Oct 282010

Mick Jagger, acknowledged by even straight guys as one of the Sexiest Men in Rock (and yes, even sexier than Chris Squire) – not to mention among the coolest, in his prime, has nevertheless committed some of the most egregious Rock Crimes in history, many of them involving poor choices in fashion.

Early Jagger, when his hair was merely shaggy and he was supported by an energetic Keef and a silken-haired Brian, was nothing but cool. Even when he looked like he’d just gotten the shit kicked out of him in one of those “kitchen-sink dramas” of England’s early ’60s film movement (eg, any film based on a story by Allan Sillitoe and/or involving Tony Richardson), he looked as comfortable in his clothes as in his skin. He was so cool, in fact, that he made an Oxford shirt and sweater smolder. In 1964, not even a proto-mullet could bring the man down.

I don’t think Jagger had a bad rock fashion day until he and his mates attempted to jump onto the psychedelia craze. Although this 1967 Look is not a terrible Look by any musician’s standards, it’s among the first signs of Mick’s worst fashion impulses. Although Mick’s flirtations with androgyny are a key facet to his Rock Superpowers, the bright colors, silken fabrics, and general blousy-ness of the psychedelic era would bring out his inner-Linda Richman. No one asked for a Rock ‘n Roll “Babs.”

Although psychedelia wasn’t the best fit for Mick, it was some of his stage wear for the initially aborted Rock ‘n Roll Circus event that first fully crossed the Egregious Fashion Faux Pas Line. Nothing says “smacked ass” like Mick Jagger in a top hat.

When he wanted to – or needed to – Jagger could always recover from his most egregious fashion faux pas to date by throwing on a stylish suit. In 1971, for instance, following this disastrous Look, Mick went formal to great effect. His new bride’s choice in bridal wear didn’t hurt matters. (It should be noted, however, that the ill-fitting, mustard jacket worn on his second wedding day to an equally oversized-bride may have been Mick’s most egregious fashion faux pas in terms of formal wear.)

Do you agree this is enough background reading? Let’s get to the heart of the matter!

Once and for all…What is Mick Jagger’s Most Egregious Fashion Faux Pas?

Contenders surely include the following:


  18 Responses to “Once and For All: Mick Jagger’s Most Egregious Fashion Faux Pas”

  1. BigSteve

    I voted for the football pants. The makeup he wore during that era contributed to a truly frightening Look.

  2. cherguevara

    The Keith Haring thing is definitely WTF worthy, but it struck me mostly as a bad combination of patterns. The pants are more suitable for a member of WASP or Diamond Dave in his prime, I think, but either of those items, if paired with something more neutral would be a bit better.

    So I voted instead for the football pants, knee pads and ballet shoes. That seems like a really misguided ensemble.

  3. I voted for the long jacket.

    The long jacket is a perennial loser. To me, it always indicates that the wearer fancies himself a bit of a tough guy/outlaw type (whereas the reality is the exact opposite). It’s a “serious” look, and a seriously stupid one at that.

    The football pants are really bad, but Mick was on stage, so I give him some slack. It’s not like he was just wearing them to the grocery store.

    But how can justify the football pants as stage-wear and not give a similar free pass to the long jacket? Easy: the football pants are a goof. In his line of work, Mick needs to give the People something to look at as well as listen to. On stage, the football pants give him a unique look, allow for freedom of locomotion, and they’re a bargain, especially when compared to the custom made, rhinestone jump suits from a few years before.

    The long coat, on the other hand, was the go-to outfit for every hair metal band when it was too chilly for spandex and a cut off t-shirt.

    With the football pants Mick’s giving us a wink and saying, “Of course, I know this is a goofy outfit, it’s only rock and roll, mate!”

    With the long coat, he’s saying, “I’m a bad ass cowboy, just like Bon Jovi.”

  4. I never minded the football pants either, although when you write knee pads and Capezio Ballet slippers that sounds awfully bad. Honestly, on the Tattoo You tour I thought Jagger looked leaner and stronger than in his mid 70’s blousey, junkie outfits:

    But while searching for that photo, I came across this. What the hell was going on here?
    Military scrambled eggs cap with his own name spelled out in way too big letters, 80’s art T-shirt showcasing a big woody. Not acceptable.

  5. I like your rationale!

  6. Wow, that’s an excellent “Other” vote, k. Hideous!

  7. Thanks. The long coat hasn’t been covered yet in your ongoing fashion series has it? You might want to looking that. Very few people have managed to pull it off. Quite the sartorial Waterloo…

  8. Has anyone but actors in Sergio Leone movies pulled off the longcoat? I’ve thought about featuring it among Rock’s Unfulfilled Fashion Ideas, but I can not find any promise for it that may have been unfulfilled. Is there one rock artist who pulled off the longcoat? Even the Eagles looked dumb in those things, and they went to great lengths to wear them in an authentic Old West setting.

  9. Country Dick Montana wore it well, but that might have just been a raincoat to keep some of the beer off of him.

    And didn’t the (U.S.) Charlatans first work that old time cowboy look to decent effect?

  10. And sorry for the Pince Nez, but it’s just “Eagles”.

  11. misterioso

    QED, MJ’s faux pas are the rule rather than the exception.

  12. I know it’s just “Eagles,” but it looked dumb without the article in that context. On behalf of Eagles, I thank you.

  13. BigSteve

    Yeah Country Dick could pull it off. Johnny Cash too. Both were big men. And actual badasses, which helps.

  14. shawnkilroy

    oof! i vote for that outfit. so bad. it looks like one 80’s Mike Love’s outfits got fucked by something from Mick Jones’ B.A.D. wardrobe.

  15. trigmogigmo

    The football pants immediately came to mind before I even scrolled down and saw them here. Saw that outfit in person at Candlestick Park in 1981. Al Franken’s impression is pretty good. But I suppose that the pants and kneepads and tanktop with sportjacket look, however egregious, fit with the ’80s Miami Vice pastel and graphic motifs of the stage sets, which were at least lively. Swap for real pants and you have Sonny Crockett. I mean, as with many things, they didn’t seem as bad at the time, merely…iconic, emblematic? Something like that. But cdm has a good point, the JaBo long coat is awful/serious.


  16. Doug Sahm pulled off the Long Coat, and interestingly, when I saw him live, up-close, he was kind of tiny, like 5’5″, but he always had the look of a tall guy to me.

  17. In researching this piece I noticed that Jagger was frequently wore t-shirts for his own band, a major fashion faux pas in the eyes of many rock nerds (although not this one, who feels it simply shows team spirit). I just came across this old video, in which Mick wears a Stones t-shirt AND plays guitar w’o holstering.


  18. Someone else may have pointed this out but I don’t think that’s even him in the football pants photo; it looks like a wannabe. The outfit made perfect sense as the first leg of that tour (1981) was primarily outdoor stadiums. I still think it was a cool look especially when paired with the hometeam jersey he often added on top. For me the only one that doesn’t work is all the facial hair although I am impressed at the volume of it.

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