Daily Archives: March 26, 2011

Elvis Presley, Fashion King — The Dark Side

On March 1, 2010, EPE introduced a new exhibit at Graceland called Elvis Presley: Fashion King.  According to the press release at the time, it explores the fashion trends ushered in by the King of Rock & Roll.



Three months later, Graceland announced that they were making five photos from Elvis Presley: Fashion King available for free download to the Elvis Mobile App on your iPhone or iPad.  It was nice of them to make it easy for us to check out the fashion trends Elvis ushered in.


This sounds like a great exhibit to me, and Elvis certainly wore some spectacular clothes.  But, did he truly start fashion trends with them?  I’m not so sure.  But, I am sure that there were a few times he wore certain outfits that never inspired anything – except maybe a cringe.  Here are some that I found:

Pink Everything:


In this photo Elvis was getting a ticket in downtown Memphis in 1955.  We see Elvis wearing a pink shirt (he wore many of those), a pink belt (a little strange), and pink socks.  I think we can safely say Elvis never started a pink sock craze among high school boys.  That would have been like asking to get beat up..

The Pirate Look:


Here’s another one that never caught on.  What is that over Elvis’ shoulders?



The Gay Look?:



We all know Elvis was totally heterosexual, but, if this outfit ushered in a fashion trend, it had to be in the gay community.  Fortunately, the second photo shows Elvis with his arm around a pretty girl. 


The Pink Suit:


Elvis was really big on pink back in 1955.  Here is a photo of him at the Louisiana Hayride wearing a pink suit.  I’ll bet Bill and Scotty just loved wearing their pink vests.


The Overstuffed Look:


Elvis must have bought this when he was younger and slimmer.  I’m guessing the Graceland fashion exhibit doesn’t contain much wardrobe from this period in Elvis’ life.

The Policeman Look:


We know Elvis had a collection of law enforcement badges, but did he also collect the hats, too?  The hat and badge go so nicely with huge white collar.


Elvis Grimley?:


I used this photo before, comparing it to Martin Short’s character Ed Grimley, but it belongs here as well.  Looks like the pants from a Zoot Suit.  Maybe Elvis helped to usher out that fashion trend.

Just Plain Ugly:

Even a legend and fashion icon can make a mistake, and this outfit definitely is one.  It looks like something Moammar Gadhafi would wear, doesn’t it?

Man from Outer Space:


Maybe Elvis did start a fashion trend with this.  Remember the outfits worn by rock band Devo?  I had to look at the red image behind Elvis for a while before I figured out it was Charlie Hodge holding a scarf, ready to hand it to Elvis


In fairness to Elvis, let’s end with one of those phone app pictures.  When he looked like this, Elvis really was a Fashion King.

One of the Elvis Mobile App Fashion Pictures


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