Early last year the two main street style trends I noticed were the messenger-boy cyclist look, and the 1940’s vintage silhouette. During the end of last year I noticed that the two styles were starting to combine creating this new era rockabilly which I’ve been seeing more and more of lately.
The original rockabilly trend started back in the late 1940’s and was influenced by the clash of Rock and Roll and country music of that era. The majority of the trend began to fizzle out towards the end of the 1950’s to early 60’s. With the recent revival of many eras, mainly due to the growth in popularity of vintage threads that took hold in early 2008, rockabilly has once again taken shape but in a some what new and updated form: instead of the blues/hill billy clash it’s more of a jazz/punk clash. Think Jean Paul Gaultier models in a 1960’s horror movie.
Over the last year or so I’ve noticed more and more people adapting this new age rockabilly style, however it’s generally been quite exclusive to those crazy fixie riders, the ones that zip in and out of traffic with nothing more than back, pedal brakes and maybe a flat cap, the ones that make my nerves bad. Or the Vintage whores.
Recently I’ve noticed that the look is expanding and becoming more accessible and with the Nautical trend being one of the strongest for this summer and a dark vintage look coming in for Autumn/Winter 2010, the clash of 1940’s nautical and preppy punk is inevitable really.
This newly enhanced take on rockabilly, for the fully committed, goes deeper than just their clothes, it’s apparent in their whole appearance. Stereotypically most of the guys generally have quite large upper bodies. I’m not entirely sure how they achieve their 26” waists and 48” chests, but if you’re any the wiser, please do share.
Mutely coloured, 1940’s quiffs and liberty rolls tend to be the hairstyle of choice amongst the rockabilly populace. Most of the gals and guys indulge in big, beautiful, brightly coloured, Sailor Jerry inspired tattoos of swallows, ‘Mum’ hearts and anchors (which I’m a complete sucker for). I know a few of my rockabilly friends (and little sister) are also partial to a flesh hole or two. However we don’t need to start stretching our ears or get inked to steal their preppy style.
Everything you need to achieve this darker, sailor boy look is all already on the high street, it’s just a matter of teaming what with what. For example everyone is loving a bit of plaid at the moment and combined with a horizontal striped vest, skinny cut-off jeans and a little bit of quiffage it takes you away from the ‘window display’ nautical look and into an edgier, naut-a-billy look.
Here’s a brief run down on the staples pieces that, to be honest, you probably already have in your (if like mine) vast wardrobe:
- I have seen a lot of the boys wearing sort of cartoon, burglar-esque hats. I’m not sure if they go to a special cartoon hat shop, or if there’s a certain way to role up a normal beanie – another thing I wouldn’t mind being enlightened on. Also, flat caps seem to be a hat of choice amongst the boys and are hot this season so a very wise purchase if you’re in the hunt for a new hat.
- Simple printed Tees, polo shirts, plaid shirts (buttoned all the way up) and oversized wife beaters are staple items for the upper body. Skinny, nautical blazers look pretty sharp over bright coloured, plaid shirts.
- If you’re more of an avant-garde dresser or you’re already a wide shouldered, tattooed Adonis, maybe try a transparent, mesh jumper over a white wife beater, or on its own. I spotted a guy last week wearing a transparent jumper with nipple plasters.
- Skinny jeans, skinny jean cut-offs and tailored shorts finished with boat shoes, brogues or Espadrilles to complete the look.
Oh and if you really want to go for it grow a moustache. I tried this but unfortunately I looked like Mr Potato Head. Sad times!
The Look Book