View Poll Results: Which Jumpsuit Year Do You Prefer?

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  • 1969 - Plain and Simple, Cossack & Two Piece

    22 15.60%
  • 1970 - Plain and Simple - Chain, Concha & Winged Suit

    56 39.72%
  • 1971 - More Elaborate - Cisco's & Pinwheels

    11 7.80%
  • 1972 - Jumpsuited Peak - Pins, Nails & Portholes

    28 19.86%
  • 1973 - Jumpsuited Peak - Nice and Spangerly, Aloha & Starburst

    38 26.95%
  • 1974 - Embroidered Heaven - Dragons, Peacocks & Americon Eagle

    33 23.40%
  • 1975 - Embroidered Heaven - Chief, Eskimo Totem Pole & Chicken Rib

    10 7.09%
  • 1976 - Colourful Flame

    7 4.96%
  • 1977 - The Unworn Suit

    9 6.38%
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Thread: A Brief History Of Jumpsuits

  1. #1
    Too Much Monkey Business Jumpsuit Junkie's Avatar
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    A Brief History Of Jumpsuits

    I suppose the Jumpsuit is now indelibly linked to Elvis! Perhaps the’ Aloha’ and ‘Mexican Sundial’ Jumpsuits are the most recognised by the general public. There is estimated to be over 100 jumpsuits and two piece suits used as stage costumes.

    1969 -1970. In the beginning the Jumpsuits/Costumes were simple in design and as the years passed by the simple became the spectacular. In the early days there would be duplicates of the simple in design Jumpsuits, for example there were multiple Cossack tops and Two Piece suits of different colours a similar case for the “Chain" Jumpsuits and two of the "Concha", of course this became untenable when the more elaborate costumes started in 1971 due to the cost factor, However there was an exception for the "Aloha" Jumpsuits, two were made for the telecast and one more made for the 1974 tours.

    1971 saw simple nail designs of the ‘Cisco Kid’ Jumpsuits make way to what would become the established design mainly due to the talents of Gene Doucette, Gene had taken over from Bill Belew in the design stakes and it was his flair that saw the Jumpsuit morph from plain and simple Jumpsuit to the specticles they became from late 1971 onwards.

    1972 sees the Jumpsuit finally reach its splendid peak, the design seems to have settled on a recognisable format that Elvis seemed happy with. The patterns and themes changed after 1972 but the suits basic style would stay the same until 1976. There were of course variations with the puff sleeves in the 'Chicken Rib', 'Eskimo Totem Pole' and 'Egyptian Bird' designs of 1975 but the Jumpsuit essentially remained the same as the 1976 'Colouful Flame' Jumpsuit demonstrates.

    1973 probably saw the most elaborate Jumpsuits in the form of stones and nails e.g. the 'Arabian First Edition' aka the 'Memphis' Suit, 'Black Spanish Flowers' and of course the 'Aloha Eagle'. It could be argued that 1973 saw the jumpsuit become a work of art rather than a stage outfit. The designs had taken on beautiful detail and with many Jumpsuits taken on a theme.

    1974 Gene Doucette had changed styles and moved to embroidery designs very probably at Elvis' request due to the weight of previous Jumpsuits. There were subtle changes to the designs of 1974 for example the sleeves were free from patterns or design, again probably at Elvis's request due to stones or nails scratching guitars etc. The designs of 1974 are of two extremes.. The 'Chinese Dragon' and the 'Mad Tiger' are quite flashy, where as the three 'Phoenix' designs seem to be simpler and understated in comparison.

    1975
    - There is debate as to whether Elvis should have switched over to two piece suits by 1975. Looking at the frequency of new suits by 1975 only 8 new Jumpsuits and 7 'Two Piece Suit' designs as opposed to 1973 with a peak of 17 new Jumpsuits (not including the aloha duplicates) it could be argued that Elvis tried the two piece and decided he didn't like them! 1975 followed the same design pattern of 1974 in that the designs were embroidery with fine detail, the ‘Chief’ aka the ‘Indian Feather being a fine example.


    1976 – This was a particularly uninspired year, there was only one new Jumpsuit made in the form of the ‘Colourful Flame’ although the Jumpsuit was extremely flashy in design it was only worn twice which leaves you wondering why two of this design were made? Most of 1976 saw Elvis wear the ‘Egyptian Birds’ aka ‘Bicentennial Jumpsuits’

    1977 made 1976 look inspired, there was a suit designed for Elvis, however it wasn’t completed in time for Elvis to have worn it on stage. Elvis only switched between three Jumpsuits in 1977 namely the ‘Chief’ aka ‘Indian Feather’ from 1975, ‘Arabian second Edition’ aka ‘King of Spades’ from 1974 and of course the ‘Mexican Sundial’ also from 1974.

    Last edited by Jumpsuit Junkie; 03-29-2010 at 03:01 PM.

  2. #2
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    Eventhough the Indian Chief/Indian Feather jumpsuit is my all time favorite, I like most of what was designed in 1974. Making the Dragon Fire my second favorite.

  3. #3
    Too Much Monkey Business Jumpsuit Junkie's Avatar
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    Agreed 1974, was on the whole a good design year!

  4. #4
    Elvis Presley Blvd Unchained Melody's Avatar
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    Would have to say 1974 for me aswell.

    Although 72 very very close!
    "How do I get placed in situations like this? Ah hell, I guess it's all part of showbusiness "~ Elvis in his limo on his way to perform in Omaha, NE on June 19th 1977


  5. #5
    Cadillac King SatninLove's Avatar
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    69-70 for me..
    -SatninLove
    "There's A Sweet Sweet Spirit In This Place"....

  6. #6
    Cadillac King SatninLove's Avatar
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    although i'm fond of 71 and 77
    -SatninLove
    "There's A Sweet Sweet Spirit In This Place"....

  7. #7
    Backstage Pass jeanelvisgirl's Avatar
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    I have to say I prefer the more simple designs......the 69 two piece ghis, the Concha, Chain and Fringe suits........the very elegant Now Suit ...... the Cisco kid suits... the ones I do NOT like include the Bicentennial suits and the crazy Gypsy suits...... I so wish he had continued to wear the two piece white suits.. I love the ones with the coloured pockets and capes, especially the black cape with the paisley lining......
    Jean
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  8. #8
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    IMO almost all the suits Elvis wore on stage had an interesting design, whether simple or flashy. Well done to all the designers. Actually, we need a book on jumpsuits which highlight the great stuff the desibners came up with - front and back design, cape, belt, bell bottom design etc. Maybe one day...

  9. #9
    Backstage Pass jeanelvisgirl's Avatar
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    I have heard that such a book may appear sooner rather than later
    Jean
    Co-Manager -www.ultimate-elvis.net


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  10. #10
    TCB Mafia Polk-Salad-Annie's Avatar
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    I voted for: 1973 - Jumpsuited Peak - Nice and Spangerly, Aloha & Starburst
    Some of you all never been down South too much...
    I'm gonna tell you a little story, so you'll understand where I'm talking about

  11. #11
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    1969-1970 for me The best Jumpsuits ever!!!

  12. #12
    International Level elvispresleytheking's Avatar
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    72 for me, I especially love the Blue Nail and Burning Love, but the Adonis and Blue Swirl are in there as well, along with the Owl. Though 74 is a really close 2nd, with the elaborate embroidered beauty of the peacock and dragon.

  13. #13
    Too Much Monkey Business Jumpsuit Junkie's Avatar
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    Although there are some Jumpsuits that look rather over the top, when you see them up close, for instance the Mexican Sundial and the Arabian First Edition take on a completely different meaning when you see close up shots of the design. the detail is breath taking. I wonder if the fans could have appreciated the intricacies without them being on display and photo's taken of the up close
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1.jpg   12.jpg   Mex Sun.jpg  


  14. #14
    International Level jean francois's Avatar
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    sundial Suit For Me Thank You

  15. #15
    Elvis 56's Lady Wendy56's Avatar
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    All suits have their own charm. Elvis was so handsome and he looked so great with anything on. I love Nails and the Sundial too. Elvis wanted to please his fans in every detail... :notworhy.
    *Thanks a lot for that Sundial pic.
    Let the stars fade and fall, and I won't care at all, as long as I have you.
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    "You've got it all together like a lovin' machine
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    Mother nature's sure been good to Y-O-U"

    Wendy

  16. #16
    International Level WHITETIGERMAN's Avatar
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    1969-1972 really is what I like........but as said before...he looked so good in anything.

  17. #17
    TCB Mafia ehollier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WHITETIGERMAN View Post
    1969-1972 really is what I like........but as said before...he looked so good in anything.


    Definitely 1969-70 was his best year; however, I bet he would have looked good in nothing at all, also.........
    "More people today should see him not simply as a performer, but as an artist with a great soul."

    John Bakke, professor emeritus
    University of Memphis

  18. #18
    International Level WHITETIGERMAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehollier View Post
    Definitely 1969-70 was his best year; however, I bet he would have looked good in nothing at all, also.........
    Agreed.....LOL....I bet all the women would agree to that comment.
    Me being male.....he would look good in anything to me.But 69-70
    you're right.

  19. #19
    Backstage Pass Debra's Avatar
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    '69 and '70 to me too.He looked gorgeous in white
    ........
    "Don't criticize what you don't understand, son, you never walked in that man's shoes."

  20. #20
    TCB Mafia beckelvis's Avatar
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    Re: A Brief History Of Jumpsuits

    for me 69´-70´,though also i like 73´-74´,very much.

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