Paul McCartney at 80: A life of fun-loving fashion

Paul McCartney, the renowned musician and former Beatle, has always had a playful sense of style. To commemorate his birthday, we look back at some of his best fashion moments.

While the former Beatle may be known for his immeasurable contribution to music, Paul McCartney also has a well-documented penchant for fashion. Largely thanks to the late Linda McCartney, an American photographer and the musician’s first wife, the sometimes kooky and always frolicsome outfits worn by McCartney have been immortalized forever — from his classic 1970s long-lapel shirts to loud knitted sweater vests.

His laid-back, fun-loving fashion sense was eventually passed down to his daughter, Stella McCartney, the renowned British designer known for collections that prioritise sustainability. During an interview with the British newspaper The Times last year, she said of her parents, “They were both my fashion icons.” “They never compromised, never tried to appear cool for the sake of others.”

As Paul McCartney celebrates his 80th birthday.

Here are some of his most memorable looks over the years.

  • McCartney wears a scarf with a striped blazer and purple trousers to a Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band release party in London on May 19, 1967. Photographer: Jeff Hochberg/Getty Images
  • In 1967, the singer was on set in Cornwall for the Beatles documentary “Magical Mystery Tour.” Although the original designer of this Fair Isle sweater vest is unknown, fans all over the internet have since replicated it.
  • In 1968, McCartney adds a modern twist to a classic look by wearing a transparent polka dot shirt.
  • McCartney embraces a more pared-down, country-inspired wardrobe post-Beatles, in 1971 at their family farm in Scotland.
  • Pattern clashes, T-shirts worn over shirts, and a free-spirited approach to styling resulted in some of McCartney’s most interesting looks, such as this one from a visit to the studio in 1973.
  • McCartney had a colourful sweater collection, including this blue, white, and red number with an embroidered ski jumper on the front, which was photographed in 1973.
  • McCartney is photographed wearing a neck scarf during a shoot in 1975, never missing an opportunity to accessorise.
  • A classic biker jacket never goes out of style, as McCartney demonstrated here in 1980 at his farm near Rye, Sussex.
  • At an airport in 1988, a young Stella McCartney is carried by her father, who is wearing sunglasses.
  • In 1987, Paul McCartney wears a tangerine scarf and a purple turtleneck.
  • A good suit jacket is a wardrobe staple, especially when paired with a simple T-shirt. McCartney was photographed at the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy in 1993.
  • McCartney still managed to look suave in slouchy tailored suits later in his career, as seen here in 1999 before performing in Liverpool.
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