A Look at How Your Musical Taste Reflects in Your Fashion and Style

By  | 

Music and fashion are inseparable. This relationship is an interesting field of study because what you currently listen to can influence what you wear every day. On the other hand, music festivals have people flocking to their favorite artists while rocking nondescript clothing. A person wearing a Nirvana shirt can be a fan of the band or only likes the shirt design.

Nonetheless, some fashion icons are artists who have regaled fans with their music and aesthetic. As more people come to accept their personal style, it becomes a trend that can endure for generations to come, as this article shows.

Popular Musical Genres and Their Fashion Stereotypes 

Online statistics portal Statista related that a global consumer spends almost 18 hours per week listening to or streaming music. The source, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), reveals that the majority of the 19,000 people they surveyed from 18 countries listened to pop music. Rap, house, classical, R & B, and metal also made it to the list of the most popular genres.

If you play along with the list and follow the line of reasoning that music influences fashion, how do fans of the following musical styles dress or express themselves?


The styling for lovers of bubblegum pop mirrors that of the genre’s biggest names. Currently at the top is Ariana Grande, who is perennially cozy in over-the-knee boots, oversized sweaters or hoodies, and trademark ponytail. Justin Bieber’s better-dressed fellow Canadian Shawn Mendes is into patterned shirts, tight jeans, and curly hair straight from the ’90s. The *NSYNC and Britney Spears era is a league of its own.


Adherents of this subculture are easily identifiable with leather jackets, black combat boots, skinny jeans, and Chuck Taylors. Accessories go from spiked collars and studded belts to pins and buttons of bands adorning lapels. Enthusiasts also rely on the sturdiness of the denim jacket for outerwear, according to Interestingly, certain punks view themselves as antifashion.


This musical style is deeply intertwined with Rastafarianism, a religion and social movement in Jamaica. Bob Marley is the foremost musician to have emerged from the folds of Rasta-inspired reggae. His face is plastered on reggae-inspired clothing.

Green, gold, and red, which are the official colors of the flag of Ethiopia during the reign of Haile Selassie, also figure predominantly in designers’ interpretation of the genre and movement. Don’t forget the rasta caps, or tams, that are worn over dreadlocks. 


The genre is often lumped with hip-hop, which covers a broad yet distinct musical flair, fashion sense, and cultural revolution. The documentary Fresh Dressed looks into the baggy jeans, luxury brands, and tons of bling that are part of the look. Run-DMC is one of the biggest names in hip-hop and is credited for integrating Adidas into the urban fashion scene. 

It’s the Artist, Not the Music

Sometimes, the type of genre plays second fiddle to the artist’s style emulated by thousands or millions. You can call it unconventional, counterculture, or charisma, but these musicians certainly have what it takes to be in fashion.

Notable examples of rockstars that have become style icons are the following:

  • Elvis Presley. The king of rock and roll, he challenged the conservative style of dressing in his era in the mid-’50s to mid-’60s. He ushered in leather biker jackets, popped collars, and double denim, or wearing both denim jacket and jeans. 
  • Jimi Hendrix. The celebrated guitarist who also sings and writes songs is an important figure in rock and roll. His style is colorful and lush with velvet vests, silk shirts, striped pants, scarves, embellished jackets, and tons of jewelry. He is a leading figure in the Flower Power movement, which somewhat mirrored his bohemian, psychedelic, and technicolor way of dressing. 
  • Kurt Cobain. Fast-forward to the ’90s, and it was the Nirvana frontman who made wearing pajamas to a wedding formal. Cobain’s staples include ripped jeans, oversized sweaters, band tees, flannel shirts, cardigans, and Chucks. His look has become a precedent for newer generations of rock stars and their fans. 

What You Hear Is What You Wear 

It’s a fact of life that your preference in music changes through life. Challenges are one of the precursors for this shift as a University of Cambridge research has found. 

Whether you have dressed according to your idol’s aesthetic or your preferred musical genre, outgrowing this phase can follow a certain level of de-cluttering the closet. You may discard dark clothing in favor of mellower or brighter colors. These items and ostentatious accessories may be better off with new or younger owners who can appreciate them more.

Try to sell your stuff online. Leather jackets, distressed jeans, and floral shirts will always have a market regardless of changing musical tastes and trends.




You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply