In his funk and jazz-infused R&B smashes, Bruno Mars has long channelled luminaries from earlier eras, like James Brown, Elvis Presley, and Prince, to mention a few. The same might be said about his extravagant dedication to attire that draws inspiration from bygone times. The singer and musician, who has won 15 Grammy awards, is an artist in every sense of the word, and it appears like he can’t help but match his style to his music.
The pop sensation revealed to Vogue that his creative processes for music and design are comparable. He told the publication, “When I write a song, it’s about the emotion: What do I want people to feel?” The same applies to how I approach clothing: “How do I want to feel when I put that jacket on?”
His defining looks were ’60s-inspired outfits and fading hair, dating back to the star’s Doo-Wops and Hooligans heyday. It was evident that Mars was channelling the ’90s when his “Finesse” single for 24K Magic was released, both in terms of music and appearance (see: that iconic performance with Cardi B). Then, of course, Donatella’s “Versace on the Floor” and Bruno’s patterned silk outfits made an obvious nod to the 1980s. And as if his Silk Sonic supergroup with longtime collaborator Anderson Paak and recent discography didn’t make it clear that he’s in his ’70s phase, Bruno’s clothing of broad collars, leisure suits, and quirky patterns does.
Mars’s sense of style and charisma on stage make him larger-than-life, regardless of the era he’s channelling. And yes, Google verifies that the living music legend is about 5’5″ tall. However, his button-down shirts, exposed chest hair, flared jeans, and neatly coiffed curls are all homages to the most recent edition of Hot Girl Summer: Short-King Summer. The most excellent fit videos from the original Short King from the 1970s may be seen below.]
Mars wore orange-and-navy checkered pants, a jacket that matched them, and an unbuttoned shirt with a voluminous collar to the 2022 BET Awards in June. He added aviator sunglasses, white boots, and a beige fedora to his ensemble. What aspect about it is the most ’70s? The sparse, hairless moustache.
Big collars were one of the singer’s favourite trends when he revealed to Vogue that he had a clothing line with Lacoste in 2021. An oversized collar, in his words, “has something wonderful and strong about it; it gives the wearer confidence and feels like a cloak.”
Mars and bandmate Paak performed on stage at the 2022 Grammy Awards in a white bejewelled costume reminiscent of Elvis Presley’s legendary last performance in 1977. Bruno used to perform in Hawaii with his family’s band at 4. He was known for his talented Elvis impersonation.
Undoubtedly, Silk Sonic draws inspiration from the ’70s; the band’s song “Skate” pays homage to vintage roller rinks. At the 2021 Grammys, the two had their debut joint performance while wearing coordinated rust-coloured suits, taupe button-down shirts, and oversized aviator sunglasses. Gold chains are a requirement, so it goes without saying that Mars completed the ensemble with a matching gold wristwatch.
Another patterned suit, an untucked shirt, aviator sunglasses, and, to top it off, a cigarette and a little moustache. This entire appearance screams Saturday Night Fever with John Travolta.
The decade’s poster child(ren) is/are flared pants and an undone Hawaiian shirt. Bruno updated the vintage outfit for 2022 by adding white boots and a woven bucket hat. On a Short King, something simply works about the open collar.