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Herringbone Suit

By Erik van den BergOct 30, 2002
Elvis asked Bill Belew to design a special outfit for his comeback in Las Vegas in 1969. Bill was the designer of Elvis' black leather outfit for the '68 comeback special.
Elvis didn’t like the normal way of dressing in Las Vegas. The most artists wore tuxedos, but Elvis wanted something different.
During the late 50’s, 60’s (and 70’s) Elvis was inspired by karate, so he asked Bill to design a stage costume that was inspired by that. Elvis loved to walk, dance and show karate moves on the stage, so his suits had to be very comfortable.
After the inspiration of Elvis, Bill designed the Herringbone Suit. This was a two peace suit with a karate belt around his jacket and a split down his pants. The suits had different colours like blue, black and white. The belt was an exact copy of a karate belt, the only difference was the colour. Some were just black, others were in a two-colour pattern like red and black. Under the jacket Elvis didn’t wear a blouse, but just a scarf. During the 70’s Elvis would use these scarves to give away to the fans during concerts.
The two peace suits were redesigned by Bill and the famous jump-suits were born. During the years 1972 and 1975 Elvis wore two peace suits again sometimes, but never like the Herringbone Suit of 1969. You can see the white Herringbone Suit on the cover of Elvis' Suspicious Minds.
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