Skinhead Fashion: From Head to Toe

I recently gave my cousin the film, “This is England” for X-mas, and it reminded me that all along, there has been a certain look behind the subculture.  So from head to toe, here’s an ATTEMPT to break down the Skinhead look with pics from the film. Sources from “Spirit of ’69,” and my general knowledge.

From the top: Shaved/ Short hair, British Shirts (Ben Shermans and Fred Perry), and Braces

Starting from the head, usually a fully shaved head tops the Skinhead.  However some Skinheads tend to keep a little hair by shaving with a number two clip— having hair with the length of an eighth of an inch long.  It is said that anything over an eighth of an inch is not Skinhead.  The true meaning behind the shaved head has no connection to racism at all.  Having a shaved head simply made it easier for the 60s Skinheads when working at factories.  A Skin shaving his or her head or having short hair meant not having to worry about catching lice or getting his or her hair caught in machines when working in the factory.

Onto to the body. Two main articles of clothing that make up the Skinhead fashion are the t-shirts and the braces (thin suspenders).  Most Skinheads wear shirts designed by Ben Sherman and Fred Perry.  Ben Sherman shirts, often called “Bennies,” were a popular choice as reggae and ska fans (also known as Rudeboys) tend to sport this kind of shirt.  Since Skinheads were enthusiasts of the Jamaican culture, they showed that they listened to reggae and ska music by wearing Ben Sherman shirts.  In addition, Skinheads also wear Fred Perry shirts since many believe that he was Britain’s greatest tennis player.  Skinheads wearing Fred Perry shirts became a trend mainly because some Skinheads were former mods (another music scene that originated in Britain), and to the mods, Fred Perry shirts were a must.  As many types of shirts became popular to the Skinheads over time, one main accessory that has stayed consistent is the thin braces (suspenders).

this_is_england_xl_04-film-a

To the Bottom: Jeans and Doc Martens.

Moving down to the lower body, the popular kind of pants to wear are jeans.  Since the original Skinheads were a working class of people, it would only be fitting to wear something durable and “blue-collar.”  Therefore the preference of jeans became the trend for Skinheads.  Skinheads take pride in their appearance, so some of them even go through the trouble to iron creases in their jeans.  When worn, the jeans were to be rolled up to show off the boots and the laces. Going lower, the favored footwear for Skinheads are Doc Marten boots.  The boots emphasize the working class, and so for Skinheads to stay true to their roots, they wear this article of clothing in and out of work.  Doc Marten boots are the preferred boots since they provides the most comfort with its “air wair” soles. However, since mods/ rudeboys and skinhead looks are related, don’t be surprised to see loafers.

Skinhead Fashion Today: From durability and blue-collar, to glamorous and the runway.

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24 Responses to “Skinhead Fashion: From Head to Toe”

  1. skinheadjake Says:

    ello. i like this page a lot butt here is one thing wrong. having hair more than an eigth of an inch long doesn’t mean somebody iis not skinhead. it means they are more of a suedehead which is basically just a bit of a smarter version of a skinhead.

    • dlt100@gmai.coml Says:

      agreed Jake, suedeheads were smarter dressers than the original skins
      we wore two tone trousers crombies shirts with ties, the red hanky in the pocket
      with a tie tack to keep it in place, my old man “lost” a lot of tie tacks back then mysteriously : )
      not saying the elements and the culture wasn’t there, just the smarter look was coming in
      cardigans Fred Perry jumpers teamed with brutus or Sherman shirts not forgetting the Brogue shoe
      fully segged up along with riding boots, irish riders in tan were top drawer

      the baggy skinner jeans were only a passing fad thank god, great big turn ups on them, terrible fashion item, although i did like the Ruperts? the check trousers ; /
      in bright colours bit likeSlade wore back then.

      skinhead
      suedehead
      smoothies
      bootboy

      Dave. skin / suede / smoothie… 1970 / 74

  2. i love skinheads girl.

  3. OI! OI! POR SIEMPRE

  4. whats up heads !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. exbrummyskin Says:

    in birmingham uk levi and wrangler jeans were popular amongst the brummy skins of the late 70s to mid to late 80s, as unemployment bit in the thatcher years docs, t-shirts and flight jackets either green or black became more street popular aswell. ox blood coloured doc boots or shoes showed themselves amongst the polished black variety. the music for most of the skins i new was either trojan reggae, raggae regular, punk and a bit of oi. as skins and punks got fewer on brums streets more mixed groups of skins and punks knocked round together. again on dress some skins wore donkey jackets or sheepskin coats, not only in brum but london too. times change but happy memories live on.

  6. When I was about 12 (1972/73) the look seemed to change quite a bit from week to week, although it stayed more or less within the accepted boundaries. I remember Jeans started getting wider and wider fitting for a time. We young ‘uns looked to the older teen kids and what they had on, and one bloke I remember (his sister was my girlfriend for about a week) had a pair of ‘Skinners’ jeans, turned up high and as wide in the leg as the waist! Looked ace with a crombie unbuttoned, showing the braces over the Bennie. To top that, he eventually sprayed his docs silver. Outrageous. I had levi jeans and sta-prest (never needs ironing, but we did, twice a day), crombie, cherry red docs, loafers and brogues, most of it out of someone’s mail order catalogue and paid with my £1.50 a week paper round money. I never did find a pair of ‘Skinners’ jeans. The guy had a great trojan/melodisc/ ska collection too, and while he was hard as nails, he was ok with me and it was in his front room I first heard the Prince “Big 5” on the radiogram while I sat on the sofa with my arm round his sister. Great days.

  7. nazipunksfuckoff Says:

    you skin heads are a bunch of losers. Stop stealing our punk style and affiliating it with your ignorance.

    Bunch of dicks you are…

  8. 60'S SKIN Says:

    SKINS PRE DATED PUNKS SO YOUR TALKING OUT YA ASS

    • Trojan Skin Says:

      thats true man skins began first than the punks and skins where the first ones to use Dr Martens , i like punks and all but they need to know whats up 🙂

      • louise marsh Says:

        I am 14 and I am a skinhead girl, my dads a skin so I got it from him, love the fashion, the music and everything else!

  9. Enteressante 🙂

  10. this is essential, good mix to a major rebel movement

  11. Wow nazipunksfuckoff you must not know to much about the skinhead past and what they are. If we were Nazis we wouldn’t listen to ska now would we ignorant punks fuck off.

  12. SHARP_arizona_Skin Says:

    Oi! right on target. I’m a young sharp skin and this fits how we still are!

  13. oi oi oi!!!!!!!!

  14. Conor Donnelly Says:

    Im not a SHARP skin and that still fits how we still are. Skins and Punks united just wont every happen. All through the 80’s they hated and faught each other (the majority anyway)

  15. boo shit bicth……..

  16. exbrummyskin Says:

    As I actually knocked round with punks and skins in the late 70s and the 80s I can say that most punks and skins did not hate each other, If a fight broke out it was usually personal. As I pointed out earlier the skin style evolved both in dress and musical appreciation. In either 83 or 84 I and a load of skin and punk mates went to the hummingbird night club by the oasis market in birmingham to see a punk band called THE EXPLOITED back by another band called THE DRONGOS IN THE UK, A fantastic night the place was rammed with skins and punks. Racism was a contradiction for us skins as we loved trojan reggae, reggae regular, ska, oi and punk. It was fun knocking round Brum town especially the Oasis market. As with most youth cultures they are criticised by people who have never experienced them or think they know better. Skins and Punks were great without politics.

  17. Oy, this shit takes me back, being a west ender when skin was in my blokes where smoothies and brollyboys, we where not working class we wore fringed and buckled stoomper and two tone tonic strides went to stanford bridge, buttondown ben shermens fully fitted shirts and sawnoff shotguns

    skinhead girls smelt like brut and fish paste
    their shirts where covered in greasy chip oil from titting them up

  18. skinheadonly Says:

    true skinheads are hard to come by. i am the only skin in my school people say i look funny with my overcoat and my braces bleaches and doc martens there are three bone heads and im missing teeth cause of my SHARP patch on my coat cause of them basterds but i love ska spirit of 69 and Oi!

  19. Hey Karin i like your pic. Oi Oi Oi from Germany

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