Leather is an easy cop-out for wannabe bad boys of rock.

It’s far more difficult (and much more interesting) when menace is conjured with an impeccably tailored suit.

Case in point would be the singer, writer and all-around bad seed Nick Cave.

Here all at once: a gentleman and a punk.

As an Aussie, Cave has an outlaw-ish take on the typical louche British rock star look: halting perma-sneer, lank hair that hasn’t seen shampoo in a month and the kind of cinematic mustache that reads “I may or may not wear snow leopard bikini briefs.”

Needless to say, it’s a tricky gambit for a 55-year-old man, and not a look that can be easily adopted by anyone who doesn’t make his living with three chords and the truth (or writing screenplays about Virginia moonshiners, as Cave did with this year’s Lawless).

Four buttons undone? Not a problem for Cave.

He may be all grown up (kids and so on), but he refuses to do so quietly. And if his work with his band Grinderman is any indication, it’s doubtful he’ll be wearing a tie anytime soon.

—A.P.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Andrew P. Bradbury