Pop Stars of the 1950s & 1960s Costume Ideas

Back in the fifties and sixties the pop charts were still in their infancy, so there was not such a great opportunity to dress up as your favourite star. This is particularly because many of the male stars and groups of the time could often be seen dressing similarly in standard black or coloured suits. So, finding costumes for a particular star or group may be more about the look of the period, which was primarily focused on the rock and roll images of the teen and beat generation, rather than specific outfits.

However, there were some performers who did start to cultivate a distinctive image. This included the Beatles, who had their grey Nehru suits specifically designed for them during the early years of their popularity.

For some stars of this era it may be more about the hair. The classic pudding basin shape was very much ‘in’ with groups such as the Beatles, whilst singer Dusty Springfield was very much about the blonde beehive and Cilla Black sported a bright red bob.

Here are a few suggestions for 1950s and 1960 characters you can choose from, or if you have your own ideas why not see if we can help?

The Beatles - Classic popular choice. For the early years, the grey Nehru suits and Beatles wig is all that’s required.  Our 1960′s Pop Star costume is ideal to use as a Beatles costume. Alternatively, the fab four’s colourful military style outfits for the Sergeant Pepper look from later years. The props may be a bit difficult to come by but John Lennon is in yellow and carries a French Horn; Ringo Starr, who is in pink, carries a trumpet; Paul McCartney, in blue, has a cor anglais whilst George Harrison, wearing red, has a piccolo. There are only two Beatles that have hats, these are Ringo and George. For other ideas from the Sgt Pepper album cover check out our 1960s decades pages.

Bill Haley and his comets – Either wore plain coloured or check jackets of the era.

Buddy Holly – Trademark black rim glasses (Austin Powers style); skinny black tie and loud check ‘Teddy Boy’ style jacket.

Cilla Black – 1960s A-line shift dresses & red bob wig.

Dusty Springfield – Initially with The Springfields, Dusty cultivated a successful solo career with a distinctive look, involving a blonde beehive hairdo and black ‘panda’ eye-make-up. Black eyelashes are a must!

Elvis Presley – During the 1960s, the GI look or Gold Lamé Jacket was popular.  Elvis spent much of the time making movies which showcased his songs, and allowed him to play some interesting professionals: These included:-

Jimi HendrixAmerican guitarist who found greater fame in the UK and, with his afro and military-style jackets, had a unique image.

Lulu Sixties Dress or Hot pants with knee length lace up white boots and sixties beehive or flick out wig.

The Monkees – Was originally a TV series about an American group who wanted to be like the Beatles, but they became a popular group in their own right in the mid to late 1960s. Lead singer was Englishman Davy Jones. Other members of the group were Americans Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork. Coloured mid-late sixties style shirts. Michael Nesmith also sported a knitted bobble or beanie hat. Or for a play on words, why not go in Monkey costumes!

Rolling StonesFormed in the 1960s and still going strong.  Wear sixties style shirts and tight trousers. 

Sandie Shaw – Married fashion designer Jeff Banks. Mainly short or long sixties ‘fashionable’ dress, dark cheerleader wig. Most famous for going barefoot whilst singing.

Sonny & Cher – At the time a husband and wife duo who successfully integrated a hippy-style look into their act, without going overtly flower-power.

  • Sonny wear an afghan waistcoat and jeans, plus a Beatles style wig.
  • Cher – Loose blouse, pre-70s flared trousers and a long black wig.

Supremes – The ultimate 1960s all girl group.  Showcased Diana Ross who went on to a successful solo career, other two members were Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. Cindy Birdsong was later to replace Florence Ballard when it became Diana Ross and the Supremes.  The main look was all the same 1960s costume, with black short beehive wig.

Tom Jones – Tight trousers, open shirt, trademark black short curly hair (in the sixties).

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