Music's Men of Style: Leon Bridges on His Vintage Fashion Obsession -- and the Sweater That Got Away

Kathy Tran
Leon Bridges photographed on June 17, 2015 at Shipping & Receiving in Fort Worth, Texas.

Soul singer Leon Bridges' music is often ­likened to that of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke -- and his penchant for mid-century fashion would have blended right in on their album covers, too. "For inspiration, I go online and search 'Chicago 1950s' or 'New York 1950s.' I love how back then wearing a suit was the norm and the way they dressed was clean and it fit," says Bridges, 26. "Especially compared to skinny jeans."

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Which you won't catch him ­wearing anytime soon, especially as he tours nonstop to support his debut album, Coming Home. "I do have denim -- the Levi's 1930 and 1950 remakes -- but I only wear those on rare occasions," says the Fort Worth, Texas, native. "There's no wearing sweatpants -- I'd wear a suit every day if I could, but it's so hot around here."

 

Color Theory

"I'm really big on that 1950s ­mustard-yellow for collared shirts and sweaters. I won't wear pink -- I'm not saying it's not masculine or anything. I just think it's kind of cheesy."

Go-To Thrift Stores

"Barrio Dandy in Los Angeles and Decades in Salt Lake City. I'm pretty set for clothes right now, but I can't pass up a good fedora or tie pin."

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Lost But Not Forgotten

"I had a vintage burgundy varsity sweater that was pretty dope. I made a dumb mistake, though: I put it in the washing machine and it shrunk, the color faded and the little white stripes on the arm turned pink. I was so sad I ruined it."

Listen to music from Leon Bridges, and more artists from this issue, in the Spotify playlist below:

This story originally appeared in the Aug. 29 issue of Billboard.