As a fashion stylist, I’ve worked with rockstar musicians like Jack White, Trent Reznor, Beck, Green Day, Aerosmith, My Morning Jacket, The Decemberists, and many more. Needless to say, I’ve done a lot of shopping for rock n’ roll menswear. In fact, I’ve bought so many leather jackets that when I die, I’ll likely end up in some cow-filled purgatory. But my Dante-esque fate aside, my years of experience shopping for rock n’ roll clothing has given me insight as to which companies do it best. So if you’re ready to inject your wardrobe with a little leather and leopard, and a lot of black, here’s our list of the best rock n’ roll clothing companies.
Phix is one of our favorite brands right now. It’s a British label making bold designs inspired by the glam years of Bowie and Marc Bolan, and the mod era of The Rolling Stones. Phix has a great price point for a boutique brand, and is an awesome source for print shirts and statement jackets. Be sure to hit the brand up again when the Fall collection hits and its incredible Jagger and Richards style coats arrive. Listen to Bowie’s Oh! You Pretty Things and browse the site for new fits.
Phix Lucia Polkadot Shirt
This. Shirt. I’d be fine if every rocker boy in the world wore this shirt in summer 2020. It’s that good.
Phix Mondétour Jacket
This jacket is such a Teddy Boy classic. Wear it dancing at your favorite dive bar.
Phix Midland Leather Blazer
When you’re nominated for Best Rock Album and you need a blazer for the Grammys, this is the one.
The Cast is a New York City company specializing in leather jackets. They’ve perfected The Ramones style biker leather, and have other pieces inspired by Elvis and Green Day. You can even custom design a jacket with The Cast and choose your hardware, lining, and leather. Best song to listen to while shopping the site: The Velvet Underground’s Run, Run, Run.
The Cast T-Shirt
I love this classic branded tee that lets you show your support for good ol’ Lower East Side rock n’ roll.
The Cast Billie Jacket
The clean lines on this leather jacket make it a nice alternative to the ubiquitous biker jacket.
The Cast Sixty Eight Jacket
Everyone loves a jean jacket, so if a leather biker jacket feels like a stretch for you, go with a leather jean jacket. Handsome and totally wearable.
Straight to Hell
Chicago’s Straight to Hell apparel wasn’t messing around when it came time to think up a name for their company, and that’s the kind of energy we like in the rock world. I dig the brand’s western style shirts and bomber jackets. Like Phix and The Cast, this is a small company with big designs, and those are the best labels to support. Put on Richard Hell and the Voivods’ tune Blank Generation and head to the site to shop it up.
Straight to Hell Long Gone Shirt
Rock n’roll is a mix of old country and blues. Pay homage to those country roots with this western shirt and a devilish color way.
Straight to Hell Baron Jacket
The athletic waist band on this jacket gives it so much personality. Very 70s rock vibes.
Straight to Hell Gangway Satin Jacket
This one definitely has a Joan Jett circa The Runaways feel.
The Kooples is a French company founded by three brothers in 2007. It doesn’t have many stand-alone stores in the U.S. — just NY and LA — but its collections can be shopped online. The brand has a big following among fans of Saint Laurent, but The Kooples’ aesthetic is cleaner, and its price point is considerably lower than the French fashion house. Like all rock-inspired clothing companies, Fall is the best collection, but the company is in the midst of a big Spring sale right now, so throw on King Krule’s Easy, Easy and hit them up.
The Kooples Black Leather Biker Jacket
Here’s the classic biker jacket. On Sale!
The Kooples Patent Leather Derbies
Creepers have been a rock and punk staple for decades and The Kooples does this neat little take on them.
The Kooples Light Black Slim-Fit Jeans
Every rocker needs black jeans. The blacker the better. “None more black.”
That brings us to the aforementioned Saint Laurent, originally founded by French designer Yves St. Laurent in 1961. While the namesake designer was known for elegant womenswear, Hedi Slimane took over as creative director in 2012, giving Saint Laurent a rebranding for the ages.
The rebranding worked, and Slimane made the label wildly popular. He’d already caught both the fashion and music world’s eye back in the aughts, when he designed the first skinny suits for Dior Homme. Pete Dougherty of The Libertines was a huge fan and together, the two helped popularize the skinny-slim look we all know today.
At Saint Laurent, Slimane changed the company name, logo, and price point (it went way up, which added cachet). More importantly, he created bold and chic rock designs that were beautifully executed. The quality and detail was stunning. Slimane has now moved to Celine, but Anthony Vacarello has been keeping the volume on eleven over at Saint Laurent since 2016. So, if you’re ready for an investment piece, pop on Cage the Elephant’s track Ready to Let Go and shop Saint Laurent’s boots or accessories.
Saint Laurent Lamé Embroidered Tunic
This shirt looks like Keith Richards went on vacation somewhere beachy, but he stayed in the hotel bar and drank instead, which is to say, I love it.
Saint Laurent Lukas Boots
The boots are beautifully made and insanely cool. Sixties era Bob Dylan would wear these, for sure.