March 24, 2023
Billy Gibbons at the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop

For a while in the 1970s, the Nudie suit was the ultimate choice of fashionwear for the discerning, fat-walleted musician. Gram Parsons famously wore one on the cover of the Flying Burrito Brothers’ Gilded Palace Of Sin. Elvis sported a gold lame version on 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong. And ZZ Top wore them on the cover of 1975’s Fandango album and on the World Wide Tour of Texas.  

Nudie suits were expensive. Available from Nudie Cohen’s boutique in Hollywood, musicians would regularly spends thousands of dollars commissioning extravagant, made-to-measure designs. Rhinestones and embroidery were de rigueur – Parsons’ suit was adorned by pill capsules, marijuana leaves, poppy flowers and nudes – while some musicians accumulated entire wardrobes filled with Nudie’s tailoring. Country star Porter Wagoner once claimed to own more than 50, with the cheapest costing a mere $11,000. 

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