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Mod to Suedehead

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by Spirit of 69, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. Bela Kun

    Bela Kun Senior member

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    Let me tell you my own crombie story, then.

    A few days ago, I got a bit silly and bought a used Crombie for 114 quid on the 'bay. Not made by Crombie, but tailored from Crombie cloth by Centaur. It scarcely had any of the classic covert coat specifications: no velvet collar,no ticket pocket, no red lining, not even a hankie pocket. But the length seemed good (just above the knee like Botolph's), tailored cut at the waist, and it came in a nice navy colour. And hey, it was a Crombie of sorts, so it seemed like a good deal.

    Alas, what I got in my mail today is a bit underwhelming. For one, I'd say the coat is a size too big for me - not the coat's fault, mind - but still manages to boast sleeves that are too short. Secondly, I'm not sure I understand what the big deal about the famed Crombie cloth is. It neither looks nor feels particularly luxurious. Pure new wool, apparently, yet the look and feel are not as 'upmarket' as, say, my Adam of London overcoat. At best, marginally better than a Warrior knockoff (yes, I've got one to compare it to).

    Maybe the coats produced by Crombie are significantly better. If not, let's say I don't get why anyone would spend 800-900 quid for them.

    Don't let the pictures deceive you, it doesn't look half as nice in real life. I've initiated the return process.

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    A much better buy I made this week: a vintage sheepskin coat in tan, which really is the dog's bollocks! Rarely been so content with a purchase.

    I must apologise to Clouseau for missing my vote in last FridaĆ½'s challenge - hope he'll ever forgive me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  2. covskin

    covskin Senior member

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    ^ that's a shame, like you say it does look ok. A 'crombie' is a chesterfield not a covert coat though, no ticket pocket, no velvet collar and some other points of difference too. Proper Crombie cloth is fairly luxurious though so not sure what happened there. I spent a great afternoon comparing a Crombie crombie and a Cordings covert coat a couple of years ago

    http://www.styleforum.net/t/383259/the-look-goes-on/840#post_7753950

    My view - a Crombie crombie is a bit too luxurious really (and a covert coat is not strictly 'skinhead' of course)
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  3. Bela Kun

    Bela Kun Senior member

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    It isn't? Always thought the Crombie 'covert coat' (in black or navy with red lining) was pretty much like the classic 60s 'crombie'.

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    Is Crombie's 'retro coat' more like the 60s-70s skinhead and suedehead 'crombies'?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
  4. covskin

    covskin Senior member

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    ^ the bottom photo, of the Crombie retro coat, is the epitome of the classic skinhead crombie. Not to get too doctrinaire about it though, plenty to hybridise with the covert coat (top photo) - as Botolph has done - and still look good. Lots of different details to play with and I expect people did.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
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  5. Inks

    Inks Senior member

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    Picked up one of these original 60s jackets a while back from the US. Not quite a Letterman jacket, not quite a Monkey jacket.
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    Nice jacket none the less. A bit '63-early '66 Beach Boys. I might wear it at some point.

    Then I went searching for a Crombie/and/or overcoat. I ended up buying a deadstock/NOS Chicago Police Department patrolman's double-breasted peacoat.
    [​IMG]
    I am never, ever, ever, bloody ever going to wear this f***ing thing.
    It cost so much to ship that I don't want to throw it out.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. covskin

    covskin Senior member

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    ^ haha, Officer Dibble!
     
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  7. Man-of-Mystery

    Man-of-Mystery Senior member

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    Unkind! :D :D :D
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Inks

    Inks Senior member

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    The most effectual Top Coat
     
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  9. Bela Kun

    Bela Kun Senior member

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    What surprises me, though, it that the Crombie retro coat seems to be fairly short. I read plenty of times on here that the classic 1970 skinhead crombies ended on the knee or just above the knee, not somewhere halfway down your thigh. Is it fair to say, then, that the Crombie retro coat is a shorter variation on the classic skinhead 'crombie' rather than being the epitome?

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    Crombie have a 'Wool & cashmere Crombie coat' which seems to fit the bill better:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  10. covskin

    covskin Senior member

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    ^ people have got taller! On or just touching the knee is standard for an overcoat but skinhead can be just a little shorter, though maybe that was just people growing out of their crombie. A little shorter on the coat would seem to balance a little shorter on the trousers though, it's all about proportion, but mid-thigh is far too high.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  11. Bela Kun

    Bela Kun Senior member

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    I'm under the impression that on or just above the knee (but not as short as the Crombie retro coat) was 'top shelf original skinhead' - i.e. those who had them made, etc. Ofc all kinds of knockoffs were worn by younger kids, some of which may well have been shorter.

    Generally, though, short 'crombies' strike me as more of an 80s thing - what you got at the Last Resort shop etc. Those are also the blueprint for today's Warrior/Relco 'crombies' (Adam of London coats are longer). You're right about striking the right balance with shorter trousers. Seeing as boots were even higher and trousers even shorter in the 80s, it makes sense that 'crombies' were shorter too.

    I suppose the problem is the utter dearth of pictures of 'top shelf original skinheads' wearing crombies. Some testimony from the originals would be good here!
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
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  12. covskin

    covskin Senior member

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    Those top shelf blokes could be mythical though or just fitting into adulthood. The 'Middlesborough suedeheads' and 'crombie boys' photos are pretty much how it was early 70s.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
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  13. Fruitbat

    Fruitbat Senior member

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    I actually quite like that. If it was designed to keep a Chicago cop warm during their brutal Winter is must be pretty thick material
     
  14. roytonboy

    roytonboy Senior member

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    In the Nick Night book 'Skinhead' the the following phrase is used, "The first time I saw a skinhead crop and a crombie on the same person was in 1980" This mirrors my own experience - by the time people started wearing crombies, they were already growing their hair a bit - this is why I regard a crombie as 'suedehead' attire, they caught on in a big way in autumn 1971 in our area. (as always I can only speak for my locality). You are correct that on or just above the knee was the most popular length. I think the late 70's/ early 80's revival became a conglomaration of mod/skinhead/suedehead, so an individual would wear items from any period 1965-1971.
     
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  15. roytonboy

    roytonboy Senior member

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    On the subject of mixed images.....

    I am currently reading 'Black by Design' an autobiography of Pauline Black, lead singer of 'Selecter' and media 'go to' person on all matters skinhead. She talks about going to the school dance in 1968 (I'm guessing Christmas) and seeing skinhead girls in "feather-cut hairstyles, heavy make up, tonic skirt suit, white socks worn over black fishnet stockings and black penny loafers" This is very unlike how I remember seeing early skinhead girls. Did any other 'originals' witness this style of clothing during that era? (I have seen it since on second wave or neo-skinheads but it seems so at odds with the look girls were trying to achieve at the time)
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
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  16. Bela Kun

    Bela Kun Senior member

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    Nick Ferguson's statement has been disputed my many London-based originals throughout this thread. I take their word for it, however I can't say I've ever seen a picture of an original skinhead wearing a crombie. Even in photos where skins are present, those who wear a crombie already seem to be a step ahead looking more like 'suedeheads':

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    This bloke can just about get away with being a skinhead, I guess. But that's all I've seen.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  17. Bela Kun

    Bela Kun Senior member

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    And then, there's this: two suedehead types of similar height, two crombies of different lengths.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  18. covskin

    covskin Senior member

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    ^ look at the arms though. Left blokes sleeves stacked up so too long and right blokes sleeves a bit too short on the wrist (for an overcoat). Can see sizing/fit comparing the shoulders too. One fits a bit over and the other a bit under, still growing lads? Looks like a kerb height between them too. Could also see the left as a more normal fit you would have seen on an older man while the right is more particular. Maybe one fitted for wearing over a suit and the other not?
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  19. Thin White Duke

    Thin White Duke Senior member

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    I would also add that in the revival period around 1980 the look was driven by high street shops pushing a bandwagon. I remember you could get 'crombies' all over town but they were made of very shoddy cloth that wouldn't even make a nice donkey jacket never mind a formal overcoat. All came with cheap looking red linings that you could pull up on the chest pocket to simulate a hankie. My memory of the original lads was them wearing spotted red bandanas not nylon pocket linings.

    As for the last photo - the one on the left could have been repurposing his Dad's or Grandad's overcoat, the same way during the Mod revival a few lads in our set went digging around their Dads' wardrobes to emerge with ill fitting suits, but hey, it was a suit!
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  20. Donkey Jacket

    Donkey Jacket Senior member

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    You seen this one? certainly seem more to be original era then revivalists.

    [​IMG]
     
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