The Impact Of Musicians’ Style from Fashion to Gender norms

Harry Styles, Elvis Presley, Prince, and the list goes on… The men of music have progressed men’s fashion and encouraged audiences to push the boundaries of gendered clothes.

Most musicians understand that there is more than one way to perform and the way they dress is a concert in itself. Not only is it an expression of who they are and their beliefs and ideals but there’s also the PR side.

Their style has an effect on their audience, it has an effect on the public (who often have something negative to say about it) and it becomes a legacy due to the impacts it creates.

Why does it have an impact on their audience?

The National Institutes of Health reported psychology literature has found people are conditioned to react positively to celebrity advice, and are subconsciously pushed to act in ways to become more like the person they admire.

There’s also Social Learning Theory, which proposes if people see other people admiring a celebrity for dressing in a certain way, they will want to copy that style to also be admired.


After the release of the 2022 Elvis movie, there was an increase in the search for men’s leather jackets, this could have been from the movie featuring Elvis (Austin Butler) wearing leather jackets.

Elvis 2022.
Elvis Movie Poster.




Google Analytics: May 2022

(Google Analytics: Red= Elvis movie, released June 2022

Blue= searches for ‘Men’s leather jackets’)





Gucci’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection,  Fashion Week, in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Runway Fashion:

Couture designers are constantly pulling inspiration from the style of musicians, particularly men’s style. Gucci’s 2017 Milan Fashion Week collection was a callback to glam rock, including many of Elton John’s stage looks, including: “tour jackets, high-waisted jumpsuits and power-shouldered blazers”.

The brand has also paid homage to David Bowie; Gucci’s designer, Frida Giannini, said about her 2006 Fall collection: “I was thinking about David Bowie and the way people played with their image to be something different every time they went out in the seventies.”




Gucci jacket and dress worn by Harry Styles. The V&A’s  exhibition “Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear” Credit: Imageplotter/Alamy Live News

Challenging Gender Norms:

Many musicians’ styles have challenged the ideas of what people should wear in a generally two-gender accepted society. When Harry Styles wore a dress on the Vogue’s December 2020 copy, he received backlash. However, the image was an encouragement of self-expression. Psychology states that gender stereotypes can “limit potential and actually cause real-life harm…” Of course, gender norms go beyond fashion, but they still play a part in breaking the rigidity of what we should and shouldn’t be.



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