For all fans of sensational female musicians with fierce fashion sense, I present you with a handful of looks inspired by Joan Jett. Whether or not you're a follower of The Runaways, or even Jett's semi-solo career as front woman for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (both ensembles are packed with talent), you have to admire Jett's place in rock history. And, for that matter, her tough, rock style vibes. Of course, 33 years after her hit record I Love Rock 'n' Roll reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, Jett still puts on a killer performance, and looks absolutely sensational doing so. (Want to see for yourself? Jett and Miley Cyrus recently sang a duet of "Different" by the Blackhearts and it was phenomenal.)
If you're looking to inject a bit of rebel attitude into your daily wardrobe, Jett's easy-to-emulate style will get you there. Jett, known for her glam rock black locks, winged eyeliner, and classic red lips, has kept her makeup within the same bold vein for years — and why not? It's become as much a part of her persona as her devil may care attitude and affinity for black tank tops and tight pants. Of course, adopting that sort of persona takes a bit of swagger, but once you've mastered your mettle, all you have to do is pair your favorite skinny jeans (preferably in black) with a variety of necklaces, a great belt or two, and your favorite rock T-shirt. Or, something along those lines.
Not sure quite where to begin? Well, I've assembled a few looks to get your creative juices flowing. Read on for inspiration, and a few tips for tackling Jett's quintessential rock style.
Jett doesn't usually rock a mohawk — she's generally more of a mullet type of gal — but let's face it, if you're gonna channel rock vibes, a sweet hawk certainly doesn't hurt. Jett consistently combines intricately patterned material with the sleek contrast of leather. She usually keeps things simple in terms of color, so sticking with black is always a safe bet.
Band Tees And Graphic Tees
In her early days with the Runaways, Jett wore a whole lot of band tees and '70s style graphic shirts. You know, the type with tight, color hemmed sleeves? Well, to bring this look a little more current, reach for your favorite fitted graphic or band tee and pair it with some skinny jeans. You'll be channeling Jett along with a whole myriad of women who rocked '70s casual style. Not to mention, t-shirts are super comfortable — great for long road trips, or band tours, as the case may be. Just don't forget to toss on your Converse sneaks.
Add A Touch Of Scarf
Scarves have long been a great staple when it comes to accessorizing, both in and out of the rock scene. But the truth is, scarves are kind of like secret weapons for rock singers — yes, they look cool, and add a little color to your monochromatic palette, but they also serve a pretty essential purpose. Scarves keep your vocal chords warm and healthy, especially on days when you're running between venues in pouring rain or sleeping on the road in a drafty tour bus. Channel some classic Jett vibes by adding your favorite scarf to a simple black blouse or sweater (she rocked the leopard print, but you can really make this look your own).
Loose Tanks And Necklaces
Jett's fashion over the years has come to encompass two staples, almost without fail: a tank top, and an array of necklaces. Whether black and slinky, studded and silvery, or simple and straightforward, you can combine these two almost endlessly to create a variety of cohesive looks. Personally, I'm a big fan of loose, airy tanks, which are very much in fashion right now, and can be tucked to expose an eyelet belt (very Joan Jett). If you want a more polished variation, choose a silk or chiffon tank with clean lines and perhaps a simple silver embellishment or clasp near the neckline.
Black On Black On Black
I don't give a damn 'bout my reputation, so I'm going to flaunt my rebel side. Absolutely Jett inspired, I've paired black skinny jeans, an eyelet belt, a plan black tank top, and a leather jacket. Sure, it's a little hot, but sometimes you have to sweat for rock. And the details on the jacket stand out enough that I don't even think it needs a necklace. But of course, there's no harm in adding one — or two, or three (at least not if you want to take things to Jett's level).
The Power Stripes
All this rock is good, but what if you want something you can wear to your day job? That's where power stripes come in. Pair a striped sweater with skinny jeans, an eyelet belt, and (maybe, just for good measure) a necklace, and you'll be whispering rock on the outside, while you sing rock inside. Your boss might pick up on it, but only enough to give you a knowing glance — you know, one that says, "I hear ya, sister. I've got a rebellious streak too."
Images: Jen Schildgen