The 20 Best David Bowie Outfits, Ranked

We're celebrating a legend's birthday

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David Bowie. Aka Ziggy Stardust. Aka Aladdin Sane. Aka Halloween Jack (you get the point). It’s not often that a David Bowie comes around. A multi-generational talent who’s regarded as being one of the most prolific entertainers of the 20th century. An innovator known for his countless reinventions, visual concepts, and stage costumes. A defining force that shook up the 1970s and 80s with over 100 million records sold (which makes one of the greatest sellers of all time), and multiple awards/certifications including countless number one albums (eleven total), gold and platinum certifications, and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame obviously. Bowie’s influence remains heavily felt today, and that includes his style influence which is still frequently drawn upon. The legend was the epitome of what is now known as “glam rock fashion,” challenging gender norms, critics, and societal expectations through the many looks that comprise some of the best David Bowie outfits of all time.

RELATED: Freddie Mercury's Fashion Evolution: An Ode to a Style Icon

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Style was such an important part of Bowie’s being that he even made a song in 1980 called “Fashion.” And if that wasn’t enough, Bowie married supermodel Iman in 1992 making them an instant powerhouse fashion couple.

With yesterday being his the anniversary of his passing, and brands such as Midnight Art Dept. releasing collections in his honor (the collection came out in October), we thought it would be cool to look back at his top 20 style moments. Let’s Dance!

20. Lift Off TV Appearance


19. Earls Court Performance

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Bowie performed at Earls Court on more than one occasion, but his 1973 performance is the one that’s recognized by many as being one of his top all time style moments. We agree, but we also think that his 1978 show deserves some love as well. By the time 1978 rolled around Bowie had mostly left the space themes behind in his costuming as he was ever evolving in both style and music, so with that came a new toned down persona that was still very much earthy.

This oversized white suit is definitely a cool style moment from the artist, and you can still see its influence today with certain jumpsuit styles and colors (especially with the belt at the waistline).

18. Fashion Music Video


17. 1973 Midnight Special Performance

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On November 16th, 1973, Bowie performed a special longform show on the Midnight Special at London’s Marquee Club where he was in the midst of embarking on his farewell to Ziggy Stardust. For those who don’t know, Bowie had multiple personas throughout his career, and when he grew tired of them both musically and creatively, he would bid them farewell. It was basically his way of reinventing himself.

So in 1973 he was making his final rounds as Ziggy, and we have to say this outfit that he rocked for his 1980 Floor Show musical (which was a part of the Midnight Special) was out of this world (literally).This is another outfit of his that has been heavily recreated. 

16. The Jean Genie


15. Hammersmith

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Legend has it that Bowie’s 1973 performance at Hammersmith was his very last as Ziggy Stardust. And when it’s the last time you are ever going to do something, well, you make it special. Despite the occasion, there’s not a whole lot of pictures of Bowie’s performance that evening, and a good percentage of the ones that are available are either in black and white, or you can’t really see much of what he was wearing. That, our friends, is what makes the outfit so great.

You can’t really make out much of it, but the little bit that you do see is spectacular. Maybe one day we will be gifted high quality photos of this concert in color. You never know what could become unearthed in the future.

14. Top Pop

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In February 1974, Bowie took to the Top Pop stage to give an amazing performance of his song “Rebel Rebel,” and he did so in a pirate eyecap, a polka dot tie around his neck, a long sleeve top tied around his chest, and red overalls to complete the look. This particular ensemble was an interesting one that wouldn’t have worked for anybody else other than David Bowie.

13. Fame 90 Music Video


12. Radio City Music Hall

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David Bowie walked so Napoleon Dynamite could run. Jokes aside, this was an interesting fashion moment from the artist during his October 1974 Philly Dogs tour with the gray dress shirt underneath baggy white overalls. This piece was completed with a plaid tie, giving us cool school nerd with a rock & roll Bowie edge.

11. Random 70s Los Angeles Performance

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If it feels like we keep coming back to the Ziggy Stardust era, it’s because that time period provided so many defining David Bowie looks that were compelling. While we don’t know exactly where this performance was other than somewhere in Los Angeles, we had to include it as one of his greatest moments because of his sheer creativity. From what we can see, Bowie (or Ziggy rather) appears to be wearing a uniquely patterned halter mini dress paired with matching arm and leg sleeves, and blue feather boa to match. Who was doing it like that? Nobody other than Ziggy of course.

10. London 1973

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And yet another example of an outfit from the Ziggy Stardust era during a London 1973 appearance at King’s Court. We have definitely seen dresses similar to these become popular in the last decade or so, proving once again that Bowie was ahead of his time.

9. Live Aid


8. Blue Jean Music Video


7. Hunky Dory Promo

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This rare photo from 1971 shows a young then-rising star Bowie wearing a white dress shirt tucked into oversized dress pants, and was completed with his long locks which was something we didn’t see much of once he became a super duper star. The photo was taken in London, England in December 1971 to promote the release of his Hunky Dory album.

6. Glastonbury

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We had to include another shot of Bowie from the 2000s because he very much indeed still had it. The artist took to the Glastonbury Pyramid Stage wearing a coat designed by Alexander McQueen that was fit for a king. Also, the 2000 Glastonbury Festival saw the return of Bowie’s long locks, which was something we hadn’t seen from him for a while.

5. Modern Love Music Video


4. Random 1994 Shot

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Please enjoy this random undated photo of David Bowie from 1994 in a yellow turtleneck and red suit. This is your outfit inspiration for the day. You’re Welcome.

3. Life on Mars Music Video


2. 1994 CFDA Awards

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And of course we also had to throw in a couple's picture with his supermodel better half Iman. When it comes to the list of most stylish couples of all time, we’re not sure anyone tops Bowie and Iman. Perhaps John and Yoko could tie for the number one spot, but the point is... David Bowie and Iman will always be one of the most stylish and attractive celebrity couples of all time.

1. Space Oddity Music Video


A very Happy Birthday to one of the greatest musicians and performers of all time. 

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