*Ray Wood, Elvis On Tour, performing as Elvis
The jumpsuit is one of the most closely associated stage show items worn by Elvis and it is replicated by many of the Elvis Tribute Artists in the world today. He only ever wore many of them once or twice at his onstage appearances from 1969 through to 1977. Here we profile some of the best known jumpsuit styles.
‘Karate Two Pieces’
Some of the earlier suits worn by Elvis onstage in 1969, are a series dubbed the ‘Karate Suits’. These are a collection of four two piece identical suits, each one in a different colour. The four colours include black, white, brown and dark blue. These suits are also known as both the ‘Herringbone’ and ‘Cossack Suits’. He sometimes wore them with different belts to distinguish them.
‘Beads and Fringes’
In September 1970, Elvis took to wearing a white beaded ‘Fringe Suit’ at several performances in Phoenix, Miami, and Mobile, as well as Seattle in November of that year. This suit would go on to become a fan favourite. What maybe not as well known, is that he also had a second ‘Fringe Suit’ rarely seen with more fringe details under the arms.
Fireworks and Starbursts’
From the early 1970’s onwards, his suits became a lot more elaborate. In 1971 and 1972 he wore a white ‘Snowflake Suit’ which is also known as his ‘Spectrum Suit’. He also wore a white ‘Fireworks Suit’ which was accompanied with a sky blue lined cape. In 1973 he had two suits which he wore called the ‘Orange Target’ and ‘Blue Target’, both very similar suits. They were collectively known as the ‘Starburst Suits’.
‘Blue Jumpsuits and Capes’
Elvis favoured blue as a suit colour along with white and black throughout his career. One of his blue suits was the ‘Royal Blue Fireworks Suit’ also called the ‘Owl Suit’ due to him pointing out the owl on his belt buckle to the audience during the filming of ‘Elvis on Tour’. It has a matching cape and silver lining. He also had a ‘Tiffany Blue Suit’ which he wore with his favourite gold belt, his ‘Blue Swirl Suit’ and his ‘Blue Nail Suit.’
‘Animals and the Exotic’
In the later 1970’s, many of his suit patterns featured animals and were inspired by oriental places. Animals and mythical creatures that featured included, a tiger, Chinese dragon, a phoenix, an American eagle and a peacock. His suits inspired by the east include his ‘Egyptian’, ‘Indian’ and ‘Arabian Suits’. The last suit he ever wore on stage was his ‘Aztec Sundial Suit’ on June 26th 1977 at this last concert which was held in Indianapolis.