What is rockabilly style

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rockabilly pinup girl
From cars to costumes, rockabilly can be a lifestyle
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Rockabilly style is what rock and country music look like sewn together

Music and fashion capture the attitudes of their time. When the timing is right, they even elevate certain trends into the land of the iconic.

Born from rock music of the 1940s and 50s, when souped up cars ruled the roads and a post-war whimsy ignited a hunger for something edgy and wild, rockabilly style is part of a subculture steeped in vintage clothing and a music genre that blends rock and country. Rockabilly is a life style statement, and rockabilly fanatics often drive and maintain vintage cars, listen to rockabilly bands and collect anything vintage.

Today, rockabilly style is strongly influenced by the fashions of the 1950s and many music spinoffs like psychobily, punkabilly and gothabilly. Think pin-up gals with tattoos and greasers in leather jackets and dancing shoes. From head to toe, rockabilly style appears to embrace a swinging devil-may-care lifestyle, but at its heart rockabilly fashion is highly expressive.

What is rockabilly style for women?


Rockabilly fashions for women can be over-the-top innocent, ultra feminine or super sexy. A great vintage store can be rockabilly gold, but if you donít have one, check out online stores like Rockabilly-Rules and The Atomic Boutique for full lines of apparel and accessories.

Innocent Ė For inspiration on the innocent side of this style, picture Sandra Dee with her poodle skirts, cardigans and polka dots.

Daring Ė Daring womenís fashions take cues from models like Bettie Paige with bold colors, animal prints, fitted pencil skirts, lace tops and capri pants.


A few hairdos are synonymous with rockabilly flair. For a casual look, twist your hair on top of your head and secure it with a colorful bandana tied in bow. For the long haired Betty Paige look, youíll need to have a stylist cut thick bangs. Most women in the 1940s curled their hair in big rollers. When wearing it down or in a pony tail, the top of the hair was often teased into a poof and smoothed with a comb so you canít see the tease.

Accessories and Makeup

Achieve high contrast retro makeup with black liquid eye liner, black mascara and a dark pencil to fill in your eye brows if needed. Use a cherry red lipstick or another rich red that pops against your skin tone.

In the accessories department, you'll find fabulous hair clips with large flowers, bows, feathers and fake gem stones. Handbags are typically the small clutch-style. Since tattoos are also common, jewelry is not necessary, but if you wear it go for junky necklaces or slim chains with an elaborate pendant.

What is rockabilly style for men?


Men dressing in rockabilly style donít have nearly as many decisions to make as women. Classic menís fashions include bowling shirts, slim dark jeans and t-shirts. All apparel should be tailored, slacks pressed and loafers as shiny as youíd keep a Firebird if you had one. Let early Elvis, Johnny Cash or James Dean serve as the muse.


Many men of the 40s and 50s wore their hair in some version of a pompadour. This required a basic haircut that was long-ish on top and short on the sides. Variations of the pompadour include parting the hair for a messier look or not parting the hair for a slicker finish. Sides are typically combed back with the front gradually tapered down the back.

On first glance, rockabilly styles seem to take a certain swagger to pull off, but really you just need to feel confident in how you look. Mix match cardigans with halter dresses and play with different makeup and hairstyles. In the end, you should feel like your glamorous self walking to the beat of a slapped bass.


Rockabilly Rules

Rockabilly Hairstyle

Pinup Girl Clothing: Accessories

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