Jackson 5 Style!


Since the early days of the Jackson Five, Michael Jackson has set himself apart from every other musical artist with his tremendous talent, but also utterly unique sense of style. From his bell-bottoms and afro as a child star to his military inspired suits, his fashion statements are etched permanently into our memory banks. Regardless of your particular opinion of Michael Jackson, it is undeniable that he has driven fashion and style to a whole new level. For those who wish to draw from Michael Jackson’s ever-changing looks, each decade of his career provides a host of incredibly creative design elements. Source: Men’s Flair

The Pre-Motown and Post Jackson 5 Years

Michael Jackson burst upon the pop scene in the early 1970’s wearing fringed shirts, platform heels, and wide bell-bottom pants. With a “Huggy Bear” inspired hat to top off his look, he delighted crowds with his astonishingly polished stage presence. If you are attracted to this era of Michael Jackson, try paisley shirts, and suede vests.  ~ Source: Men’s Flair

Michael’s first public appearance was at a school program in the first grade in 1963 at Garnett Elementary School in Gary. Wearing black pants and a white shirt, he sang “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” from The Sound of Music. The reaction was overwhelming. 

“When I finished that song, the reaction in the auditorium overwhelmed me. The applause was thunderous and people were smiling; some of them were standing. My teachers were crying and I just couldn’t believe it. I had made them all happy. It was such a great feeling. I felt a little confused too, because I didn’t think I had done anything special. I was just singing the way I sang at home every night. When you’re performing, you don’t realize what you sound like or how you’re coming across. You just open your mouth and sing.”

While I kept the home fires burning, I continued to remain involved in the boys’ career by making their costumes, often with Rebbie’s help.  My biggest and final undertaking was making matching suits for them.  One day a peddler came around selling shiny forest green material. 

“Gee, this will make nice suits for the boys,” Joe remarked.

“Yeah?” I said.  “Who’s gonna make them?” My handiwork had been mainly limited to cummerbunds and vests.

“You,” Joe announced.  “You can learn.”

Joe went ahead and bought the material and I bought a pattern and took on the project. I ran into a few problems.  There’s a PR photo of the boys dressed in the suits and you can see that I had a hard time finishing off the back of Tito’s jacket.  But all in all I did an okay job. The frustrating things was that the boys outgrew a month’s worth of my work in no time.  “Next time, Joe,” I said, “take the boys to a tailor.” ~ My Family, The Jacksons – By Katherine Jackson

Boyd Clopton design ensemble from 1971. This group represents costumes worn by The Jackson 5 in live concerts during their 2nd National Tour. Includes: Michael Jackson’s Boyd Clopton multicolor wrap/scarf worn on top of Boyd Clopton orange shirt with turtle motif. The pants Michael is wearing in the reference photo are the same pants featured in the “Going Back To Indiana” TV Special.

Michael Jackson stage-worn Boyd Clopton design stylized cherry blossom floral shirt from 1971. This early Michael Jackson top was worn in various live performances and publicity photos in 1971, including performing the song The Love You Save on the April 18, 1971 ABC-TV Special “DIANA!”, Diana Ross’ first solo TV Special. This shirt can also be seen gracing the cover of the 1971 Picture Sleeve single for Mama’s Pearl, which reached #2 on the U.S. charts, The Jackson 5 Anthology CD and other publicity. It is one of the rare early Michael Jackson pieces.

Michael Jackson stage-worn Boyd Clopton design from “Going Back to Indiana” and other live 1971 concert performances. This extremely unique Michael worn 2 piece ensemble can be seen in the September 16, 1971 ABC-TV Special “Going Back To Indiana” in the concert performance sections, as well as other live concert venues which constituted The Jackson 5’s 2nd National Tour during the summer of 1971. Michael has used footage from these live shows and behind the scenes in retrospective editing which have been included in a Pepsi commercial as well as playback on the Dangerous Tour, etc. Includes a brightly patterned large collar slim-fitting shirt with rear zip closure and dance strap, gold-green pants with layered stylized leg design like pedals of suede with brass buttons/rivets. A strikingly beautiful and important ensemble.

1972 Jackson 5 stage-worn costume ensemble by Boyd Clopton

Stylized black & white themed costumes from 1971. These outfits were worn by The Jackson 5 brothers for publicity photos as well as live performances they did on the “Flip Wilson Show” where they performed a medley of their hits “I Want You Back” / “ABC” / “The Love You Save.” Boyd Clopton

Michael Jackson stage-worn International Costume Company orange shirt 1972. Michael’s orange polyester shirt worn in various TV appearances, including “American Bandstand”, “The Flip Wilson Show” etc. It also can be seen in various live performances, including the “Save The Children” Foundation and The Jackson 5’s 1st International Tour. This tour would lead to the Live In Japan album, released in 1973 which was the group’s only live release.

Michael Jackson stage-worn Aztec print collared pullover shirt from 1972 worn while singing “Got To Be There.” Michael wore this top on TV show appearances such as “Hellzapoppin” as well as various other live performances and publicity photos in 1972. He can be seen wearing this top singing “Got To Be There,” which was his debut Solo single. Made of cotton with an open neck design, it has a zip closure at the rear.

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