One of the things Priscilla Presley shared with her late husband, Elvis, was a love of dressing up. “Even at Graceland he would be dressed up coming down the staircase. No pajamas,” Presley shares in her new “Life in Looks” video. A look at Presley’s glamorous, colorful style from the 1960s to 2022 proves this fact. Whether she was boarding a plane with her poodle, Honey, in the ’60s or lounging with Elvis at home, she was dressed to the nines.
Presley’s most famous look is really a hairstyle. Nobody rocked a bouffant like she did, as evidenced by a portrait photo of her from 1960. “This was the style, that was my hair. I had a bundt underneath and my hair went on top of it,” she says. The process wasn’t easy. “Probably about an hour and a half, is how long it took. And the problem was trying to keep it that way for a week,” she says.
When the couple decided to get married in 1967, Presley had a unique bridal dilemma: how to buy a wedding dress without being recognized and tipping off the paparazzi. “This was a well kept secret because we wanted it to be our wedding with our friends and not to be loaded with paparazzi,” she says. She ended up going to bridal boutiques dressed in sunglasses and accompanied by the musician and friend Charlie Hodge in order to stay anonymous. “I’d go into the dressing room, and I’d come out with a wedding dress and ask Charlie, “what do you think darling, do you like it?” People [thought] that we were getting married,” she says.
Both she and Elvis valued dressing up for each other, not just on their wedding day. “Elvis had this idea of always looking good for each other, always making sure that that never lapsed,” she says. “We cared for each other, loved each other, had fun with each other, but never got so relaxed that we got sloppy.”
In the 1970s, Presley’s style evolved to include rhinestone denim and pieces from her boutique, Bis & Beau in Beverly Hills. Of a denim-and-fur getup she and her business partner Olivia Bis designed, Presley says, “I look back and I go wow, we were kind of ahead of our time on this.”