The Legacy of Elvis' Jumpsuit

If you saw 100 Elvis Presley impersonators ready for a show, the biggest number of them would be wearing Elvis' classic white jumpsuit with bellbottoms, an enormous collar, and a red, gold, and blue eagle. Elvis' performing career spanned more than two decades before his death in 1977, and the white jumpsuit only arose in 1973, but it made such a splash that it is the way we remember him. He first wore the outfit at a concert in Honolulu that was telecast around the world and seen by 1.5 billion people.

Fashion was a big part of Elvis' comeback after his movie career faded. He worked with costume designer Bill Belew to maximize his stage presence from visibility to ease of movement, but more than anything, to be impressive and memorable. An exhibition currently open at Graceland in Memphis called "Elvis: Dressed to Rock" features more than 100 of Elvis' stage costumes, with the white jumpsuit front and center. Read a history of Elvis' stage costumes and everyday apparel, and how it still influences fashion at CNN. 

(Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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