Subliminal Style
Effortless. Authentic. Professional.

Catching Rae

What to Get a Classic Rock Guy

There are so many different types of "rock" music nowadays, and there are even more types of rocker guys. Many of these general suggestions would work for a range of dudes, but for today I'm focusing on the Grown-Up Classic Rocker: he may like leather, studs, and boots, but he doesn't veer too far toward mohawks or sk8er-wear. 


This is one type of personality that appreciates cool details and a touch of flamboyance, so embellish his outfits to your heart's content. Like many classic rock songs, your GUCR may have a Western influence - in which case I am very much in favor of  Pendleton hats, which provide a killer value for the price. Upscale-edgy belts, cuff bracelets, and jewelry are also in order. To prevent the look from becoming costume-like, aim for one edgy detail per piece (e.g. tooled leather or studs or chains on a belt... not all three at once). Brushed nickel, stainless steel, and chunky silver are my go-to metals.


The GUCR in my family may own more boots than I do, and that's saying something. For a sophisticated rock look, nothing beats a good ol' pair of jeans with some slick, eccentric shoes. The Western influence can be strong here or not, so keep your giftee's personal style in mind. I like modern riffs on styles that have been around forever - maybe a more tactical version of the combat boot? Or a bit of ostrich texture? Or an edgy, deep color that will pop with the black in his wardrobe? 

A Different Kind of Leather Jacket

It's likely that a Classic Rocker will already own some kind of leather jacket but, honestly, he's probably down for another one. You can opt for a new color, a more modern style, or simply a unique and artistic piece. Deep, brooding colors like navy, burgundy, and olive will maintain his manly rock vibe and blend well with black clothes, while extra details like perforations, textures, and quilting take that flamboyance factor up a notch. Leather vests are another great option. In general, avoid details that are too in-your-face, bright, or large to keep the jacket wearable outside of reunion/tribute concerts. 

Plain Old Normal Stuff

Ok, so... some rock n' roll guys might do just fine digging up edgy gems on their own - maybe too fine, IYKWIM. In this case, a few plain, graphic-less, detail-less, distressing-less items can really bring a look a bit of maturity and stature. Dark wash jeans, solid tee shirts, crisp button front shirts, and minimal jewelry all look completely stunning and help set off a more elaborate landscape of tattoos, embroidery, and studs. 

General Tips

  • Less is more
  • Distressing is cool! But it's better if it's legit - be very careful with distressed denim.
  • Take cues from his closet - what are his favorite looks and colors? or what might be missing?
  • Take cues from his music collection - more Western? more Metal? more Glam? 
  • Err on the expensive side - nothing ruins an edgy look faster than cheap, teen-oriented construction