Does Music Influence Fashion?

It’s difficult to imagine a future in which music and fashion do not coexist. Music has a significant impact on our lives and conveys a lot about the times we live in. History has shown that music has a significant impact on fashion. Fashion and music are both emotional and approachable forms of art that the general public can enjoy and participate in.

Both have historically been used as means of self-expression. Like music, fashion is one of the most obvious markers of the times and reveals more about our culture than we realize. You can see how music inspired fashion (and vice versa) in practically every decade of the previous century.

Historical Background

For millennia, there has been a close connection between fashion and music. The hit song “My Adidas” by Run D.M.C. was being played on boomboxes in 1986, and millions of people were praising the three-stripe-emblazoned clothing company.

Adidas quickly became aware of this, and the hip-hop group ultimately received $1.5 million to represent the brand. In addition to this, Run D.M.C. produced a range of sneakers with the band’s insignia stitched on the back. Hip-First’s first clothing contract was this one.

In the 2010s, well-known artists like Drake, Rihanna, Pharrell Williams, and Kanye West all had a significant impact on current fashion trends. It’s quite uncommon to find a well-known musician without a sponsorship or marketing deal. Today, it goes without saying that you will hear advertisements for designer brand names if you switch on the radio. In past decades, it seemed like music has promoted expensive fashion brands for free, whether it’s Gunna confessing on the 2018 smash single “Drip Too Hard” that he can scarcely spell the names of these designer companies or Young Thug advertising the pricey Chanel bags on the song simply titled “Chanel (Go Get It)”.

What Effect Does Music Have on Fashion?

Music has impacted fashion in many different ways. Musicians change fashion trends by influencing people through their music. The following can be considered a link between fashion and music:

Music Industry Branding

Over the years, fashion has developed into a distinctive aspect of music culture and is crucial to the branding of musicians. Musicians can advertise their music by developing a distinctive style with the help of a distinctive stage appearance. Additionally, a lot of today’s musicians have their own clothing lines or work with fashion brands to promote their brands. The relationship between music and fashion trends is further strengthened by the fact that musicians could even be paid to highlight particular brands or products in their music videos. As their fans draw inspiration from their favourite artists, musicians frequently take on the role of trend-setters. To give two examples, the Beatles popularised the “mop top” and collarless suits.

Stereotypes in Fashion and Music

There are stylistic connections between specific genres and the appropriate costume since ardent lovers of a particular style of music frequently dress in that style as much as they listen to it. You typically see black boots, leather, and denim on heavy metal fans. Punk is distinguished by graphic t-shirts and torn clothing. Hip-hop and oversized clothing frequently go together.

Stereotyping results from the oversimplification or overuse of clichés that characterise the popular conception of a certain genre. They can be influenced by or share some similarities with subcultures, which are defined by the people who choose to belong to them, despite the fact that they are typically founded on prevailing beliefs rather than the individuals. Subcultures that can be identified by their style of dress and music still have a real influence on contemporary fashion designers.

Culture of Gigs

The next time you attend a live music event, just notice how people dress since, most likely, it will somehow reflect the bands or genre’s image or there will be some products that are particularly well-liked by the audience. Listeners of a specific genre are naturally drawn to clothing that blends in with other members of the fan base, and many music fans may use a concert as an occasion to support their favourite musicians through attire. Along with other items, band T-shirts have evolved into a fashion statement in and of themselves, contributing significantly to an artist’s revenue.

Examples of Music-Based Fashion

The following are a few examples of fashion trends that have emerged as a result of music’s influence.


The “flappers” of 1920s America are a perfect example of how music influences fashion. The prominence of jazz music in the speakeasies and clubs’ subterranean nightlife generated debate. The “flappers” style, which is often linked with short dresses and loose apparel, was developed by jazz musicians as a reaction to the constricting Victorian fashion that came before it.

Mod Subculture

The “Mod” or modernist subculture, which emerged in London in the late 1950s, still has an impact on fashion today. Mods were often identified by their long hair, tight-fitting suits, and love of contemporary jazz and soul music. With the popularity of Britpop bands like Blur and Oasis, who have also had a long-lasting influence on men’s design, the mod style was revitalised in the 1990s.

Folk and Rock

The notorious “hippie” movement of the 1960s, which supported a “boho” lifestyle and the rejection of conventional standards, was led by folk and rock. Hippies frequently sewed their own clothing from scraps or wore pre-owned clothing. The end result was a free, “flowy” look, with blouses, long skirts, and bell-bottom jeans among the most popular pieces. Today’s fashion still incorporates a lot of the hippie aesthetic, but with less of the rebellious undertones and more of a commercial appeal. Festival fashion can be attributed to influences like hippie design, ‘90s grunge, and others.


To conclude, since its inception, music has been linked to fashion and style. But contemporary musicians are considerably more influential on what is hip and fashionable. These contemporary singers have a greater impact on fashion than ever before thanks to their constant endorsement of brands through their songs, brand partnerships, and apparel lines. Since ancient times, fashion and music have been closely related. The tie between music and fashion in today’s culture is still so strong that it is unlikely to ever fully separate. Music will undoubtedly continue to influence fashion trends and style as we know it given the ongoing endorsements, brand collaborations, and merchandising.