“The image is one thing and the human being is another. It’s very hard to live up to an image, put it that way”
It is no secret that Elvis had an ever-changing style. That being said, it was completely unique to him and made his image more recognizable. Between the way he styled his hair, the extravagant accessories, iconic shoes, and the clothes he worse, each decade of Elvis can be easily determined based on his styling choices.
Coming from absolutely nothing, Elvis created a name for himself. He wanted it to appear like he had money and did just that with the selections of clothes he wore. Elvis made branding cool before it was even a real thing.
Within the incredible exhibits at Elvis Presley’s Memphis are some of his most recognizable outfits. From his Gold Lamé suit from 1957 to the very last jumpsuit he wore in 1977, the evolution of Elvis’s style is continuously showcased throughout the beautiful display at the new exhibits.
Well before Elvis hit it big, he still managed to stand out of the crowd. It is insane to think Elvis was once bullied for his appearance, or the fact he carried a guitar around school. It was even said Elvis failed music class because his instructor did not like the changes he was making to songs.
In spite of all these early on obstacles, Elvis pressed on and never stopped being who he was. He loved the outlandish style of the 1950s, though others were eager to say how ridiculous he looked. Presley did not mind. He knew what he liked and did not care what others thought.
When Elvis jumped on the scene in the 1955 and made it big in 1956, his style was copied and idolized by many which proceeded to give Elvis his iconic 1950s image we know and love today.
The majority of the 1960s consisted of Elvis filming movies. During this time, Elvis’s style evolved to a clean-cut almost conservative look. Though Elvis still managed to throw in his flare with fabric choices and accessories, Elvis had a style different from most in the 1960s.
Continuing to stand out for being different, his style managed to show the growth Elvis endured during his time in the Army. No longer labeled a rebel, Elvis was an American hero that those who ridiculed him in the past were forced to bite their tongues and label themselves Elvis fans.
As Elvis fans, we know the movies he created were not Oscar worthy by any means, but we continue to love them because we love Elvis.
During the 1960s, Elvis managed to go through the ultimate relook as the 1968 Comeback Special transformed his look once again. There is a clear shift in his appearance in the last few films he starred in comparing to those before the special was filmed. This was truly Elvis in his prime.
Coming off of the success of the 68 Comeback Special and wrapping up his movie career, Elvis managed to score a headliner gig at the International Hotel in Las Vegas.
Due to his strenuous performances and schedule, Elvis wanted to look like a star, but also have flexibility with his movements. This meant his style would evolve once again. Jumpsuits became a part of Elvis’s style and created, debatably, the most iconic look in Elvis’s legacy.
Each jumpsuit was unique and contained intricate designs and extreme theming throughout. The well-designed jumpsuits are a staple in Elvis history. In the Elvis the Entertainer exhibit, their display of jumpsuits Elvis wore contains the most iconic to the most off-the-wall.
Seeing these specially designed jumpsuits up close is even more beautiful than a picture can do justice. The work and detail that went into these suits is clear with how their quality remains even after 40 years of being unworn.
Elvis Press Interview
When Elvis was not performing onstage, he still managed to have a very interesting and eye-catching look. Between fur suits and coats to large belts and canes, Elvis managed to always look like money.
In one of Elvis’s more, well, Elvis ideas to meet the President, Elvis dressed the part. Wearing a cape among his black fur suit with a puffy white shirt underneath, not to mention his cane, Elvis always dressed to impressed and with his very own style.
With his personal style, Elvis had custom jewelry and sunglasses to match almost every outfit he wore. More than anything, I would have loved to take a look at his closet. Though these items are not on display in the normal ticketed exhibits, check out the Fashion Exhibit. There are some on display if you are willing to pay the extra money for the VIP tour.
Elvis’s style changed over the 20 years he was on the scene. From rebel, to respected, to completely outlandish, Elvis is remembered as all three. Not one look is better than the other or the most recognizable as Elvis always managed to be himself. Elvis did not change based on what others thought of him.
Over 40 years later he is remembered for being Elvis. Remember that the next time someone tells you to change.
For more photos from the exhibit, visit Moody Blue Blog’s Facebook page: Moody Blue Facebook Page
To subscribe to our YouTube channel for Elvis and ETA videos: YouTube @ LIttle Sister
Until we meet again,
TCB and TCE,
*All Photos were taken by Ashley Dion AKA Little Sister*