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Michael Jackson is the undiscussed King of Pop. One of his albums, released in 1982, still holds the record for best-selling album of all time, and contemporary fashion designers still look at his style to find new inspiration.

Jackson was one of the most popular and influential fashion icons of the 1980s. He helped several fashion subcultures emerge, and inspired many young people, who were in love with his music and his character.

Photo by MJ Vibe

Photo by MJ Vibe

Whether you wish to add some 80s-inspired vibes to your look, or you want to find out more about Michael Jackson’s impact on our culture and fashion, here you’ll find several useful and interesting details.


Michael Jackson’s Influence Behind Fashion

Michael Jackson’s music was revolutionary. It was a mix of different genres, including pop, rock, and jazz. For this reason, young people from different countries all around the world all listened to his music.

In other words, in music as well as in fashion, he was able to create a space where people from different cultures could meet and find something in common.

Besides, Michael Jackson changed the world of dancing. He introduced a new style of dancing, inspired by several pop cultures of the 1980s. His moonwalking, together with the hip movements, definitely made history, and no one could replicate his style.

Each of his dancing performances was characterised by a different outfit, which was always a new interpretation of some of his iconic pieces. Several of these pieces of clothing are now displayed in museums all around the world and inspire many high-end designers.

What Made Michael Jackson’s Style So Unique?

Many have wondered where Jackson found his inspiration since his overall style was always evolving and changing. It looked like he always knew how to find unique pieces of clothing, that no one else knew where to buy from.

As confirmed by the King of Pop himself, Jackson rarely watched runways. He rather commissioned all the pieces of his wardrobe to personal dressmakers, who knew how to mix Michael’s fashion sense to the history of art and fashion.

The majority of the pieces worn by Jackson were bespoke, made by art scholars and full-time stylists, whose only job was to continuously create new fashion inspiration. They were well aware of their responsibility: creating looks for the King of fashion wasn’t easy, especially because they knew how each piece was going to inspire an entire generation of fans.

On the other hand, Michael Jackson appreciated high-end fashion. He wore a pagoda-shouldered Balmain jacket during the filming of “This is it”, and rocked many other pieces from Dior, Givenchy, and Tom Ford.

Jackson’s Love for Accessories

Jackson’s looks are best known for the gloves, which he always wore on one hand only. However, Michael was particularly passionate about anything which resembled magic, or “fairy dust”.

This is one of the reasons why his look had always plenty of rhinestones, with topaz, diamonds and pearls in particular. Even his gloves were covered in shiny embroideries! There wasn’t a single detail of his looks who hasn’t any kind of shining decorations or rhinestones.

Michael Jackson’s Legacy

Michael Jackson’s success has never stopped. After shaping an entire decade, his career carried on in the 1990s. It was during those years that he worked with many stylists, commissioning bespoke pieces for his music videos.

His love with the world of fashion reached its peak in 1992 when Jackson danced with Naomi Campbell, one of the most famous and iconic models, whose talent was discovered by Gianni Versace. On that occasion, Jackson wore a white tank top and some black jeans. Although very minimal and simple, those two pieces of clothing immediately became an iconic look.

A Look at Michael Jackson’s Wardrobe

Sequined Gloves

Sequined gloves still inspire many celebrities, such as Madonna and Lady Gaga. Although this is usually a feminine accessory, they can still adorn some men’s flamboyant and extravagant looks, to steal all the spotlights.

Fedora Hats

Fedora hats have always been a versatile accessory, which can be worn on many occasions. Michael Jackson’s hat was usually embellished with rhinestone, but you can go for more neutral colours if you want to keep your look minimal.

Military Jackets

Jackson was interested in British royalty and had several military jackets. The same trend was then adopted by other subcultures, especially from New Romantic fashion icons.

Red Leather Jackets

Leather jackets and clothes rose in popularity over the 1980s thanks to many subcultures, such as heavy metal, rock, punk and visual kei. Those worn by Jackson were full of paillettes and rhinestone, with some black details.

Aviator Sunglasses

Initially made iconic by Tom Cruise in his movies Top Gun and Mission Impossible, aviator sunglasses were some of the most popular accessories in the 1980s. Michael Jackson always had his favourite pair with him, to shield his delicate eyes from the sunlight.

White Socks

Punkers and skaters usually wore cropped pants, to show their white socks with pride. Michael Jackson adopted this style but merged it with more flamboyant and formal looks. For the first time in the history of fashion, white socks began a statement look.

Black High-Waisted Pants

Many fashion subcultures of the 1980s promoted tight clothes, to empower people’s silhouettes. Michael Jackson immediately adopted this trend and was often seen wearing a pair of black high-waisted pants.

Also Read:

Late 80s Men’s Fashion 1987-1989 Ideas

Mid 80s Men’s Fashion 1984-1986 Inspirations

Early Men’s Fashion 1980-1983: When Fashion Was Born

About The Author

May is totally crazy about the 80s and everything the decade inspired! Having grown up in a household that was totally taken over by 80s music and fashion its only natural that May lives and breathes the 80s!

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