The style and clothing of metal has absorbed elements from influences as diverse as the musical influences from which the genre has borrowed. It is from this linking of different sub-styles of clothing and music influences that one can sometimes determine a person's specific taste in music simply from overall appearance. However, such signs are not hard and fast rulings in the majority of cases. This uncertainty is what makes the first key aspect of the metalheads' identity below so important.
Some of the influences of modern military clothing and the Vietnam War can be seen by the fans and bands of thrash metal, with the members of thrash metal bands of the 1980s like Metallica, Destruction, and Megadeth wearing bullet belts around their waists on stage (it is likely that the thrash metal bands got the idea of wearing bullet belts from NWOBHM bands such as Motörhead, who have incorporated the bullet belt as part of their aesthetic since their inception, since many thrash metal bands in the 1980s were influenced by Motörhead). This style is often connected to punk-metal and anti-fashion, as akin to the hardcore punk scene, as the formentioned style reflects similar attitudes.
Fans of Glam Metal often have long or very long, teased hair, and are dressed in spandex pants and/or leather jackets. They also may use (but it's not necessary) some makeup (lipsticks, eye-shadows, tonal creams, etc.). Bands who play in glam metal genre may have instruments with an unusual colour/attribute, like guitars with pink, violet, dalmatian or pink rose colour; microphone stands with (usually) a leopard or silk scarf (there may be some different attributes attached to the microphone stand, but mostly only leopard-colour scarfs have been seen); drumkits with some artwork (this kind of drumkit is seen in other metal genres as well, not only in glam metal).
The imagery and values of historic Celtic, Saxon, Viking and Chivalric culture is reflected heavily in metal music, by bands such as Blind Guardian, and has its impact upon the everyday fashion and especially the stagegear of metal artists. The independence, masculinity and honor of the warrior ethos is extremely popular amongst metalheads, as is the rejection of modern day consumerist and metrosexual culture. Folk metal, viking metal, black metal and power metal fans often grow long thick hair and beards reminiscent of a stereotypical Viking, Saxon and Celt, and wear Thor's Hammer pendants and other pagan symbols. On stage, in photoshoots, and in music videos, it is very common for bands of these genres such as Turisas and Moonsorrow to wear chain mail, animals skins, warpaint (such as woad) and other Dark Ages themed battle gear. Corpse paint is another style of black-and-white makeup, used mainly by black metal bands.
Power metal fans and musicians such as Rhapsody of Fire often wear attire reminiscent of the Renaissance and the Middle Ages including tight black or brown leather trousers and wide sleeved, buttonless shirts of various colors. The imagery of bards and minstrels as well as knights is a popular part of power metal fashion.
Some doom metal bands and fans have incorporated "retro" looks- boot-cut or bell-bottom jeans, headbands, and tye-dye or other colorful shirts inspired by 60's and 70's psychedelic rock as well as cannabis culture.
Also notable is that the dark business suit now relates to some metalbands, most often Doom, Gothic or Stoner acts. Bands such as Akercocke, The Vision Bleak, Lacrimosa and Queens of the Stone Age are known for use of formal clothing in music videos and stage performances, sometimes followed by fans.
Read more about this topic: Heavy Metal Fashion
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“Without looking, then, to those extraordinary social influences which are now acting in precisely this direction, but only at what is inevitably doing around us, I think we must regard the land as a commanding and increasing power on the citizen, the sanative and Americanizing influence, which promises to disclose new virtues for ages to come.”
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