Michael Jackson Bad Costume
Let’s give the necessary preamble to this examination. When we’re talking about Michael Jackson, the famous King of Pop (may he rest in peace), there are many things that are undeniable about his career. His amazing talent spanned across many areas of performance, but most notably were his contributions to musical technique, dance, and style. Each one of these could have novels written about them, so as mentioned, we’re going to focus in our magnifying glass on the Michael Jackson Bad Costume.
In a style very different from his other music videos, the Michael Jackson bad costume features a long haired Michael, decked all in black. The outfit is multi-layered, including a black jacket, black shirt, black gloves, thick black belt, black pants, and black boots. While I do call all of the items in the Michael Jackson bad costume “black,” they all also have various accessories or latch-ons that are silver. On the jacket this includes a wide variety of chains, loops, links, and zippers. The gloves have studs/zippers. The belt includes chainlinks. The boots have extra zippers. The pants, however, have a different highlight — red — in a stripe along the side.
What’s really impressive is that this is not an outfit that’s very well designed for designing. Tall boots like these, tighter jackets, dangling chains and accessories, and all these other bells and whistles, simply don’t make for a convenient dancing experience. Then again, neither does grabbing your crotch, but unless there’s a cup included in the Michael Jackon bad costume, that’s a part of this too! All kidding aside, the King of Pop gives a very impressive display in this extravagent costume.
Though our counterculture movements don’t want to acknowledge it, the Michael Jackson bad costume had a significant impact in the look and style of the punk rock, and later emo and goth offshoot countercultures. This video was released in 1987, years before the outfits with extra zippers, chains, and more became mainstream for any group. Though these looks were certainly influenced by the tough bedecked look of biker crews and hardcore rockers, the exact variations that the King of Pop put in are entirely unique.
If you walk into a Hot Topic store, or similar, you’ll see outfits that are similar to this, even today. Of course, they’re not identical, but the influence can clearly be seen if you’re familiar with the video. The style of gloves being used in the video are very popular (especially among females) in today’s punk rock and emo style.
So despite having passed on, Michael Jackson is alive in a thousand different ways. His music is immortal, his dances will always be remembered, and believe it or not, even decades later, the King of Pop is still working his way into our wardrobe. The amazingly unique and enticing style of this costume have been significant enough that fashion designers, and members of large counter culture movements, still copy this work (knowingly or unknowingly).
Now, with Halloween approaching, a lot of people are wanting to pay homage to the King of Pop. If you’re looking for a fun outfit, where you can actually use some of the accessories in the rest of the year, then this costume is a great direction to go. Still, remember, if you’re going to be doing the dance — wear a cup.