Music Meets Fashion: Best Dressed Guitarists

Music Meets Fashion:  Best Dressed Guitarists

It seems any aspiring musician in a band these days has to think of themselves as a package. Gone are the days where the music is king; there has been a collision of music and fashion. Esquire magazine even has a ‘how to’ guide to dressing as a rockstar on a budget. The great thing about being a musician is that anything goes; and we love a trendsetter, the quirkier the better. Breaking away from the ‘uniform’ of trendy indie bands can get you column inches, but be careful not to detract from the music.

Historic and Current Fashion

Guitarists are secondary only to the lead singer, but many throughout the years have been equally as famous and fashionable. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Freddie Mercury and Brian May, John Leon and Paul McCartney, Axl Rose and Slash, Bono and The Edge, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. Well, you get the idea. Winning combinations come from an alliance that borders on competitiveness. The key thing about most of these combinations is that the guitarist is a little bit cooler, a little more aloof. In terms of stage presence, you can fade into the background or battle for the limelight. Either way, what you wear is still as important these days.

Moving on to the more current fashion, kinky-haired Killers guitarist Dave Keuning combines the best of both worlds. As a guitarist playing live shows, you do need to somewhat blend into the background and not overshadow your front man. The Killers’ lead singer, Brandon Flowers, is well known for his feathery epaulettes and eccentric dance style. Dave’s style is slightly more reserved, but with a similar androgynous style. The Killers really did set the bar when they hit the mainstream music scene back in 2004.

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Trend Setters

Trendsetting is a theme of recent great bands. The Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr. single handedly brought back the skinny suit and ingratiated himself with tailors worldwide. Arcade Fire‘s William Butler says, “For us, our kind of initial thing was wearing my Sunday school clothes. Like, what’s the least cool thing you can wear? Sunday school clothes. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but it was very hot.”

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The Willy Wonka of Rock n Roll, Jack White insists that his staff dress in black ties and white shirts (boys) and ‘something yellow’ for the girls. He insists all his choices for his fashion and interior design (the offices at the record label are beyond zany!) should have meaning behind them. Cowboy boots, Cuban heels, hats and of course stripes (monochromatic usually). In his White Stripes heyday he sported a Bohemian Rockabilly look, unsurprising given Nashville is his family base nowadays.

Daniel Kessler (guitarist with John-Peel-endorsed band Interpol) is noted for his suave style. A massive fan of French New Wave films from the 50s and 60s, Kessler was a philosophy major at NYU. The band are noted for their trademark black Italian suits (Prada is favoured) and have talked fashion in interviews. They say they’re not label snobs; they just like a sharp suit. Band mate Paul went out with Helena Christensen – a definite fashion credit!

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Wacky outfits are all well and good for press photos, music videos and live shows, but sporting something too off-the-wall and you run the risk of becoming ‘novelty’. Aim for style over substance, if you want to become a trendsetter, rather than a flash in the pan craze. To stand out on stage, take a leaf out of Jack White’s book and make it something that means something to you. Feathers, sequins, platforms, eye make-up, it’s up to you.

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Author: Jenny Beswick and the DV247 Fender guitar team put together this fashionable article for you!


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What Others Have Said:


  2. I never pay too much attention to what is worn. Unless it’s obviously tacky. To me, it’s all about the music. Not how the studio can make them sound. If a band sounds as good live as they do recorded, I’m impressed.

  3. cheryl lister says:

    I never thought much about musicians thinking about what they wear, but of course, they do! My daughter is taking up guitar, I’ll have to let her know to dress the part!

  4. I can only think about the musicians during the ’70s glam rock! But really, it seems there have been musicians in every era have chosen to display a certain aesthetic and this can include the clothes they choose to wear!

  5. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    Quite an eye opener for me – Prada suits indeed. I haven’t noticed any new trends that have been set, I think the Beatles made the biggest impression on the public as a whole – those amazing hair cuts & suits.!

  6. I like the more traditional trend rather than crazy and eccentric. It is hot in both senses of the word!

  7. I just love how rock stars guys dress . You don’t need to spend a lot of money to look good and sexy. Is all about being unique and wear what you really like. Great post!!!

  8. Rockers are so hot. I wish I had as much money as they did so I could dress nicely as well.

  9. laura rubenstein says:

    Guitarists are so sexy LOL Whether they are dressed nice or not