10 Rules of Rockabilly That You Should Ignore

Everywhere you look there are rules to being Rockabilly. How to be Rockabilly is a hot topic, as there are constantly newcomers to the Rockabilly ‘scene’. Many people do not truly find their personal style until their 20′s, 30′s, or 40′s which means everyday there is someone out there searching the web for advice on how to embrace their new found passion and style. Luckily for many people there are dozens of websites devoted to the “rules” of Rockabilly. Unfortunately, many of those rules isolate people and are sometimes downright ridiculous. Here is my opinion on the 10 “Rules of Rockabilly” that you should just ignore!

Stupid Rule of Rockabilly #1: Tattoos are a must for Rockabilly girls (and guys).

Why it’s a stupid rule: Tattoos are painful! Tattoos are expensive! Tattoos are permanent! It’s bad enough that most of us with tattoos got our first one at a young age and probably no longer identify with the symbolism that it once stood for, but lots of people actually end up regretting a tattoo or two. Sure, those beautiful alt-pinup models covered in gorgeously colored tattoos may seem enviable, but for every lovely tattoo online there is at least 1 or 2 jacked up pieces of “art” walking around, hidden under a shirt.


{Image Source: Someecards}

Stupid Rule of Rockabilly #2: Real Rockabilly guys (or girls) should only have Old School American style tattoos.

Why it’s a stupid rule: First off, whose place is it to dictate what you put on your body? Any rule that limits your ability to express yourself is a stupid rule. Sure, some people opt to have only old school American tattoos, but that doesn’t mean they are the only people who get to claim Rockabilly.


 {Image Source: Bring the Noise}

Stupid Rule of Rockabilly #3: Pomade is your best friend, use it daily.

Why it’s a stupid rule: To be fair, lots of people use pomade daily and enjoy the way it looks. But not everyone who wants a Rockabilly ‘do wants to hassle with pomade. I know there are ladies out there who swear by it, but I just don’t like the stuff. A big ole’ can of Aquanet is my hair’s best friend. There are so many different hairstyling products out there, so many more than were available in the 30′s, 40′s and 50′s. Why would you want to limit yourself to only what was available back then?

mary hair

{Image Source: We Heart It}

Stupid Rule of Rockabilly #4: Rockabilly men always wear slacks.

Why it’s a stupid rule: Seriously?! Talk about limiting yourself! I love a man in a nice pair of slacks but my hubby looks equally good in a pair of cuffed jeans. Restricting your wardrobe to one type of garment is beyond silly, unless you want to wear only slacks.

slacks only

{Image Source: The Comedy Scoop}

Stupid Rule of Rockabilly #5: If you like the Stray Cats, you’re not a true Rockabilly kid.

Why it’s a stupid rule: First, I like the Stray Cats. Second, music is a very personal thing. I don’t believe people should limit themselves to just one genre of music, let alone restrict the bands and artists within that genre. I don’t like every Rockabilly band out there, and I don’t only listen to Rockabilly music. Why would I want to? There are so many wonderful artists out there!


{Image Source: Slim Jim Phantom}

Stupid Rule of Rockabilly #6: Get a Rockabilly haircut; thick bangs and long curls.

Why it’s a stupid rule: Bangs are not for everyone. Long hair is tricky to manage. Some of us aren’t blessed with hair that curls cooperatively. And most importantly, there are so many other retro hairstyles that don’t require any of these components, you really don’t have to have the “vintage cut” to achieve a vintage or Rockabilly look. Betty Grable didn’t have bangs and Audrey Hepburn wore her hair short. Bettie Page is not the only fashion icon for a Rockabilly girl!

spock bettie bangs

{Image Source: Pinterest}

Stupid Rule of Rockabilly #7: Vintage clothes are requires, or at least vintage reproduction.

Why it’s a stupid rule:  Vintage and vintage repros are expensive, and frankly there are lots of alternative Rockabilly options at Target, Old Navy, and pretty much any other clothing store. The great thing about Rockabilly is that it gives a nod to the past, but it is also present. Buy the clothes that make you feel fabulous and put your own Rockabilly spin on your look.

old navy

{Image Source: Look Book}

Stupid Rule of Rockabilly #8: Psychobilly, Trashabilly, Punkabilly, and other ‘billy wannabes are lame, don’t lower yourself to their standards.

Why it’s a stupid rule: Who died and made you Queen of fashion! If you want to rock a psychobilly look one day (or everyday) it’s nobody’s business but your own. Every ‘billy should be welcome.


{Image Source: Radio Cibigibi}

Stupid Rule of Rockabilly #9: Even if you’re not into cars, you’re into cars.

Why it’s a stupid rule: Don’t pretend to be something that you aren’t. Be yourself, and if yourself happens to not be completely obsessed with hot rods and classic coupes that’s fine. I know lots of ladies who attend carshows for the shopping, and others who go to talk shop and look at some engines. I find myself in the middle of this spectrum; cars are pretty, now let’s buy shoes!

pinup car

{Image Source: KittenVonBich}

Stupid Rule of Rockabilly # 10: You’re either Rockabilly or a vintage enthusiast. Pick one.

Why it’s a stupid rule: Because you can be both! Rockabilly is all about being a rebel, so rebel against this restrictive rule and opt for a classic vintage look whenever you feel like it. And then throw another curveball and wear something totally modern.

Modern Rockabilly

{Image Source: Digital Editions}

I’ve gathered these “rules of Rockabilly” from actual websites – although I am not linking to them, because that seems rude since I’m telling you to ignore what they are saying. What do you think about these rules? Are there any other rules you think should be ignored?

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