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How to dress like David Bowie - Style Icon

Updated on March 14, 2011

David Bowie defined a generation of men's fashion

If only one word could describe the style of David Bowie, it would be "bold". He pushed the envelope of men's fashion with his androgynous looks, and he tried things that hadn't been tried before (and have rarely been tried since). 

 Bowie's music and his fashion inspired other pioneers of Glam Rock, and even though he often toed the line between being stylish and being a Halloween costume, he always looked confident and appeared to know what he was doing. Madonna took Bowie's bold looks and spun them into women's fashion, and now that torch has been passed to Lady Gaga. I'm not saying David Bowie is to blame for Lady Gaga, but yeah...

Now let's take a look at a few of the things that make up the David Bowie look: 

Suits in bold colors

The gray suit is for businessmen. David Bowie was an entertainer, and he dressed accordingly. He wore white suits, beige suits, peach suits, blue suits and just about every other pastel color you can think of. His looks came from the future his envisioned, not from the past he had seen in pictures. That means even when he was wearing a white suit, he wasn't trying to look like Tom Wolfe.  

The untied bow tie

I've already explained how to tie a bow tie, but what a lot of people forget is how awesome a bow tie looks when it's not tied. The untied bow tie draped over the neck like a funky scarf says "I'm classy enough to wear a bow tie, but I'm casual and cool enough to have it untied". This is why I always recommend buying real bow ties and not those clip ons, even if they have the strap that goes all the way around the neck. A real bow tie can be draped on both sides of the body, and it gives the ladies something to pull on.  

Tight pants with flared legs

This is where we're going to move from stylish to costumey. Even David Bowie couldn't pull off this look anymore without looking like a Halloween costume. During his glam rock phase when he was doing the whole Ziggy Stardust thing Bowie would often wear skin-tight pants that showed off his man fruit and then flared out in the legs like bell-bottoms. 

Hair, make-up, and accessories

To finalize the Bowie look, you're going to need to do something different with your hair. I think Bowie's hair changes every time he goes out in public. He was probably best known for the spiked mullet, but even that was usually dyed a crazy color like bright red.

If you're doing this look for Halloween, I suggest against actually making your hair look like this. Just buy a wig so you can still look respectable on November 1.

Bowie wore lots of make-up during his prime. He would lighten his face, then use bold lipsticks, eye-liners, and blushes around his eyes (often creating "flares" that went out several inches). A little glitter was not out of the question. If you're going for a full Bowie look, go bold and wear makeup. Look at the cover of Aladdin Sane to see one Bowie makeup look that is instantly identifiable. 

To accessorize, wear things like bandana scarfs, eye patches, and sunglasses. Think 1980's style, even though Bowie's peak was in the late-1970's (see, I told you he was ahead of his time).    


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  • almasi profile image

    almasi 6 years ago

    Thanks for another stylish hub.