Bruce Springsteen and His Classic American Style

Bruce Springsteen by Eric Meola

Mr. Springsteen knows ageless style (this photo was taken in 1975): relaxed-fit blazer, jeans and aviators.

In fairness, it’s his music that I love about Bruce Springsteen. His concerts are a force of nature and I strongly believe that you have to live one to be able to fully appreciate his work. The hours-long live performance, the energy employed, the positive vibes transmitted, the passion for what he does and the respect for his audience – that’s style and that’s class. But one has to acknowledge his clothing style, too. It’s been part of his image from the very beginning and Mr. Springsteen knows how to carry his coat. Furthermore, he is a pillar of classic American style, with the mandatory mention that his is entirely his own. These images, mostly from his youth, speak for themselves.
Bruce Springsteen by David GahrBruce Springsteen denim on denim

Notice the rolled-up short sleeves. He simply puts his own spin on a universal garment. It’s also a detail that can often be encountered in blue-collar dressing.

Bruce Springsteen and his classic American style
He dons a smart look (and not just any smart look, but one involving front-pleated trousers and woven leather belt), as well as denim-on-denim (in a manner that can count as another nod to the utility wear of America’s working class the musician has been writing and singing about and who have claimed him their hero) with the same ease. There have been classic white shirt days, too. Mr. Springsteen may be a rock star, but he knows how to wear a white shirt.
Bruce Springsteen by David Gahr

He cuts an all-American figure in jeans, tank top and Converse.


Bruce Springsteen by Frank Stefanko
In his singular plaid shirt (another classic American style mainstay and a masculinity staple), in one of Frank Stefanko’s iconic photographs taken in New Jersey during the shooting sessions for ‘Darkness at the Edge of Town’ and ‘The River.’
Bruce Springsteen by Eric Meola
Lastly, we have to give due credit to the look that sealed his rock star image: leather jacket, shredded white tank top and jeans (one way or another, variations of the classic of great American classics – t-shirt and jeans, often paired with boots – have always been part of his dressing repertoire). The photo above is from the photo session for the cover of his third album, Born to Run, from 1975, about which Rolling Stone magazine says: “Bruce Springsteen spent everything he had – patience, energy, studio time, the physical endurance of his E Street Band – to make his masterpiece”. But I particularly liked this description: “Listening to the album for the first time was one of those mind blowing moments where you realize, even as you’re experiencing it, that things will never be quite the same again” (source). It sums it up beautifully.
photos: 1,7-Eric Meola / 2,5-David Gahr / 3-credit unknown (Glory Days single cover) / 5-Annie Leibovitz / 6-Frank Stefanko

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