History’s Great Moments in Denim

If you’re going to wear jeans, wear them like the Kings of Rock and Roll. 

Most often, fashion is future-oriented: what’s hot, what’s new, what’s coming out next, next season. But other times, especially when something as timeless as denim in question, it seems like the best sartorial advice came around mid-century, not from today’s fashion designers, stylists, or bloggers. In fact, the true leading men of denim are the leading men of Rock and Roll: Dylan, Marley, Lennon, Jagger, Cobain, etc. Though these legends worked in a host of genres—in rockabilly, reggae, punk or grunge—they usually did that work, especially offstage, in the uniform of the uninhibited: denim.

Up top in a jacket, down below in jeans (ripped, skinny, or, yes, bell-bottom), denim is the unofficial uniform of the Gods of Rock, and you’d do well to take a tip from them. Because, while you’re never going to be as cool as Hendrix—and no store sells an air of studied nonchalance and sexualized swagger—cash can get you the right jeans. Here’s your inspiration. 

Photos by Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images