From Ska to Rasta
In 1965 Marley achieved some moderate success with Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, sometime before they formed the iconic Bob Marley & The Wailers. With fashion more reminiscent of Motown, emulating stars of the time with the Beatles suits and heels, he had not yet found his signature look.
After moving to be near his mother in America, the young Bob Marley took on work in a factory and it seemed like we would never hear his name again. Thankfully this would only spur him on more and he started to fully immerse himself in the music he loved and the music he was making.
Back to Jamaica
The Windrush Generation
Marley took Britain by storm at the exact right moment. From 1948 to 1971 thousands of people arrived in the UK from Caribbean countries who have since been labelled the Windrush generation. Seeing Bob Marley and the Wailers on the television must have been a revelation: at least 15,000 people of the Windrush generation were from Jamaica. Here was one of their own, right here, on television rocking double-denim and dreads.
The influence on streetwear, culture, and music was immediate. If you view photos of black British youth before and after Marley you can observe the direct influence. As had happened with Marley, suit trousers became jeans, trilbies became rastacaps and starched shirts became t-shirts. The key to Marley's relatable style also had its roots in his faith: the anti-capitalist views he espoused meant that his style was affordable. You could dress like Bob Marley without having to shell out a fortune.
Thankfully being a pacifist doesn't exclude you from wearing military wear as Marley shows in his staple khaki green jacket. A popular look at the time - John Lennon (that other peace lover) was often spotted wearing one - jackets such as this one have never really gone away. Timeless.
When he wasn't rocking trackies, Marley was often wearing blue jeans with a slight flare. The flare might go out of fashion for a bit but it's certainly back now. He was often spotted in flared jeans or chords usually with a loose cotton shirt: entirely indicative of the mans outlook on and whole attitude to life.