Tracing Roots: Bob Marley’s Denim Shirts

Bob Marley was the sharpest image of cool and effortless style. In order to look ahead of this season's denim threads, we profile Marley's historic go-to wardrobe staple.

Unpretentious and raw can only begin to describe Bob Marley’s effortless style. As a self-proclaimed denim aficionado, I imagine one of his suitcases jammed with T-shirts, Rastafarian tams, boots, and what would be considered today’s holy grail in vintage denim. The most coveted piece being one of Bob’s trademarked denim shirts. Each of the shirts was handcrafted by a Jamaican tailor, with attributes of original 1970s patchwork, embroidery, and raw edges. Put all the components together and you have the essence of The Buffalo Soldier as he took the stage.

“My music will go on forever. Maybe it’s a fool say that, but when me know facts me can say facts. My music will go on forever.” – Bob Marley (June, 1975)

…and so has his style.

How to Rock It:

1970s: Layer your Denim Shirt over Vintage T-shirt (not a reproduction of a vintage tee a REAL one, i.e. E-Bay if you can’t find one in a local Thrift Store), Bob wore Bell Bottom jeans and unless you think you can really pull them off, I suggest you go with your OG Lee jeans (color of denim is up to you) and a brown or black leather belt. Boots were Bob’s choice of footwear – so keep it cool and casual – remember his style was effortless. So don’t try to hard.

1980s: Denim took a twist in the ’80s when acid wash was what to where—reference A Different World. Button it up and tuck it in with baggy black or brown pants add suspenders and a belt with some Creepers and your ready to go get your high top fade—don’t forget the lines.

1990s: Livin large was the theme for the urban community during this decade. Oversized was the lay of the land with. Think Snoop Dog with his lean frame rockin’ his oversized denim shirt, layered over his XXL white tee shirt, with baggy jeans that his belt barley held up as he was sagging, while lookin smooth as a motherf—ker.

Now: Yes, I did skip 10 years and trust you didn’t miss a thing. Let’s get down to how you need to be rockin’ it now. Keep it clean, denim on denim—tailored and fitted is the key. Mixing denim washes is cool and adds dimension. Depending on if your occasion you can layer a tee shirt under and/or a trench coat over. Shoes are can make or break it, so choose wisely, I suggest some tan Chukka boots or off white Chuck Taylors.


Left: Studio D’Artisan Shirt – Heavyweight Workshirt Denim

Price: $205
Buy: Blue In Green

Right: Anachronorm – Remade Chambray Shirt
Price: $658
Buy: Union Made

Left: Denim & Supply – western bleach-out denim shirt
Price: $165
Buy: Ralph Lauren

Right: Levis Vintage Customised Sawtooth Denim Shirt
Price: $285
Buy: Levis Vintage Clothing

Left: H.W. Carter & Sons – Chambray Utility Shirt
Price: $165
Buy: Union Made

Right: Scotch & Soda – Men’s Vintage Denim Granddad Shirt
Price: $133
Buy: Ron Robinson

“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”
― Bob Marley

Bob Marley Denim

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