Getting that cool rocker vibe without black...

... Is it possible? Is it all in the cuts of the clothing, the accessories, the attitude of the wearer? Or is black an essential element to the vibe? Would love to hear thoughts on this!

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  • glam on the inside replied 7 years ago

    Hmmm - excellent question. I love black so include it in every. single. outfit.
    My initial thoughts are - distressed grey denim, studs and tough booties.
    Can I ask why you're asking? :)

  • rae replied 7 years ago

    Well... what kind of rock? lol Out of luck if you're looking for that Metallica vibe. ;)

    I'm picturing Axl Rose, Kurt Cobain, Kate Moss (not a rocker, but partied like one!), Eddie Vedder. Distressing, leather, fringe, androgyny, bandanas, studs, vests... all seems doable without black to me. I'm sure I've seen Axl and Kurt sans black enough times. Alternate colors might be charcoal, olive/army green, white (but not pristine white - Allsaints white). Destroyed denim, of course.

  • Aida replied 7 years ago

    Open ended rock at this point, just curious what people think :)

  • annagybe replied 7 years ago

    Glam rock, white suit.

  • glam on the inside replied 7 years ago

    Open ended rock is the best kind! I also think spiked jewellery and anything shaped like a skull or dagger would help. Which is weird because these are really symbols of piracy. (Pirate rock, anyone?) I don't know if any jewellers make pendants shaped like drum-kits, amps or electric guitars...
    Please tell me we are going to see these ideas in WIW soon.

  • cciele replied 7 years ago

    I don't think black is necessary, at all! Attitude helps for sure :) Also, cut and fabrication of the clothes, detailing.

  • Raisin replied 7 years ago

    I think black is certainly going to help achieve the look.....but I think you could do it with grey, navy and some metalics!

  • K. Period. replied 7 years ago

    I think Glam has it right! The very first thing that I thought of was distressed grey denim. Leather biker jacket comes in a close second. Heavy boots. Darker colors, white tee excepted. Never pastels and probably not most brights. Tattoos and haircut, of course, go pretty far. (Portland is the city of tats and unless you know me you wouldn't guess it, but I totally love them on other people.) Attitude first, though. :)

  • Caro in Oz replied 7 years ago

    You could do retro rocker from the 1970s - more hippy or glam rock than emo.

  • Mo replied 7 years ago

    I may be taking liberty with the whole rock term, but my personal 'refined rocker chic' capsule I'm building is actually not that heavy on black, and the two recent tops I added to it were almost pastels! I think metal hardware and/or jewelry figure heavily into it.

  • Janet replied 7 years ago

    Sure, just look at the psychedelic era. Jimi, Janis, etc., didn't wear much black.

  • MsLuna replied 7 years ago

    The glam rock white suit idea is sooo pimp :)

  • Aida replied 7 years ago

    Thanks for the responses so far ladies, it's very interesting to read them! I left "rock" open because different eras and styles will garner different ideas. I'm leaving _my_ rock out for the moment (though I'm sure some of you know it), simply because I find these open ended answers much more interesting to me. Would love to hear more thoughts if they're out there, and I'll share mine tomorrow morning :)

  • Teodora replied 7 years ago

    Black is a staple when it comes to rock but does not have to be the ESSENTIAL part. Red leather pants, animal print, studs, chains, etc. If you feel confident you can pull anything off, even a mint color moto jacket ;)

    xoxo, Teodora

  • shedev replied 7 years ago

    This is so much fun to think about. My closet is really black heavy. Can there be any black as in a pattern?
    #1 olive cargo skinnies, white tank with black glitter ribgage design, brown studded moto.
    #2 grey pants, reptile print top, jean jacket, studded cuffs and choker.

    Almost all my footwear is black so I'm kind of stuck there.

  • Janet replied 7 years ago

    So here's an interesting challenge -- create a look that has rock star vibe without black, and in fact, without resorting to muted, dark colors. I am sure it can be done.

  • rae replied 7 years ago


  • Janet replied 7 years ago

    LOL Rae!

    Now there is one for the Pinterest board... ;-)

  • Desmo April replied 7 years ago

    Rock is BROAD category! Of course it can be done, black is just easier.

    The last metal show I went to I wore; purple pumas, skinny jeans, a loose grey T-shirt, my purple cross-body bag and a metallic-silver studded wrap bracelet. No black! I knew I would in the pit and it was too hot for combat boots.

  • jen replied 7 years ago

    Boyfriend blazer (any colour) scrunch sleeves, white t with a cool graphic (that's cool not juvenile) very skinny jeans, boots or pointed high pumps. Hair natural with movement and leave the jewellery off!

  • jen replied 7 years ago

    Bag with tassels, like a Balenciaga City!

  • Ruby Tuesday replied 7 years ago

    Ah but were the original grey jeans not faded black jeans?

    As mentioned above there are rock tribes and dress codes within these tribes but what matters most to me is the attitude, defying the conventions of the mainstream at that time or pushing a look to an extreme (in the case of hair metal).

    The look to me does not require black, in fact this may look disingenuous or like a pastiche IMO.

    Not a rocker herself, but take Dita Von Tease during her relationship with Marilyn Manson nailed the rock aesthetic; she had retro style, she wore it with conviction and she owned the look.

    Aida, you also have a rebellious, rule breaking, environmental norm defying edge to your style at present which requires no tweaking. You have achieved an authentic rock look with your spirit and attitude rather than donning studs, zippers and leather.

  • texstyle replied 7 years ago

    Did anyone say messy but styled hair? Chunky, heavy shoes. Short, tight denim shorts. Tight fitting tops with lots of cleavage and glitter lotion. Lace. Leather. Red lipstick. Or purple. Dog collar necklaces. Chunky rings. Chains. Like a wallet on a chain. A pout instead of a smile. Seems that accessories are a key point in the style to me.

  • Sylvie replied 7 years ago

    I think of grey, olive, scarlet red, maroon as all being quite compatible with the rocker look.

  • Aida replied 7 years ago

    Thanks for all the fantastic responses (and visual, Rae ^^) ladies! It's been VERY interesting reading through them. Leaving the question broad yielded fascinating differences, just what I was looking for; the things we associate with a "rock" look certainly have a great deal of variation, though there are also some shared elements.

    For myself, the "rock" in my style is punk (and metal to a lesser extent), though perhaps it's not explicitly apparent upon first glance. Primarily it's through small things, such as favoring skinnies and only in black/gray/colors (never blue), favoring plaid/stripes over dots, lots of leather, wild but natural hair, subtle studding, etc. And of course attitude. The contrarian in me kind of rejects that I NEED lots of black to show my punk side ;)

    This idea of a no-black rock vibe came out of looking over my Pinterest boards after noticing that among my inspirational outfits there was, naturally, a lot of black. I have a love-hate relationship with black; it's my best neutral and I do enjoy wearing it, but since there are _so so many_ overcast days where I live, I just can't bring myself to wear All Black All The Time. Plus I really love brights! So I was curious about whether I'm drawn to these looks BECAUSE of the black or IN SPITE of the black. Ultimately I think it's "in spite of" and you've all given me lots of good stuff to think about!

    (And thank you, R&J, for your very insightful and thoughtful comment! Especially regarding my style. You answered my forum question and also what I'm asking myself internally <3 )

  • Mo replied 7 years ago

    I find the comment about skinnies and rock interesting. I think depending on your generation, your correlation between jeans leg styles and music would be different. In the mid 80's skinny jeans were more the goodie too shoes types in my school, while straight legs belonged to us rockers, along with parachute pants. Specifically the crazy zip around Rag City Blues were the s*@# if you rocked out, paired of course with your favorite concert tee lol. Bandanas worn every which way helped as well. This may have been Bay Area specific :)

  • Aida replied 7 years ago

    Mo, yes I think that's probably true! I will say that back when I was a practicing punk we didn't really wear skinnies either; that seems to be more of a 70s/80s punk association for me? I was the weird one back then though, wearing trousers and very bright colors and blazers when most of the punks I was around were very skater styled (baggy jeans, band tees, and Vans). Those zip around jeans are crazy! I've never seen anything like them :)

  • K. Period. replied 7 years ago

    That's a really interesting point that Mo makes! I bet ideas of rock and punk rock vary a lot according to when a person experienced it. So, I was a dress in black in my little town in the '80s. My perception of punk through the ages is that '00 punk was more goth driven, '90s punk was more Seattle grunge driven, '80s punk was more New Wave driven and historical costumey, and '70s punk was more glam rock and London urban driven. Interestingly, I think of punk as different from rock, but that's probably because I lived in hair band (aka "RAWK") central. Aida, I love that you made me think about this! Now, I'm back off to listen to Gang of Four.

  • Aida replied 7 years ago

    K, I think you're right that punk is a bit off-kilter from the rest of rock, and I have similar views on the style through the decades as you. I was punk primarily through the 90s, and certainly saw the Alternative/Grunge influence but always identified much more with the 70s/early 80s punk style. And I think I'd have been GREAT as a hair metal fan in the 80s if I was old enough, my hair just looks like that ;) That's the main reason I left the question so open as just "rock": I was really interested in those decade and genre differences!

  • Caro in Oz replied 7 years ago

    If you like colour then what about Vivienne Westwood for inspiration or am I showing my age?

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