We’re going back in time in this week’s edition of STYLE. My never ending odyssey to explore the secrets of STYLE journeys to a fabled corner of my wardrobe. We may not reach Narnia, but we do arrive somewhere very special indeed…
Gateway supermarket car park, 1989. Yes, you wanted it – nay, DEMANDED it – and so have I provideth: Skateboard STYLE, circa late 80s.
Amazingly, some late 80’s skate merch still resides in my possession. The pinnacle of awesomeness in this collection are my original Powell Peralta sweatpants. Originally purchased from Split Skates in Manchester, by some miracle I can still (just about) get in them.
You see here the Rat Bones design, with rodent skeletons crawling up the side of each leg. Oh, how I coveted these pants for months before I owned a pair: they cost a bloody fortune, but eventually Mum relented and I got a pair for my birthday. They got some heavy use back in the day; amazingly they still exist (but in a pretty tatty state up close).
Another relic from the past is my Santa Cruz hooded top, again a purchase from Split Skates (on a different trip). This dates from the days when hoodies were a fresh sight on UK streets and were yet to be adopted by chav scrotes. Hoodies are an essential part of any gentleman’s wardrobe, regardless of unsavoury stereotypes. I love this SC dark blue number.
In these photos, I’m wearing a Santa Cruz Road Rider wheels t-shirt. In the late 80’s, I actually only owned two skate t-shirts: a bright yellow Thrasher Pus-zone T and a red Vision Street Wear one with a manhole graphic. Both are long gone now.
On my feet are a pair of hi-top Vans, which despite being stylistically accurate are actually a more recent acquisition. I could never afford Vans when I was a kid, I had one pair of red Converse and then had cheap Chuck knock-offs for years (‘cos I’d shred ’em in a month).
But God bless Vans, a deeper look into their wonder will no doubt grace a future edition of STYLE.
The look is completed by a Vans trucker cap (again, a newer rehash of 80’s style); a Casio digital watch and a Quiksilver hip-bag. The hip-bag was absolutely necessary as the sweatpants had no pockets (probably would’ve pushed the price up even more). I had a Hot Tuna one back in the day.
As I recall, skaters in the late 80’s pioneered a few fashion items ahead of them becoming part of the mainstream. As well as hooded sweatshirts and hi-top trainers we wore knee length shorts (thus dragging the human race away from budgie-smuggler short shorts). Hip bags became “bum bags” and were fashionable for 5 minutes with everyone, before everyone decided to dump ’em (bring them back!).
As a result, my adoption of skate STYLE did little to reduce the ridicule received from my peers that I had suffered previously. But I didn’t care ‘cos I was a skater and outside of their world by choice. Plus, I always had the last laugh when six months later, they were all wearing Converse, knee length shorts and surf wear.
Sometimes we stumble upon STYLE. Sometimes STYLE just happens along when we least expect it, enraptured by something else. We just need to roll with it and remember that fortune favours the brave.
NOTE: Yes, I look a bit chubby in these pics – but how many clothes from 30 years ago can you still fit in?!
You can read about the Santa Cruz Street Creep shown here on this blog.
Clothes model’s own.