Esquire Icons Of Style: Elvis Presley

The second in our series deconstructing the classic looks of our style icons

Too often the name Elvis Presley brings to mind flared jumpsuits and sequined ankle boots, perhaps even a detachable cloak: the Vegas King was very few people's (Michael Flatley's?) idea of a men's style icon. But early Elvis was Fifties Americana incarnate: sharp suits, pleated slacks, short-sleeve shirts, letterman cardigans, crepe-soled shoes, the point where prep met rockabilly and youth culture switched from black and white to colour.

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"In public," Presley once remarked, "I like real conservative clothes, something that's not too flashy. But on stage, I like 'em as flashy as you can get 'em." Add gyrating hips and that famously curled lip and you have – with apologies to David Bowie – perhaps pop's most influential dresser. Also: best hair, ever.