Regardless of the era, there’ll always be something effortlessly cool about musicians. Granted, the 80s gave us a whole host of trends that nobody wants to remember, but even when the style du jour was questionable, there were still countless boldly fashionable men shining like dapper beacons to guide us out of the sorry mess.
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From the 50s right up to 2019, here are 20 men who look as good as they sound.
From that velvet voice to the velvet suits, Ferry has always been smoothness personified.
A man who has continuously reinvented his look and his sound. From his denim and chambray Guthrie-esque early days to the iconic wayfarers and curls of Blonde On Blonde, Dylan is forever cool.
In the Stones 60s heyday, Keith was an impossibly cool, ragged, jagged amalgamation of scarves, jewellery and cheekbones that could cut glass. Even in the 90s, Keith cut a raggedly dapper figure.
Of course, Marvin could rock a dress suit like no one else, but look at him in that red beanie and denim shirt and ask yourself if there’s ever been anyone cooler. (There hasn’t.)
Is it sacrilege to suggest that Gambino (aka Donald Glover) is this generation’s heir to Marvin’s crown? We suspect not.
Has anyone ever looked better in a white t-shirt?
Banks and his band Interpol have always cut silhouettes as sharp as their basslines. A master of monochrome cool.
Berninger (of brooding indie darlings The National) is a big fan of a waistcoat, giving off a “cool and slightly eccentric history professor” vibe as he lurches around the stage spilling red wine. It works.
Back in the 90s, Cocker was the coolest man in Britpop. Twenty-five years later, not much has changed. He’s still a rakishly fabulous man with the best wardrobe in the country.
Perhaps Dylan only asked The Band to collaborate so he could trade chambray with their drummer Levon, the finest singing drummer of all time and the man who defined American backwoods chic.
Albert Hammond Jr
Picking the most stylish Stroke would be as difficult as picking the worst Trump press secretary, if it wasn’t for Mr Hammond Jr. Somehow still making skinny ties and suits look great.
The frontman of the sadly defunct The Walkmen combines white tees or shirts and black slacks to tremendous effect.
From his Pacino-in-Serpico bohemian early days to the all-American, all-denim glory days, Springsteen has always and will always be the coolest.
Speaking of denim. Country crooner Dave Rawlings is a master of double denim, often setting the look off with a natty neckerchief and his trademark cream Stetson. Most people couldn’t pull this off. Rawlings can.
The much-missed Canadian doom merchant was famed for his debonair style, rarely seen in anything other than a dark suit and a snappy hat. His grace and style are irreplaceable.
Those wonderful, wonderful hats. It’s ok to be as difficult as Monk was when you look that good.
With that long lean frame and long black mane, Cave could pass for the best-dressed preacher in the creepiest backwoods church in the darkest Southern Gothic novel. Fashionably menacing.
The suavest man on the strip by a mile. Sinatra could stand next to Sammy D and Dean and still be the coolest man in the room. Perhaps the most stylish musician of all time.
Black. Black. Black. Maybe a white shirt if he was feeling cheery. Several buckets of pomade. A scowl. A cigarette between his lips. They don’t make them like big John anymore.
Ignoring whatever the hell was going on with his 80s look, Davis dressed and carried himself with a style befitting the man behind The Birth Of The Cool.
Mark Grassick joins us with over 17 years' experience as a journalist covering pop culture in the UK and Ireland. He's interviewed everyone from Alan Rickman to Iron Maiden and is currently a bearded, music-mad father of two and husband of one residing in London, England.