I always thought it was Skinhead wore bovver boots while suede heads wore gentlemens shoes ..
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Mod to Suedehead - Page 1239
Styleforum Top Pickspost #18572 of 215738/25/14 at 9:50am
I can't be certain but I feel suedehead is one of those terms (like hard mod) to have been applied at some point after the event.
Whatever, I was one who went through the transition starting during 1970. I think Roy said it happened for him at the time of Mungo Jerry's In the Summertime and I wouldn't argue with that. As others have said, it was really a bit seamless and I guess we still thought of ourselves as skinheads for some time after the hair started growing and the clothes started becoming a little more French-inspired. I have said before that my transition, if that's what it was, was sort of complete by early to mid 1971. I have shown this pic before of me in early autumn 1971, still wearing clothes from the Squire Shop and others of that ilk but the clothes have moved on almost beyond belief in just over a year.
I recall no issue with skins and suedes as everyone I met moved on at about the same pace.
I know there is the regional variation thing and I know I struggle with that but my view of the suedehead (in my area at least) is that he quickly abandoned the Crombie (replaced by late 71 with a French style of coat or mac from Village Gate, say), the BD, the mohair and the Royals. To me they are all associated with the latter days of skinhead / early suedehead. Then of course there is the term 'smooth'. Was that ever a current term or another we have applied later to try to make sense of the evolution of the suedehead?
Edited by Mr Knightley - 8/25/14 at 10:02ampost #18573 of 215738/25/14 at 10:00amQuote:
Round my way the skinhead wore boots and shoes including 'gentleman's shoes' like Royal brogues, smooths and gibsons. Before Royals (which we adopted in 1969) it was the elusive Solatio Italian inspired shoe.
Again in my experience the suedehead (from mid 1970) would have been sporting a range of footwear including Royal smooths and gibsons (brogues had fallen out of favour), penny loafers and tassels, moving quickly on to Stephen Topper's shoes in a variety of styles. Just my experience.
Others?post #18574 of 215738/25/14 at 10:05am"Suedehead" was another name given to us by the Media.All I know was,I grew my Hair because I did not want to be associated with the term Skinhead anymore.It had passed its time-and like all Fashion Phases became unfashionable.Most of the others adopted the same idea,hence the rise of "The Boot Boys".Suedeheads still wore the DMs as it was the start of the Football Firms(ICF being one of them).I still wore DMs but that was to work,so the DM Story had gone full circle.post #18575 of 215738/25/14 at 10:16amIt was interesting to see some of the Originals (Mods and Rockers) talking about the Bank Holidays.Steve Barrow is featured in the "Mod" Book through some photos taken of him-on Scooters.Of course,the social climate of Britain always comes up-by the so-called experts.Even though only one Professor was old enough to have lived then(and he was an old Biker).The youngsters in those days could not give a blind fck about what was happening in their Country.They wanted a good time.I found Phil Daniels voice grating at times.......post #18576 of 215738/25/14 at 11:02amI think I read once , like everyone else no doubt , that the term skinhead was coin roped by an MP and then promoted by the press . You know , it could never be just , youths , it had to be such and such . You had to have a label for 'em. .
I don't remember the first time I heard the term skinhead but I was certainly aware of the look before the term. Suedehead , was maybe a bit different because I recall a guy who hung out with us being called "suede" on account of his hair style . I believe that guy is still called suede by those , whom , know him we'll. .
My recollection of the look , is that guys wore the gear but usually had the more sort of conventional hairstyle as sported by mr Knightly in his photo. Those slip overs were omni-present I thought back then but it is still a good photo.
I remember in the summer of '75 having a conversation about which hairdressers would / could do the right cut . When we went back to school , it was all about brogues or Weeguns worn in the correct manner (you had to have loads of Seggs all over them a walk into premises as if you were going to annex Poland). You had to have the right brogues too , not Royals but ones called Coasters, which were more of a conventional type brogue as apposed to a long wing.
By '76 , the punk thing was starting to raise it's ugly head and then by '78 the Mod thing was back but now you had the "skins" and the punks to deal with , never mind the ones that fancied themselves as latter day greesers. .post #18577 of 215738/25/14 at 12:20pmI never got the impression that 'suedehead' was coined by the press. My recollection is that it was a rather tongue-in-cheek term used for us at the time we were growing out our crops in 1970. We used it ourselves sometimes with a bit of a grin, if we used it at all, but it never stuck, because by the end of the year we were all glam.post #18578 of 215738/26/14 at 12:14amQuote:
Ha ha! Very succinct.......
With regard to "gentlemen's shoes" , I always regarded loafers, in their various guises, as a bit 'girlie', I wouldn't wear them.
On the subject of what we wore;
AS SKINHEADS WE DRESSED IN:
Parkas (very early skinhead)
All types of boots
Wing tip bogues - usually tan, brown or oxblood
Plain and candy striped BD shirts
Braces showing (or not)
V neck sleeveless pullovers - plain or fair-isle
Cardigans (not very popular by us)
Light coloured sta-prest trousers
Levi, Wrangler and Lee Rider jeans
(Denims could be bleached or unbleached)
Fly fronted macs.
I know in other areas that things like army greens, collarless union shirts and granddad vest were worn but I don't recall seeing any of those by us.
BOTH SKINHEADS AND SUEDEHEADS WORE THE FOLLOWING:
Checked BD shirts
Wrangler and Levi Jeans
Doc Marten boots
V - neck long sleeve pullovers
Prince of Wales check trousers
Oxford toe capped shoes
Long winged brogues
Red socks (very briefly, other bright colours)
Two tone trousers ("toniks")
3 Button jackets (various colours)
Parallel trousers, gradually getting wider (various colours)
Plain, deep coloured BD shirts (red, black, navy, green)
Shetland Wool crew neck sweaters
Loafers - plain, tassled, fringe and tassled
(Shoes were predominantly black, occasionally ox-blood)
Polo neck sweaters (very late suedehead)
Wider jeans - "Skinners" or "Wrangler Bags" - again, late suedehead, usually worn by the young 'uns
Thus it can be seen in our area (N.W. England) that Suedehead was the look most influenced by the Ivy League style (not that we were aware of that at the time....)
Interesting comments coming in, folks. Like many of you, I don't think there was perceived to be a difference - note the commonality of clothes. (Ed. for me, your statement "seamless transition" was spot on.) I have no doubt, however, that the clothes stated above will not be entirely agreed on by everyone - again, the old time/place continuum will come into play. Brownie, I must confess that I can't recall seeing the term 'Suedehead' ever mentioned in the press. Of course,that doesn't mean it wasn't.........post #18579 of 215738/26/14 at 2:08am
On this subject of skinhead to suedehead here is a thread I was asked to do for Ask Andy a few years ago (under my Brideshead persona!).
There was much interest back then on the Ivy discussion board as to the relationship between Ivy and later skinhead style (as mentioned by Roytonboy).
Also this earlier piece on the skinhead:
Alex Roest nailed it in his essay for Film Noir Buff called suedeheads:post #18580 of 215738/26/14 at 5:00amQuote:Originally Posted by browniecj
It was interesting to see some of the Originals (Mods and Rockers) talking about the Bank Holidays.Steve Barrow is featured in the "Mod" Book through some photos taken of him-on Scooters.Of course,the social climate of Britain always comes up-by the so-called experts.Even though only one Professor was old enough to have lived then(and he was an old Biker).The youngsters in those days could not give a blind fck about what was happening in their Country.They wanted a good time.I found Phil Daniels voice grating at times.......
Having just watched it at last on i-player I agree with all this. A lot of it grated. It was implied almost throughout that if you were young in the early 60s you were either a mod or a rocker. Nothing could be further from the truth. Very little was said about the 'secretive' culture or the one-upmanship.
The BBC seem just as guilty today as the 1960s media they slagged off in the programme for cashing in themselves on the new modernist craze.post #18581 of 215738/26/14 at 5:20amQuote:Originally Posted by roytonboy
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
I would be interested to hear other peoples' views on the subject - unless I'm mistaken, some of our number will have regarded themselves as suedeheads (elwood and cerneabbas spring to mind). Did anyone else make the transition from skinhead to suedehead? If so, did you regard one as a development of the other or the two as quite separate? As ever, I'm sure there will be differences in location and time and even in interpretation of the name.
Interesting post, roytonboy.
I think I'm the right vintage for that "crossover" period (as I think I've said before I wasn't an Original: more an observer of Originals) but "Suedehead" is not a term I can remember being used round my way. We all knew it from the Richard Allen book - and the look on its cover was familiar to us in 71 - but it wasn't a term applied to anyone locally either as a matter of pride or as an insult.
By the time I really got into wearing what was fashionable (71), in my area we called ourselves - and were called - "smoothies" Your list of clothing worn by (i) skinheads & suedeheads and (ii) suedeheads rings true for what we were wearing in 71. I associate the term "smoothies" most clearly with Crombies, PoW check trousers, two-tone suits, red socks and heavy brogues. I suspect that the term, like the clothes, reached us later than some other places: the usual effect of regional variations. In any event it wasn't a term that lasted long; probably no more than six months I suppose.post #18582 of 215738/26/14 at 6:04am
All the transition was gradual and probably too subtle IMO to be instantly recognized by the media generally.We can't dismiss the fact that this was very much pre MTV and everything grew organically.The term"suede head" was never adopted or used by us,and when uttered it was generally met with a sneer as it was almost too obvious and had missed the boat.I never recall any attention or labeling to the post era of scoop necks,beagle collars,Stacks,French flares etc. as this was probably embraced by a wider cross section of teens(including the Lower Sixth Form Prog Rockers who were subject of our vitriol merely a couple of months before ! ) and held no threat or confusion as had previously been the case when traditional "City " attire had been adopted and worn with a different attitude.post #18583 of 215738/26/14 at 6:45amQuote:Originally Posted by Gsvs5
The term"suede head" was never adopted or used by us,and when uttered it was generally met with a sneer as it was almost too obvious and had missed the boat.I never recall any attention or labeling to the post era of scoop necks,beagle collars,Stacks,French flares etc. as this was probably embraced by a wider cross section of teens(including the Lower Sixth Form Prog Rockers who were subject of our vitriol merely a couple of months before ! ) and held no threat or confusion as had previously been the case when traditional "City " attire had been adopted and worn with a different attitude.
It became almost a universal look so that looking back at pictures of that period (1972-74) today it is very hard to tell the 'well-dressed' from the hangers-on, the differences were so slight really. It was not until the first green shoots of what became the Designer Decade began to appear around 1976 that there was really much to choose from for those of us that were now aged about 20 to 22. Even so I still tried to find that something a bit better and there were a handful of shops keeping the look alive including J Simons, Take 6, Stirling Cooper and Stanley Adams just off Regent Street.post #18584 of 215738/26/14 at 7:33ampost #18585 of 215738/26/14 at 7:37amQuote:Originally Posted by Gsvs5
All the transition was gradual and probably too subtle IMO to be instantly recognized by the media generally.We can't dismiss the fact that this was very much pre MTV and everything grew organically.The term"suede head" was never adopted or used by us,and when uttered it was generally met with a sneer as it was almost too obvious and had missed the boat.I never recall any attention or labeling to the post era of scoop necks,beagle collars,Stacks,French flares etc. as this was probably embraced by a wider cross section of teens(including the Lower Sixth Form Prog Rockers who were subject of our vitriol merely a couple of months before ! ) and held no threat or confusion as had previously been the case when traditional "City " attire had been adopted and worn with a different attitude.
I can remember a girl I knew in S E London referred to the post-transition look as 'Wally' - one or two other people did too - a 'wally' being another name for an idiot and specifically (in our time) for a hippy type.
- Mod to Suedehead
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