it was “TCB” or “Taking Care of Business.” The phrase was not only a string of words but also a necklace. The glamorous piece of accessories showcased the initials “TCB” with a shiny silver thunderbolt-like shape under the “C.” The far edges of the “T” and “B” are then attached to a silver chain necklace.
This piece of jewelry was gifted to J.D. Sumner, Presley’s childhood friend and one of his backup singers in the Stamps Quartet. Presley also had this particular necklace made in large quantities to be given out to friends, family, and supporters. The Presleys also commissioned a Beverly Hills jeweler for 14-karat gold necklaces with the same TCB logo for all male members of Presley’s entourage.
3) The Gold Suit
Wanna stand out? Wear gold, and definitely, your eyes will be on you! This suit is probably the flashiest Elvis wore. The Gold Lamé Nudie Suit, which you might recognize on the album cover for 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong, consists of a gold-leaf tuxedo lined with rhinestones, and golden trousers, belt, shoes, and necktie.
Elvis’ manager, Colonel Parker, commissioned the suit to Nudie Cohn of Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors. It’s a gold suit, said to be around $2,500 at that time. But, while the fans loved the outfit, it was reported that Elvis didn’t like it very much. Some parts weren’t very aesthetically pleasing to him, and the material also turned out to be a hindrance in some of his performances.
4) Hamilton Ventura Watch
When talking about style, another accessory that people usually look out for watches. While most people would think about stylized jumpsuits, denim jackets, and gold suits as Elvis’ fashion legacy, Elvis also collected watches like Omegas lined with diamonds and the Rolex King Midas. But, there’s another timepiece fit for a king: the Hamilton Ventura.
Though timepieces by Hamilton are as old as 1893, it was only in the 1950s that Richard Arbib dreamed of the design for Hamilton Ventura, the world’s first electric watch. It wasn’t that popular initially, but it did become a hit when Elvis wore it in 1961’s Blue Hawaii. It became associated with Elvis’ blue suede loafers.
The Hamilton Ventura has a sleek angular design instead of the regular circular-shaped timepieces, thus making it seem like a triangle. It showcases a black dial with the hour ticks plastered on it.
The angularly shaped dial is then encased in a stainless steel casing, wherein the color may vary depending on the model – sometimes a brilliant gold or shiny silver. Some models also have the timepiece fitted with a faux crocodile strap, which, again, its color may vary depending on the model.
Aside from the eye-catching golden suit, Elvis was also pretty famous for the several different jumpsuits that he wore on stage. It’s a stark contrast from Elvis’ casual denim look in Jailhouse Rock as the jumpsuits boast some flamboyant and eye-catching designs. For instance, Elvis has this American Eagle inspired by America’s colors – predominantly white, lined with red and blue jewels.
On the legs and shoulders, you could see the jewels shaped into an eagle with the colors of America. Another jumpsuit would be the bubblegum pink rhinestone-studded Jumpsuit made by Nudie Cohn. The predominantly pink jumpsuit was lined with multi-colored jewels carefully shaped into flower patterns on the shoulders, chest, waist, back, and collar.
Those are just some of the iconic styles popularized by the one and only king, Elvis Presley. Surely, no one can ever forget how he has become a significant cultural symbol. If you’re a fan yourself and want to channel some of his looks, you can start by checking out luxury watches at TheWatchCompany.com.