The term Rockabilly started in the late 1940’s and stems from the two genres of music; Rock-and-Roll and Hillbilly music. Music at that time was changing into a country and rock mixture sung by the likes of Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. The current rockabilly style tribe gets its inspiration from this music. The people in this style tribe often dress in vintage, attend 1950’s inspired events, and use lingo from that time period.
Like the music, rockabilly style is a return to the 1950’s style and a hybrid between western influences and a rock-and-roll vibe. Women often wear vintage dresses with tiny waste, long skirts, funky prints like Polk-a-dot or leopard, and bows. The rockabilly style takes the classic, clean, and often tame 1950’s housewife look and turns it upside down by adding dramatic makeup like red lips and cat eye liner, and tattoos. Another 1950’s style they often channeled is the pin-up look. This look has high waist hot pants or booty shorts, with a bra top and the classic hair flip. Although pops of color are often found, black is the style staple for Rockabilly style.
The main hairstyles for women all include a combination of pin curls, waves, and straight blunt bangs. No matter what is worn, the hair is always done up in a neat and retro hairdo. Even when the hair is down, it is curled to perfection in large waves that can only be achieved by vintage curlers. Sounds like a lot of work to me, but I cannot deny the effect is transfixing.
Rockabilly people often attend vintage car shows, join bowling leagues, and listen to the music they were named for. You can find a large population of Rockabilly people in places like LA and the UK. They are usually somewhere in their late 20’s to early 40’s and have a love for all things vintage. It is resurgence for the things of old and a happier time. The fashions are all about making women look feminine and sexy, while the “men dress like men”. The gender lines are strictly drawn.
Rockabilly has been large influence on runways recently. In 2012 numerous runway looks featured the rockabilly hairstyles. Jeremy Scott is one designer that brought the “country Barbie” look to life in 2012. The hair had a huge impact but the influence went deeper in McQ Spring Summer 2012 collection. The entire collection shows the western influence of rockabilly as well as some of the more feminine looks.
Even if you are not willing to put in the solid 2 hours it would take to transform you into a pin-up vixen or rummage through your grandparents’ attic, you can still take some style tips from the Rockabilly style tribe. Cat eye glasses or eyeliner and red lips are an easy way to make you feel extra feminine. Rockabilly has been around for over 60 years and the style tribe will continue to maintain their unique lifestyle and fashion.