When it comes to rock stars and celebrated style, you might be forgiven for thinking that it all begins and ends with David Bowie. There’s no doubt that his chameleon-esque approach to each new record and tour marked out the late icon as a man whose style could best be defined by its indefinability. From the asymmetrical, knitted jumpsuit created by Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto that he wore on stage as Ziggy Stardust in 1973 to the louche, sinister Thin White Duke in a suit from Station to Station, Bowie was fluid, mercurial and inventive, ensuring his style influence would reverberate for decades to come. Of course, his shadow is long (and almost insurmountable) but if we can take any sartorial hacks away from his memory it is this: steal ideas and then make them your own. Bowie found influences everywhere, mining everything from performance dance to oil paintings. Rather than simply plundering these worlds for his next aesthetic hit, however, instead he looked, learnt and remastered – even heroes need heroes, it seems. Here are four of rock ’n’ roll’s most stylish ambassadors; make notes and then find your own way to the front of fashion’s main stage.


In terms of style, for me, it was always the cover of Bryan Ferry’s Another Time, Another Place that made me want to up my eveningwear game. Standing by a magenta swimming pool at twilight, the Roxy Music crooner is dressed in a pristine ivory tux, oversized black bow tie, burgundy ruffled cummerbund and gold watch, his long fingers holding a cigarette that smoulders at the stub with about as much sex appeal as the star himself. For Ferry, style is significant: it’s not just about looking good or feeling confident, it’s about dressing suitably for an occasion. He has the knowledge (the singer used to work in a tailor’s aged 16) and that all-important aesthete’s judgmental eye. Nowadays, when he goes to the ballet, Ferry gets depressed as so many of the audience are walking around in tracksuits. Whatever the time of day or event, he always has an informal elegance – the way he combines a leather biker jacket with a shirt and tie, for example, or a double-breasted jacket with an open denim shirt. Ferry’s is an enviably relaxed grandeur you would do well to mimic.


The drummer from The Rolling Stones has two great passions in life: jazz and fine tailoring. Unlike most of us, however, Watts has over 200 suits to chose from, all bespoke, and that’s just in his London home. His father was a big influence and Charlie remembers going to his father’s tailor, ‘a little Jewish guy in the East End [of London]’, where his dad would pick out particular collars and distinctive shirts. Musicians also had an impact on Watts’s snappy, elegant style – jazz cats such as Miles Davis, Lester Young or Duke Ellington. Let’s face it, when you're in a band with the Glimmer Twins (Keith Richards and Mick Jagger) the constant competing to see who is the greater show-off must get exhausting. On the other hand Watts, cool as a cucumber, makes everyone else in the greatest rock ’n’ roll band of all time look like they are trying just a touch too hard.


OK, you might not consider the Canadian rapper a rock ’n’ roll star but if Jay Z can headline Glastonbury, then the style boundaries we set for ourselves need similarly blurring. The way most of us dress up is by going smart, or at least smarter. Feel a bit moody? Throw on a sharp suit and suddenly the world gets brighter. Got a client meeting with the cool agency from out of town? Hit up those narrow jeans and a Saint Laurent coat and your bravado is given an instant shot in arm. Drake, however, has managed to do what many of us find almost impossible – to make leisurewear look formal. How? Well, his secret weapon seems be the expertly chosen bomber jacket, of which the Hotline Bling star seems to have an endless supply. Black nylon, embroidered silk, brown suede with patches – there isn’t a style of bomber that Drake can’t make work. Combine with a simple grey sweat top, a long gold chain and you too can stay cool (and comfy) like rap’s biggest rock God.
JIM MORRISON When someone has a thing (let’s call it a style tic), sometimes it can seem brighter than all other traits in the mind's eye. For Jim Morrison, it has to be that wild tousled hair, a symbol of his sex god-like rebelliousness that, let’s face it, would be hard for most of us to pull off in the office on a drizzly Monday morning. Morrison and keyboard player Ray Manzarek founded The Doors in 1965 with drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger. They signed with Elektra Records the following summer, and in 1967 got their first number one with Light my Fire. Aside from the rocker locks and leather trousers, there’s a simplicity to Morrison’s style that is both very 1970s and, due to fashion’s cyclical nature, very now. Aviator shades, wide, big-buckled leather belts, black leather chelsea boots, long, untucked linen or cotton striped shirts are all items that will appease your inner rock star.