Thursday, June 1, 2017

Sgt. Pepper suits

The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper suits have become some of the most iconic symbols and beloved symbols of the Beatles.    At every Beatles convention and fan gathering, there are people dressed in green, blue, orange and pink "Pepper" suits.  

But whenever you really think about it, the Sgt. Pepper suits weren't worn by the Beatles very often.   The Sgt. Pepper suits were originally designed by M. Berman Ltd.     They suits themselves are really unique.   They aren't just carbon copies in different colors.    Each suit has different patterns and designs.   George and Paul are wearing their MBE and John purposely isn't---instead he is wearing medals borrowed from Mona Best.     Great information about the ins and out of these suits can be found at this site (which even gives me a shout out!)

The first time the Beatles put the suits on was on March 30, 1967 during the Sgt. Pepper album photo shoot.

The only other time all four Beatles are seen wearing the Sgt. Pepper suits are in November 1967 when the did the promo film for "Hello Goodbye."

I have heard a story about John walking around London wearing his suit while tripping on LSD, but that is just a story and has never been confirmed.

All four suits are currently in possession of Paul, Ringo, Olivia and Yoko.    Yoko has loaned John's suit to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland right now.   Ringo and George's have been on display at museums in the past, but as far as I know they aren't right now.

George is the one Beatle that kept bringing his suit out after the Beatle years.

He wore it in the video for his song "Ding Dong"

And for the video for "When we was fab" in 1987--although it has been said that this is a copy and not the original 

The When we was Fab single even shows him wearing a Sgt. Pepper suit

Paul's suit is seen in the video for "My Brave Face," although the one the Japanese collector guy holds up is a copy.    Apparently Paul didn't want it being handled.

Ringo's suit was rumored to have been destroyed in a house fire in 1979.   Thankfully that was just a rumor and Ringo still has his pink suit.    Just a few days ago Ringo was pictured wearing one (is it the original?  I am not sure) to celebrate the Beatles 50th Anniversary.

The Sgt. Pepper suit has almost became bigger than the album.   I get it---I really do.   However, I would never wear one to a Beatles gathering.


  1. Fascinating article, Sara, as always. And thank you for providing the link to the article about the costumes.

    Earlier this year the Victoria & Albert Museum in London displayed two of the outfits to great effect in the exhibition 'Revolution'. Interestingly, the costumes displayed were those worn by John and George - I wonder if they asked for Paul and Ringo's? If so, and they denied permission, could this mean they have their own plans to organise an exhibition?

  2. That does not look like the "When We Was Fab" picture sleeves that I have. Is this from outside of the United States? The U.S.picture sleeve featured George from the cover of the album "Revolver" plus an updated drawing of him right next to it.(MarkZapp)

  3. Mark,
    That pic is a cutout from a U.K. Special edition issue of "Fab." It also had a poster.

  4. Thank you 1963. MarkZapp

  5. Is the photo of Ringo from now wearing the Sgt. Pepper outfit real or a photoshopped photo? I could not find out anything about it. Also, there is a photo floating around saying that it is Ringo taking a nap when they were photographing the album cover in 1967. He is laying back in a chair with the outfit on and the hat is on his face. I tend to think it is not him. He appears to be lacking sideburns. MarkZapp

  6. Hi Sara, any idea of where I could find replicas of the two hats? Thanks. Etienne

  7. I know that George Harrison kept the original uniforms at Friar Park.

  8. Anyone know if John's and Paul's uniforms had hats that they chose not to wear?

  9. I have a business making replica Sgt Pepper and other Beatles attire called Cellophane Flowers Inspired Costumes. The hats are made by my friend, Beth, from Eat Your Wristwatch over on fb. I hope this helps if you are still looking for the hats