David Bowie’s Eclectic Style Evolution: 1969–2013 (PHOTOS)

From eye patches to tailored suits, check out the Thin White Duke’s fashion choices through the years.

Justin de Villeneuve/Getty

Justin de Villeneuve/Getty

David Bowie celebrated his 66th birthday with the announcement of a long-awaited upcoming album (the first in a decade!) and released his first new single. Not just an essential music icon with a career spanning half a century, Bowie has also been on the forefront of fashion. From eye patches to body-tailored suits, see Bowie’s experimental fashion choices through the years.



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A young and tousled David Bowie posed in this studio portrait in 1969 at the age of 21, the same year “Space Oddity” was released.

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Five years later, Bowie happily donned an eye patch and hoop earring to complement his red, feathered hair at a press conference at the Amstel Hotel in 1974 in Amsterdam.

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The rock icon’s signature fluffy, red-rock mullet was color-enhanced in this picture, taken during a photo shoot in Paris of his Pin Ups album in 1973.

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Bowie performed in his signature Ziggy Stardust outfit—a tight, futuristic, striped pantsuit complete with red patent leather moonboots—during a performance in Los Angeles in 1973.

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In 1974, Bowie moved toward a rockabilly look with a canary blazer and all-white shirt and pants set while working in the studio in London during the recording of his Diamond Dogs album.

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With a penchant for well-tailored menswear, the veteran musician sported a sleek two-piece suit with a buttoned-up henley T-shirt during the 31st Cannes Film Festival in 1978.

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Deborah Harry of Blondie visited Bowie backstage at the Booth Theater, where he starred in the Broadway play The Elephant Man, in 1980. Comfy as can be, the rock legend wore a soft turtleneck, paired here with cuffed jeans.

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Shot during a press conference at the 36th Cannes Film Festival in 1983, this portrait of Bowie showed him with a short conservative hairstyle and his signature tailored suit. He was the main actor in Furyo (Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence), an official selection at Cannes. The Hunger—a film he also starred in—was presented in competition at the festival.

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In 1983 a 36-year-old Bowie—in a crisp suit and hanging polka-dot bowtie—made his first musical performance in America in half a decade at a music festival at Glen Helen Regional Park in California.


The British singer rocked a sky-blue, double-breasted suit at a Live Aid famine relief concert in London in 1985.


Iconic stars Tina Turner and Bowie danced under the glittering lights for a Pepsi-Cola USA commercial in 1987. He brought back his rock-star mullet, pairing it with suspenders and red suede shoes.


Accompanying his gorgeous other half, supermodel Iman Abdulmajid, the now 44-year-old experimental fashionista changed gears, going for a more conservative black-tie tuxedo at the 1991 presentation of the film Anima Mundi, in Zurich, Switzerland.

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Bowie rocked out in Hartford, Conn., for the first stop of his 1995 tour, wearing a glimmering shirt that changed from blue to purple in the light. He toured from late 1995 to 1996 with Nine Inch Nails to support his new album, Outside.

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Still got it going on at 50, Bowie went for a grunge look with a distressed maroon tie and washed-out black denim jacket at the launch of the U.S. leg of his 2003 A Reality Tour, at Madison Square Garden.

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Bowie, appearing on stage in Antwerp, Belgium, in 2003, added a flash of bright white to this gray and maroon ensemble.

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Classy as always, Bowie joined his wife, Iman, at the 2010 CFDA Fashion Awards in New York City, with a handsome black tuxedo, accessorized with a simple black scarf.