As you’ve probably gathered, we’re pretty big David Bowie fans here, and we’re as much in awe of his sense of style as everyone else. Still, even the greatest aren’t immune to fashion missteps — a fact that we find perversely reassuring, if we’re honest — and as proof, here’s a selection of photos of Bowie captured in moments when the mask wasn’t sitting quite as elegantly as it might have been. This is all in affectionate fun, of course — after all, who else besides Santa Claus would even try to get away with a red suit (or that video with Mick Jagger)?
The early years: proof that not even our hero is immune to the inexplicable lure of the poodle perm.
An improvement, although he wasn’t to nail the long-hair look completely until about four decades later.
Circa Hunky Dory, with Angie and Zowie. Domesticity did not entirely become him. Nor did trousers that would double in a pinch as sleeping bags.
Ziggy and space parka (which, come to think of it, could also make for a decent sleeping bag if necessary.)
The nadir: “Dancing In the Street.” Quite apart from the hilariously homoerotic nature of the video, what on earth was Bowie wearing? Still, at least his outfit wasn’t as bad as Jagger’s.
Circa “Let’s Dance,” embracing Australian fashion. Embracing Australian fashion in the ’80s was a questionable, questionable move. (Trust us, we were there.)
The Glass Spider tour. Quite apart from lackluster music and an actual glass spider, the tour featured Bowie avec red suit and mullet, neither of which were entirely positive developments for humanity.
More from the Glass Spider era. Seriously, the ’80s were a dark time for everyone.
And finally, let’s face it: lime green anything is difficult to pull off, even if you’re David Bowie. Points for trying, though.
In celebration of David Bowie’s first album in a decade, The Next Day — and, you know, because we really love him and will seize any excuse to write about him — we have officially declared David Bowie Week at Flavorwire. Click here to follow our week-long coverage of rock legend, from his new release to a legacy that now spans nearly half a century.