The Wide-Boy look - a thread for all the spivs and chancers out there!

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Holdfast, Mar 14, 2014.

  1. LeviMay

    LeviMay Senior member

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    It's not English. It's not Irish. It's just... Pikey.
     
  2. inimitable

    inimitable Senior member

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    Check out the 3roll2 jacket and Hermes belt on Brad Pitt.
     
  3. clee1982

    clee1982 Senior member

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    That's how my father dress, he went from the 3rd son of a farmer to well above middle class, he has more waistcoat and loud tie and boderline too loud shoes than I can ever feel like pulling off
     
  4. Coburn

    Coburn Senior member

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    Holdfast,

    The characters you mention predate the internet and the democratization of information.

    Today, those characters would be here on SF studying the pictures and absorbing the subtle clothing signifiers of class. It maybe that you no longer see the ‘wideboys’ because they can now so perfectly model the signifiers of the upper classes, they are indistinguishable.

    FlyingMonkey
    I cop to that. I came to SF to use clothing as a tool of career ambition. Sadly, I've became hooked on the sensuous pleasures of clothing and fabric. And I say sadly because it has cost me a great deal of money.
     
  5. Academic2

    Academic2 Senior member

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    I have a question for those of you who grew up knowing about the wide-boy phenomenon. Is slightly bad fit ever a characteristic of either the style or its portrayal in film and TV?

    At least a few of the pictures posted show clothes that don't fit perfectly, and that's independent in principle of the other elements of the style already discussed.

    Among other things I'm interested to know if there's a visible distinction between, say, the genuine wide-boy and a media portrayal of the wide-boy which is poking fun at the style.

    As soon as genuine indigenous style phenomena start being depicted in the media, things get "meta" pretty quickly, don't they.

    Thanks.

    Cheers,

    Ac
     
  6. msulinski

    msulinski Senior member

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  7. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    Interesting. There's probably truth in that, though of course not all would read sites like SF. Especially as there are other ways these days apart from clothes to try and sell the message that you've made it. But still, yes, I think you'd be right. But there are most definitely lots of obvious social climbers and anxiety-prone young professionals on here with little to no background in wearing tailored clothes, so you're almost certainly right that many now just copy the "SF-approved" style in every detail. The giveaways now are probably things like worrying excessively about wearing leather-soled shoes in the rain, or terror at the prospect of taking their jacket off in public... [​IMG]

    They all fit pretty well to my eye. Maybe not perfect, but certainly far better than the average guy's clothes. I don't really feel that fit is a major characteristic. In fact, many of the original group wouldn't have batted an eyelid at going to a tailor for bespoke items. An off-Row tailor, most likely, but a tailor nonetheless. As even those tailors are now relatively more expensive than they used to be, I suppose the modern equivalent would be those MTM operations that come to your office in Canary Wharf, or whatever...

    I still haven't got round to watching Breaking Bad, so can't say for sure, but it looks very likely! As well as slightly shady lawyers, you can throw in somewhat dodgy car salesmen, M3-driving travelling sales reps, and borderline-lying estate agents/realtors to the list of stock stereotypes that might potentially fit the mould, depending on their actual personality.
     
  8. baggycasual

    baggycasual Well-Known Member

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    This is a good idea for a thread. I'm sad to say I don't have any pictures of my dad as a sports car salesman from the 1960's selling E-Type's, AC Cobra's, Mustang's and Triumph's in London. But I will say, back then there was a dislike for 'wideboys' even though he may have been on the margins. There is a certain respect for honesty and loyalty - which true 'wideboys' don't actually have. The lovable rogue television character is just that - a television character, they don't exist. The real 'wideboys' are invariably nasty bastards completely out for themselves. Back to my dad, he probably would have dressed quite conservatively, simply in a smart suit. Nothing flash despite his perceived 'flashy' surroundings. Though it should be said, back then I don't think he would have had the status perhaps some characters might have today in the same position certainly not the same derisory wages. And they probably dress either like right scruffy gits or in over priced designer bullshit.

    He was more of a cock later, in the early 1980's when he drove a Rolls Royce while living in a semi-detached house in a suburban cul-de-sac. That would probably be considered 'Gangsta' today! He soon went downhill by switching to a Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. This is still while living in England.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  9. Kingstonian

    Kingstonian Senior member

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    There is a huge gulf between the wide boy/ chancer type and the bounder/cad.

    Mostly class - Del Boy, Arthur Daley, Arthur English, the spiv from Dad's Army were working class and cockney.

    Terry Thomas, Leslie Philipps, Cardew Robinson etc. were higher up the food chain and could pass themselves off above their natural station in life.

    Wide boy is much closer to geezer than bounder. Flashy rails bookmaker etc. ,could be jewish too

    http://www.nickelinthemachine.com/2...-the-spiv-setty-by-brian-donald-hume-in-1949/
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  10. baggycasual

    baggycasual Well-Known Member

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    I disagree with your understanding of class. I think Del Boy and Daley for instance may have come from working class origin (I don't know or can't remember their back stories) but were actually petty bourgeois or to use a less archaic term, middle class. Neither sold their labour power to an employer. They both employed others and made their living through selling commodities, sometimes indirectly. The thing is with the middle class it's a wide spectrum, from employer's who employ 1-500 people etc they tend to come back to the working class as a result of capitalist competition. The middle class is therefore a transient class. If I take the example of my Dad, he comes from working class origins and started out as a draughtsman for the railways I think. He later went into the motor trade eventually ending up running his own garage (gas station) with some car sales on the side. As the years went buy he worked in car sales in various roles for all manner of firms. Towards the end of his working life he worked as an independent trader. One of many auction rogues ; ). People's class can change, it's not an accent or the clothes you necessarily wear. Although it can denote something. Apologies for the tangent.
     
  11. Kingstonian

    Kingstonian Senior member

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    You can be self employed but working class.

    Del Boy is clearly working class as most people understand it.
     
  12. baggycasual

    baggycasual Well-Known Member

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    That does not mean they are correct. Class is a relation to production.
     
  13. E TF

    E TF Senior member

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    bollocks
     
  14. baggycasual

    baggycasual Well-Known Member

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    You must be working clarse cos you swore me old son.
     
  15. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    Glad to see more British posters chipping in their thoughts.



    In parallel with that discussion, a few pics of Mr Orange aka David Dickinson. More a pastiche/riff of the spiv style rather than spiv style itself, but just to add a few more photos to the thread:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    And a similar pastiche with a US twist, from across the pond, Billy Leroy of Baggage Battles:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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