Fashion is an integral part of music. Disagree with me all you will but the fact is that nearly anyone who plays music matches their sound with a complimentary look. Sure, the music could exist without the fashion statements but it would be a bit duller. And yes, it smells of marketing but it's all part of the package a musician is trying to convey. I think there are some Cleveland musicians that can use a little spiffying up.
There are as many rock fashion looks as there are genres. The fifties were all about pompadour hairdos and snazzy jackets. The British invasion was dressed in matching suits, only to be copied by Cleveland's Raspberries years later. Malcolm McClaren, upon seeing Richard Hell's attire, melded the look perfectly with punk music. Even non-trendy bands like the Grateful Dead had fashion sense, akin to that of the modern day slacker.
It's no wonder that Cleveland Plain Dealer writer and rock musician John Petkovic wrote a story today on the selling of fashion in advertising, Fashion ads, catalogs long have used sex and sass to sell clothing. This was no assigned report. It's apparent that Petkovic, like myself, is a fan of fashion.
I call my personal style "hippie prep". I've been known to buy issues of Vogue or Harper's Bazaar, finding them much sexier than some tawdy girlie magazine. I would enjoy being a fashion designer as well.
Keith Richards, in his auto-biography, tells of how he and Anita Pallenberg began to simply share each others clothes. A look was born. Close friend Gram Parsons began to wear Nudie suits, the kind of flamboyant look country artists like Porter Wagoner and Hank Williams wore. Now those were fashion statements. In fact, I found a pseudo Nudie jacket this past winter at Goodwill.
Obviously the music is most important. There's certainly examples of bands who put fashion over the music with failed results. Still, if you think your stage presence could use a little something, look at your clothes. Unless you're going for the just rolled out of bed look, and with some bands that fits, then maybe a wardrobe change is in order.