From Please Please Me to Abbey Road, the Beatles certainly left a mark on the generation that they presided over. In fact, it can be argued that the English rock band that formed in Liverpool in 1960 has influenced every aspect of popular culture, from music, to slang, to fashion and beyond. In the 1960’s, as the Beatles were quickly rising to fame, the fashion world was also being rapidly conquered by the up-and-coming, modern, minimalist style (known as Mod). While the band was first and foremostly known for their musical success, they soon took on the role of style icons for entire generations of young men, first in Great Britain, and then throughout the world.
Many know that fashion design is an integral part of achieving success as a popular culture act. The Beatles’ management team quickly realized this, and worked to set the band’s look apart from many other popular trends of their age. Men’s fashion in the late fifties was all about greasy, slicked back hair, leather jackets and jeans. John, Paul, George and Ringo, the four young men that made up the Beatle’s took England by storm with their un-slicked, shaggy hairdos, Chelsea boots and smart, matching suit ensembles. The look was simple, but incredibly effective. The hairdo became affectionately known as the “mop-top”, and young men all over the world went about adorning themselves with the Beatle’s super cool new style.
The original boy band to end all boy bands went on to expand on their style throughout the sixties and seventies. They went from plain, straight-legged suits to turtlenecks, bright, collarless Mod suits. They even managed to popularize loud patterns like paisley. As they grew older and the times changed, their style reflected their growing world experience and the psychedelic mood of the seventies. And as the Beatles grew into individuals, the world grew with them, mimicking their every move.
The Beatle’s influence on styles is timeless, just like their music. Just as you flick around your radio dial and almost certainly come across a Beatle’s tune playing, you could walk around the campus of any fashion school and spot some John Lennon-inspired, round eyeglasses, or a mop-top hairdo or two…