In 1965, Bob Dylan turned his back on his folk roots, it resulted in outrage, boycotts... and a fantastic wardrobe.
Every man should make an effort to develop his own style, he should seek inspiration from others and allow for seasonal changes in wardrobe, but at the core of his look there should be a sartorial theme which is entirely his own.
That being said, there are those days where you just can’t be arsed…
On these days, and on these days alone, it is acceptable to partake in some light thievery. When at your lowest ebb, it is fine to look to icons of men‘s style and to hijack a few key items to give your look a bit of a boost. To find garments which not only add to your own personal style, but are the tried and tested staples of menswear and can make any man look and feel cool.
For this particular experiment to work you‘ll need an almost flawless icon, enter Bob Dylan:
For us to steal Dylan’s style, we first of all have to choose which incarnation of the man we are talking about. We could investigate the baker boy caps and denim shirts of his protest singer years, or his feather-clad fedora look of the 1980′s, but Dylan’s most succinct and stylish look comes from possibly the most controversial period of his career.
During his World Tour of 1965, Bob Dylan turned his back on his traditional folk roots and played with a full electric band. To go with his new direction, Dylan developed a new look, a mean and moody effort, draped in black. If The Beatles were the light, Dylan was the dark side. If they were bigger than Jesus, he was Judas. Some of his fans hated it, he didn’t care:
The Pea Coat:
References to The Pea Coat have been around since the 18th century, it’s always been a very smart garment. It’s been modelled by, amongst others, James Dean, The Beatles and Marlon Brando and surprisingly, none of that surly lot looked as moody in one as Bob Dylan did. Perfect for Autumn, Winter and sulking in the corner of glitzy hotel rooms.
Gloverall Slim Fit Pea Coat from £240 at Oi Polloi
White Oxford Shirt:
Abandoning the scruffy boho look of his early incarnations, Dylan smartened up his image in ’65, leaving behind the corduroy and denim for a more formal attire. Amongst his Carnaby Street inspired wardrobe were several polka dot shirts, but he always looked smartest when he kept it simple. You’ve probably already got an oxford shirt, and there’s not many stronger looks than a crisp white shirt under a black coat. Just make sure it’s buttoned up, and for christ’s sake, it better be long sleeved.
Polo Ralph Lauren Slim Fit Oxford Shirt from £80 at ASOS
To his friends in the north these were ‘Beatles Boots’, and they were essential for the completion of Dylan’s transformation. His tatty jeans were replaced by fitted woolen trousers, and his feet were no longer adorned in the casual suede desert boot. He had shiny, black leather boots. He was a rock star now.
Chelsea Boot from £74.99 at Clark’s
Being labelled a sell-out and getting death threats from your fans can really take it out of a guy, Dylan got round the fear of not looking his best by permanently wearing sunglasses. On stage? Hotel Room? Back of a cab? Sunglasses were the order of the day. It’s worth spending a bit of money on these. They’ll be better quality, will last longer, and you’ll look more like Bob Dylan than a poor Blues Brother’s tribute if you dig a little deeper.
RayBan Wayfarer Sunglasses from £123 at House of Fraser
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