Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Subcultural Foundations: The Skinheads

While a previous entry has touted the style and smart sensibilities of the mods, this is about their progression into another culture altogether, the skinhead. The skinhead borrows many features of the mod. The basic style and musical taste remain similar, if a bit skewed toward the ska and reggae brought to London by West Indian immigrants. Early skins also wore slim fitted 3-button suits, but this morphed into a more casual look with polo shirts, short sleeve button downs, and denim. One of the key differences in both cultures centers on the subject of class. The mods were very much interested in higher culture; fashion, philosophy, art, and literature. They could be viewed as upwardly mobile. The skins, on the other hand, had a greater focus on working roots. This emphasis created a much more masculine image that was rougher around the edges.

Breaking away from the mods stylistically in the late 60s, the skins cropped their hair short, thus appropriating the moniker. A key feature of the skins outfit was their combat boots, often gleaming from constantly being polished. Brogues and loafers were also worn by skins, especially in the early years. Levis Sta-Prest trousers were worn short, with no visible break. Jeans were also worn short, but rolled, as to accentuate the boots. Popular brands for shirts were Fred Perry, Ben Sherman, Brutus, and others with a high button down collar. These were chosen to mimic the Brooks Brothers polo shirts popular in America. Braces, or suspenders, completed the look, but remained slim (approx. ½ inch in width). Over top, a skin might wear a harrington jacket, crombie coat, or towards the early 80s, a A-1 bomber jacket.

As the culture grew, the rowdy youth attracted the attention of The National Front and other racist organizations who wished to exploit their numbers. The stereotypical image of racist skinheads was touted by the British media, unfairly stigmatizing the entire movement. This drew a great division among skinheads, those who espoused ignorant racist ideals, and those who understood the roots of their culture and embraced all walks of life. Skinheads today can fall into either camp, or even decide to remain completely unbiased, refraining to get involved in scene politics. Regardless of these issues which have confounded our understanding of this dynamic youth subculture, no one can deny their inherent style. Skins still exist, yet they are hard to find. I for one, would love to see more clothing influenced by this culture, for they truly had an understanding of how to flaunt their style and still retain their brutish demeanor.

Source: GetSmart from Styleforum.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Junya Watanabe SS 2011

In a great piece written by one of my favorite style bloggers, Sartorially Inclined, a new argument is constructed in the on-going debate between style vs. fashion. Not to rehash that debate, nor to explain where I find myself in the Style<--->Fashion spectrum, I would just like to comment on the designer who sparked the conversation.

Seldom do I post on runway designers, but I feel that Junya Watanabe's Spring/Summer 2011 collection has produced some very wearable items which are stylistically progressive. We continue to see a shift away from super-skinny male tailoring, toward wider lapels and fuller pant legs. To be honest, I still enjoy slimmer clothing, but I find this to be refreshing. It's interesting as one extreme style morphs to another polemic extreme. There is a lot of middle ground which doesn't get as much attention, but fully deserves our interest. Skinny suits and jackets are not for everyone and I think Junya has hit a happy medium.

The majority of the photos I'm sharing are a variation of a similar outfit, but it is something that I feel hits the middle ground between style and fashion. Items which are ordinary enough that they can be worn by anyone, yet if one looks closer, there is a more radical element that can be used to create much more dynamic look. This collection is fantastic, and I think this is a good sign for the revitalization of men's fashion, style, clothing, or however you justify this hobby of ours.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekly Pics

The weekly pics are a little late this week. Some new consultant work means I have to drag my flashdrive around more place and it got lost in the shuffle. It's back and here's what I saw last week.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Work has been crazy busy, but I was still able to catch the USA-Algeria match yesterday. It was amazing. That is all.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Current Covet: Vans Versa

You know the old saying, "If it's not broke, don't fix it?" Well, that might not ring true in every instance. Let me present to you the Vans Versa. Vans has been making simple skate/surf shoes for close to 50 years. Some of their most popular models are at least 20 to 30 years old. Take a look in an old Thrasher magazine and you will undoubtedly find the kicks still popular today; Authentics, Old Skools, Cabs, Chukkas, etc. Vans has always created new styles, yet these often lacked the credibility of some of their classics. With their new model, the Versa, Vans has taken a classic style and given it a new spin. With a comparative style to much more expensive brands, like Common Projects, this model blows them out of the water at a ~$60 price point. Try as I must, I just can't get away from Vans footwear.

Check them out at

Friday, June 11, 2010

APC F/W 2010

APC is well known for their minimalist design, with attention to detail and fit. It seems like their slim, streamlined look isn't going anywhere either. Below, find a few choice line-ups from their upcoming collection for next fall. It looks like work boots, cropped jackets, chukka boots, and the overall preppy aesthetic will be continuing into next year, and I couldn't be happier. I could definitely see picking up those slim chinos, white kicks, and wool overcoat.

Everything looks good, but I do have to question their model choices. One looks like he's twelve, the other looks like a pissed-off crossover between Michael Cera and Elijah Wood.

Weekly Pics