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

Leah Dolan, CNN

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.

The Liverpudlian star’s life and times can be traced through his sartorial choices, too. Starting with the sharp ’60s suits during Beatlemania and following into his solo career — where ensembles grew more colorful, daring and individual; like McCartney’s premiere look for the 1973 James Bond film “Live and Let Die,” which included a velvet-trimmed tuxedo jacket, bare chest and bow-tie necklace.

Anywhere was a runway for McCartney — including the airport runway, where he was often photographed boarding and exiting jets sporting purple-lense aviator sunglasses or decorative Western shirts with a child perched on his hip. As captured by Linda, the musician steered clear of tailoring when off-stage and instead opted for a more casual, country-inspired wardrobe filled with fisherman knits, wellington boots and flying jackets when around family.

His fun-loving, down-to-earth fashion sense was eventually passed down to his daughter, Stella McCartney — the revered British designer known for collections that prioritize sustainability. “They were both my fashion icons,” she said of her parents during an interview with British newspaper The Times last year. “They never compromised, never tried to look cool for anyone else.”

As McCartney turns 80, here are some of his most striking looks over the years.

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