Stevie Nicks Shared How She ‘Used [Her] Sexuality’ and Kept It Relevant

Stevie Nicks’ mark on popular culture is clear. Nearly 50 years after she made her debut in Fleetwood Mac, she still commands large audiences, appears on TV shows, and draws praise from superstar young artists. She once spoke about her longevity as an artist and how the way she wielded her sexuality played into this. 

A black and white photo of Stevie Nicks wearing a lace top and dangling earrings.
Stevie Nicks | Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images

Stevie Nicks has kept the same wardrobe for years

Nicks dreamt up a wardrobe soon after joining Fleetwood Mac and enlisted designer Margi Kent to help her bring it to life. She explained that she wanted “something urchinlike out of Great Expectations or A Tale of Two Cities.” To them, this meant flowing shawls, skirts, and heavy platform boots. 

“We came up with the outfit: a Jantzen leotard, a little chiffon wrap blouse, a couple of little short jackets, two skirts and boots,” Nicks told The New York Times. “That gave us our edge.”

She wanted to make sure that she could wear the same style for her entire career, a feat that she has accomplished. 

“I planned to still be doing this when I’m 60,” she told Elle. “I wanted to make sure that what I wore then, I could wear at any age.”

She shared how she wielded her sexuality

In 2001, Nicks answered a question about the way younger artists tied their sexuality in with their performance styles. She shared that she did this as well, but on a lesser scale. 

“I definitely used my sexuality in a certain way,” she told Rolling Stone. “I kind of draped it all in chiffon and soft lights and suede boots. Everybody now is just much more blatant.”

She said the way she used her looks worked out. It didn’t dominate her career, which meant she didn’t have to rely on it.

“Personally, I think that being a little more mysterious works better, and it lasts longer,” she said. “You should be very careful that you don’t build everything you have around how cute you are or how sexy you are, because, unfortunately, no matter how cute you are or how sexy you are, in fifteen years, that won’t be the most important part of your music. I knew that in my twenties. And I really prepared for that.”

Like her wardrobe, Nicks said that she wanted to find something that worked for her and keep doing it until the end of her career.

“I always thought I’d find something that worked and stick with it,” she told Us Weekly, per The Nicks Fix. “In the beginning, people wanted to talk to me about being a sex symbol, and I’d say, ‘Let’s talk about songwriting because that sex symbol stuff doesn’t last.’ If that’s all you’ve got, you’re in trouble. There are so many really cute younger women just dying to take your place, so you’ve got to build a reputation on something else besides how cute you are.”

Stevie Nicks’ wardrobe has made an indelible mark on fans

The way Nicks chose to present herself, with the drapey chiffon and dreamy lighting, left a noticeable impression on fans. Many dress like Nicks when they attend Fleetwood Mac shows. 

“This was truly a gig I’ll never forget,” Mick Fleetwood said, per the book Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks by Stephen Davis. “As I looked out from my drum riser at the crowd that jammed the huge football stadium, I realized I was looking at hundreds — no, thousands — of girls dressed exactly like Stevie in black outfits, many sporting top hats, Stevie’s new stage costume, which they must have seen in magazines and on TV.”

He said that the crowd went “bonkers” when she stepped onstage, proving her impact.

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