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Thin White Duke

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Those soles remind me of a pair of RAF issue flying boots my dad had which appeared to be unworn as they had the same pristine green sole.
These were odd looking boots as they weren’t like you’d think military boots looked. More like a heavy black leather shoe with a mid calf length boot ‘collar’ sewn into the edge of the shoe. I assumed the idea was if you were shot down you could rip out the leather collar and wear them as normal looking derby shoes but if thats the case I’m not sure what advantage the collar had. Usually military gear has purposeful form follows function design
I seem to remember my dad saying he never went in for all that and usually flew in flight suit and gym shoes. I still have his original black overalls from ‘HM Suppliers’ Austin Reed, and his slate grey broad arrow flight suit which must have superseded that and has the map pocket on the knee etc. He always said he never liked leather jackets so if he ever had a sheepskin Irvin I never saw it and there’s no sign of one in any of the photos I have of him. Shame as I would have loved one of them. A lad I knew when I was a youngun, his Dad had also been in the RAF and often wore his Irvin in the cold months when he came to watch the school footy team.
 

The Saint

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Those soles remind me of a pair of RAF issue flying boots my dad had which appeared to be unworn as they had the same pristine green sole.
These were odd looking boots as they weren’t like you’d think military boots looked. More like a heavy black leather shoe with a mid calf length boot ‘collar’ sewn into the edge of the shoe. I assumed the idea was if you were shot down you could rip out the leather collar and wear them as normal looking derby shoes but if thats the case I’m not sure what advantage the collar had. Usually military gear has purposeful form follows function design
I seem to remember my dad saying he never went in for all that and usually flew in flight suit and gym shoes. I still have his original black overalls from ‘HM Suppliers’ Austin Reed, and his slate grey broad arrow flight suit which must have superseded that and has the map pocket on the knee etc. He always said he never liked leather jackets so if he ever had a sheepskin Irvin I never saw it and there’s no sign of one in any of the photos I have of him. Shame as I would have loved one of them. A lad I knew when I was a youngun, his Dad had also been in the RAF and often wore his Irvin in the cold months when he came to watch the school footy team.
It got a bit chilly in Lancs at night so , chances are , he did have a warm coat/jacket possibly sheepskin that he wore during flight. .
 

The Saint

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Bought this on a whim :
View attachment 1289728
View attachment 1289729

It was new old stock and only £2.50/$3.25
Unfortunately, with my mug, not a good look.
I worked for a big British company in their engineering dept at the time when long hair was becoming popular and some of the younger lads got called in infront of the boss because sometimes their head would be close to machinery or in a confined place .
They were given 3 options ; get your hair cut(was never going to happen ) , wear a hairnet( one guy opted for this ) or wear a company issue maroon beret .
The guy who wore the hairnet said something about the berets being deadstock paratroop regiment and that those guys had had to earn them or something of the sort . .

There is a cool pic of a Mod wearing a beret on page 83 of the Mods book by Barnes. .
 

Thin White Duke

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Beret is a bold move. I like ‘em but never given them a serious try. Don’t really work with my spikey barnet. The rare pics of Mods wearing them they pulled them forward rather than the sideways military / Boy Scout look.

Again looking at pics of the old man, I think the RAF replaced the ridiculous forage caps with berets some time after the war and they looked much better IMO along with the barathea battledress to replace the ‘hairy Mary’ style!

front row second from left ...

9A2C81A3-A150-4BF8-9697-972D995EC881.jpeg
 

Thin White Duke

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Since the beret is a french titfer I was curious to know @Clouseau ’s perspective but I seem to remember he hates them as they give too much reference to rustic French fisherman not sharply dressed city dwellers or something.
Funny but most of us are cool with Breton shirts but adding a beret is seen as ‘de trop’ - maybe too close to the costumed onion seller!!
 

Inkss

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I was woken up by the RAF an hour ago (along with half of London and the Home Counties)
The sonic boom from two Typhoon jets apparently.
I'd only just got to bloody sleep.
 

Man-of-Mystery

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If you go to this link and scroll down you'll find a pic of my dad in WW2. It was taken in Bari, Italy, after he had returned from Yugoslavia. His oppo (on the left) is wearing the standard forage cap, but he is wearing the only headgear he had at the time, the beret he had been wearing during his time with the Partisans. He told me that the beret had RAF wings and a communist red star side-by-side, at least during his time in Yugo. I can't make out what it has in this picture.

He had the bearing of an Air Vice Marshall, and when he first arrived back in Italy, his costume - I can't call it a uniform - consisted of that beret with those badges, and RAF battledress jacket minus his Corporal's stripes, and riding britches & jackboots nicked from the Wehrmacht (as most Partisan clobber was). He said the MPs didn't know whether to salute him or arrest him!

I don't think I'd wear a beret. I'd think about a Tam o' Shanter though.
 

Newton heath

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The first skinhead I saw in newton heath wore a pair of army boots ,Levi jeans Ben Sherman ,a short army battle dress , and wore a beret , a month later , he was wearing docs , Levi / wrangler jacket and no beret, if I see a non military person wearing a beret I think of frank Spenser ,no disrespect to anyone
 

The Saint

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The first skinhead I saw in newton heath wore a pair of army boots ,Levi jeans Ben Sherman ,a short army battle dress , and wore a beret , a month later , he was wearing docs , Levi / wrangler jacket and no beret, if I see a non military person wearing a beret I think of frank Spenser ,no disrespect to anyone
Of course , you'd need to be over a certain age to remember Some mothers do 'ave 'em , but if l remember correctly the beret was not the only skinhead attire that Spencer wore. .
 

andyf

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Of course , you'd need to be over a certain age to remember Some mothers do 'ave 'em , but if l remember correctly the beret was not the only skinhead attire that Spencer wore. .
Can’t think of anything else that he wore that would’ve been skinhead. Unless you mean his post skin fair isle tank tops?
 

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