History of Rockabilly Fashion

Here at American Custom Leather, we’re a big fan of the Rockabilly style. That’s why we even have our own custom Rockabilly belt for sale on our website. But where exactly does the term Rockabilly come from, and the style that it lends its name to?

For anyone who’s unfamiliar with the Rockabilly style or just wants to learn more about its origins, read on for a brief history of Rockabilly fashion.

What does Rockabilly mean?

The term “Rockabilly” comes from a combination of the terms “rock and roll” and “hillbilly,” both of which emerged as terms for popular music trends in the 1940s and ’50s, with hillbilly used as a common term for country western music.

The resulting term, Rockabilly was used to refer to a musical style, combining rock and roll with country music, made famous by American artists such as Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. The fashion trend that was inspired by this music also came to be known as Rockabilly.

What is Rockabilly fashion?

Teenagers soon adopted the Rockabilly style of music and fashion as a way of rebelling against the straight-edged style of their parents’ generation. It was a new way of expressing themselves.

For women, this style was much more form-fitting and revealing than that which came before it, with tight sweaters and pencil skirts becoming popular. Swing dresses, bandanas, and high-waisted shorts are all common icons of this style, along with skin tight jeans and piercing stilettos.

Men adopted Rockabilly with leather jackets and leather boots, of which Doc Martens became a popular brand. Think of the greaser style popularized by stars like James Dean and epitomised later in the film, Grease. Tight, white t-shirts and two-toned shirts were commonly paired with jeans, one of the newer clothing trends of that era.

Vintage Rockabilly

Rockabilly is still an in-vogue style today as it made its comeback from the 1980s onwards as a vintage style, still adopted by many as an expression of individuality and rebellion. Today, Rockabilly fashion is typically imagined with tattooed pinups sporting form-fitting polka dot dresses and other styles made famous by this 1950s trend.

Many of the belts and guitar straps that we sell here at American Custom Leather complement Rockabilly fashion very well, so get shopping to find the perfect accessories to match your Rockabilly style. We deliver custom leather belts and other leather accessories nationwide.