In the 1970s the first punk rock bands began playing in small venues throughout Australia, England, and the United States. These bands would become the basis for a movement that still thrives today. The music is angry, fast, and loud. It rebels against authority and convention. The artists producing this music were eccentric and stylish. Punk rock clothing became fashionable as more fans wanted to dress like their favorite musicians while looking different than the people around them.
The clothing is often more than just a way of dressing. It is a statement to those that see it. Punk fashion can make traditionalists uncomfortable. The loud clothes and unusual hairstyles are unconventional. This makes the style attractive to those not interested in following convention. The clothing can also be used to easily identify each other in crowds.
The roots for this new style can be found in other subcultures and social outcasts. The greasers and motorcyclists of the 1950s were a symbol of individualism. Their leather jackets and dirty look were adopted by the punk rock movement. Skinheads and glam rockers even helped shape the fashion.
For males who dress in this style leather jackets are common along with tattoos and body piercings. One of the most recognized symbols of this fashion is the Mohawk. This hair style is what most people picture when visualizing the movement. The clothing is often purposefully tattered, worn, and dirty looking. Spikes, chains, and metal plated belts are also common.
Female punk fashion takes all of these elements, even sometimes mohawks, and combines them with lots of female accessories. Heavily patched purses, multiple piercings, and lots of jewelry are added in the female variation of the style. Dresses and skirts are common for females but they too feature the ripped and tattered look. Long multicolored socks have also become fashionable as an accessory to a short skirt.
There are elements that are common to all types of punk rock fashion. Leather is a popular material. Patches are common. Band t-shirts and sweatshirts are worn by both men and women. The skull is also a common symbol and it can be found on men and women's clothing.
Once made from vintage clothes or whatever material happened to be available, punk rock clothing is now more fashionable and many retailers are promoting the style to a more mainstream audience. The tradition of making the clothes is still in practice but it can be much easier to purchase an item online.
Punk rock clothing and music is not just another passing trend. It would have disappeared long ago had that been the case. The style continues to stand out and question conventional wisdom. Maybe most important to those who love the music: the clothing and the style continues to make some people very uncomfortable.
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