The ultimate guide to rockabilly style

What is rockabilly style?

Rockabilly, a portmanteau of “rock” and “hillbilly,” is one of the oldest forms of rock music, emerging at the beginning of the 1950s. It’s basically rock with a country twang (think Elvis Presley). Rockabilly fashion is heavily inspired by rockabilly performers, their fans, and retro B-movies. It’s vintage-inspired with a sexy, edgy twist – sort of a retro pinup style.

A rockabilly couple

Who are some rockabilly fashion icons?

Known as the “Queen of Rockabilly,” singer Wanda Jackson’s style is totally iconic. Jackson’s on-stage look was inspired by Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor and was way sexier than what other country-infused singers were wearing at the time – think short skirts and high heels. She was once barred from the stage of the iconic Grand Ole Opry until she covered her shoulders.

Wanda Jackson

Though she wasn’t a rockabilly singer, many modern-day rockabilly fans cite 1950s pinup girl Bettie Page as a style influence. In addition to her obvious sex appeal, the late model is admired for her curled “Bettie bangs” and jet-black hair. Her aesthetic influence on modern-day stars like Katy Perry and Dita Von Teese is obvious.

Bettie Page

What are some rockabilly style essentials?

High-waisted pencil skirts

The rockabilly girl is an unabashed sexpot, albeit not in a trashy way. She prefers to show off her body with retro, figure-hugging pencil skirts – and if they’re in a fun pattern, that’s all the better. Try our Reece Skirt in Pink.

Pink Martini Collection Reece Skirt in Pink


Okay, Wanda Jackson didn’t exactly rock a tattoo sleeve. But they’ve become a mainstay among modern-day rockabilly girls. Too timid for a tatt? Try some of the great temporary designs available from Tattly – we like the girly one below.

A Tattly tattoo

Rockabilly dresses

The perfect rockabilly dress has a fit-and-flare silhouette, a halter top or thick shoulder straps and a sweetheart neckline – kind of like our Look of Love Dress.

Pink Martini Collection Look of Love Dress

Victory rolls

There’s no hairstyle that’s as iconic in the rockabilly scene as victory rolls. This tutorial from xoJane is super easy!

Victory rolls

Cat eyes and a red lip

Actually, the girl above who created the xoJane tutorial pretty much nails the rockabilly beauty look, too.

If you think you can’t do a cat eye, that’s because you haven’t tried this tutorial. (Hint: It involves Scotch tape!)

Go on and rock your rockabilly style! And be sure to send us pictures!

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