Make A Psychobilly Jacket

Distinctive jackets are often worn by psychobilly bands and their fans.

The psychobilly jacket is an important accessory necessary to complete the overall look of practitioners and followers of the psychobilly music style. The retro jackets are customized to fit the individual wearer’s taste and fashion sense, and are often made to reflect the owner’s preference for a specific band or psychobilly singer. Does this Spark an idea?

Psychobilly Music

Psychobilly music is an outgrowth of the rockabilly genre. Psychobilly musical stylings combine the diverse influences of outlaw country western, punk rock, surf rock and hillbilly boogie woogie. The psychobilly sound contains overtones of heavy metal sub-genres, including death metal, thrash metal and goth metal. The names punkabilly, honky punk, cowpunk, slacker swing, hard twang and alterna-country have been used to describe the psychobilly style. The Cramps popularized the movement in the early 1970s, taking the name psychobilly from the Johnny Cash song “One Piece at a Time.”

Psychobilly Fashion

The psychobilly look, including custom-made jackets, is a throwback style, with origins in American 1950s rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll fashion. The rockabilly clothing style derives from the British Teddy Boy, Mods, Rockers and skiffle band subcultures. Black leather motorcycle jackets, and blue denim biker jean jackets provide the basis for the customized psychobilly jacket. The jackets style is modernized by skinhead, punk and outlaw motorcycle gang influences.


The leather psychobilly jacket starts with a basic black leather motorcycle jacket like the one worn by Marlon Brando in the 1953 movie “The Wild One.” Embellish the jacket with custom painted touches influenced by 1950s tattoo art. Use skulls, dice, playing cards or Harley Davidson emblems. Paint your favorite band name or logo on the back of the jacket. Add traditional country-western motifs such as red roses, treble clefs and musical notes.


Start with a traditional Levi’s or Wrangler blue-jean jacket. Cut or rip off the sleeves to make a vest type jacket popular with biker gangs and heavy metal fans. Hem the sleeves or leave them frayed. Heavily wash or bleach the fabric. Slice, rip or tear the denim. Adorn the jacket with appropriate psychobilly patches, badges and painted decoration. Include tour dates and portraits of your favorite psychobilly singers and band members.