Seeking Fashion in Rock from Iconic Metal Music
Hard rock, in all its glorious variations has certainly rocked our world. Not only has the genre changed our soundscape, but it’s also influenced personal style. Let’s head bang out way through some examples!
Metal music is a big, diverse category. But, it’s had some definitive impact on fashion, hairstyles, and more.
In this post, we surf the mosh pit towards the stage — where we see a few of the style-maker bands/musicians and the looks they inspired.
Bands that Trailblazed Style
Surely lots of metal bands contributed to fashion trends, but we think these three top the charts.
Kiss, of Course….
No rundown of iconic metal bands that set style on fire would be complete without these guys on it. Yes, their music slays. But this group is arguably just as famous for their instantly-recognizable makeup, very tight pants, and platform footwear (which resembles the Demonia shoes we sell on our site!).
Motörhead, Ahead of Trends
Inspired by the biker subculture, this band’s known for wearing lots of leather. (It really underscored their “in your face” kind of attitude.) This distinctive fashion aesthetic most definitely has stuck around and proliferated. Seriously, moto jackets and leather pants will never die!
Listen to Iron Maiden, Baby
Couldn’t resist that Wheatus reference (Teenage Dirtbag) there…. Anyway, this group has left a different sort of mark on style. The distinctive motifs and colors used on its albums and band tees has spilled over into other realms. The skeletons, demons, zombies, and other otherworldly creatures they usually feature could be the OG source of inspiration for goth, punk, and metal aesthetics that leverage these folkloric and hellish elements.
The Styles Inspired by Metal
So, what style quakes did these metal movers and shakers spark? We think you could draw a straight line between metal music and these fashion developments.
No Shortage of Long Hair
The long-hair-on-men thing may be rooted in Viking and Celtic symbolism and imagery or the Vietnam War protests of the 60s-70s. At any rate, it’s trickled down to other subcultures, like modern "e-boys" and skaters. Regardless, it’s a way of sticking it to the man and gives guys endless possibilities to create unique hair looks.
Painted Ladies Gents
After bands like Kiss hit the scene, it wasn’t just the ladies who were dabbling in the colorful world of cosmetics. Men started wearing makeup — like eyeliner, face powder, and lipstick — and nail polish. Now it’s a given standard in goth, pastel goth, punk, and other alt style codes.
Some believe men in makeup has to do with creating an onstage persona and probably to accentuate features to make them look more "scary." But it could also just be these bad boys breaking the rules, challenging gender norms, or giving society the middle finger.
Raw & Personal
Metal style is often rough around the edges, and this trait is frequently carried over to clothing. Wearing items with tears, rough seams, and other “crumply” or undone features is one path. Making DIY alterations to garments — like adding patches, fraying sweater hems, putting rips in stockings or jean, etc. — is another option. This probably started as an anti-consumerism action, but — bonus — is also a great way to create one-of-a-kind pieces that scream “INDIVIDUALITY!”.
Style Inspiration: Heavy Metal Fashion & Music You Love
Iconic metalheads’ dress, hair, and makeup was innovative, provocative, and trendsetting. You can see nods to specific metal bands — like Kiss — in alt style today. Other mainstay characteristics of the goth and punk looks that stem from the world of hard rock can’t quite be pinned on any one group or musician.
Whatever the history, let’s hope that heavy metal fashion cues keep on rockin’!