Elvis' $300,000 jumpsuit: Collectors can't stop lovin' the man from Memphis


While I'd be hard-pressed to describe my Aunt Linda as rational, her love of Elvis borders on complete insanity. Even now, thirty years after his death, he still stands high in her pantheon, somewhere just south of God and just north of George W. Bush. Let others differentiate between Army Elvis, black leather Elvis, fat Elvis and Hawaiian Elvis. She loves -- nay, venerates -- them all.

While Linda's Elvis mania disturbs me on a deep, almost primal level, it also has given me a clear glimpse into the world of the Elvis junkie. Consequently, I wasn't all that surprised when I discovered that his famed "peacock jumpsuit" recently sold for $300,000. This is the largest amount of money ever paid for an Elvis collectible and, probably, the largest amount of money ever paid for a hand-embroidered piece of polyester double knit. Prior to this, the most expensive piece of Elvis memorabilia was his 1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II, which went for $295,000. The most expensive costume was his "aloha cape," which sold for $105,250.

Between the ever-inflating dollar and the King's never-deflating fan base, I don't imagine that this is the last Elvis record I'll see broken. While it's a little late to get in on the ground floor with Elvis memorabilia, one sometimes hears rumors of vials of Elvis sweat being sold on the black market. Of course, if you really want to get close to the King, you can always try his recipe for fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches!

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. Although he's only driven through Memphis, he once visited Miniature Graceland.