Get skinned.

The British tend to have the best subcultures, as S pointed out with the Teddy Boys. But let’s talk about who came after; my personal favorite subcultures of all time. I’m talking Mods, and traditional skinheads.


The Mods came first in the early 1960’s, and were a movement of middle-class youth obsessed with Vespa scooters, and looking sharp as all get-out. They craved mod bands (The Who, Herman’s Hermits) and Motown music, and experimented with all kinds of drugs at Carnaby Street parties you would not be let into with your sweatpants. 

Pictured: un-sweatpants.

Sworn enemies of rockabilly-obsessed Rockers, who rode cafe’ racers, they brawled and partied in perfectly cut suits, military surplus fishtail parkas, nice shoes, and bright colored everything for the ladies and men. Co-opt their swag with abandon.

Now let’s move on to scarier motherfuckers. The Skinheads. I’m not talking Nazis here: the vast majority of original skinheads, and many today, were and are anti-racist and apolitical. Just go to CityPages and look up “Skinheads at Forty” for the Minneapolis scene.

Excuse me while I leave the alley and never come back.

Cuffed jeans, Harrington jackets, military surplus, Fred Perry button downs, and braces. These are the ingredients of a working-class skin. They got big after the Mods, taking inspiration from them and the Jamaican rude boys/girls in both their style and what-of-it attitude. 

Doc Martens got big because of skins, especially oxblood-colored originals. If you see a modern skin with red boot laces (and Nazi ink, or even an anti-racist one) he’s shed blood for the movement - do not put red laces on boots. Also, skinhead women:

Please, if you know women like these, tell me where they are. Or if you are one, don’t you dare change. - Dr. J

(P.S.: Necklace of Nazi teeth good idea, but not required for admittance.)

WATCH OUT PLEASE. New meat coming through.

I am the new girl, although I’m not just passing through. My name is Kate (although from here on out I’ll be known as K) and I hail from the hot-as-heck underbelly of the United States: Tucson, Arizona. For the next couple years I’ll be joining this blog to bring you more fashion Dos and DON'Ts, good fashion photography from the streets of MSP,  hopefully some DIY projects, and whatever else S and J will let me post.

I grew up north of Chicago Illinois which is really where the deep roots of my appreciation for fashion began. I lived in a rather affluent town (I, however, wasn’t one of the Tiffany & Co.-wearing-10-year-olds) but all around me were beautiful people whose parents had money up the butt. Everyone dressed like they were living in a Ralph Lauren catalogue, complete with sailboats and pool-houses and purebred dogs that probably costed more than my car. While I love a lot of the international style out there (Western Europe has got it going on), I would still die to live in a Ralph Lauren (or more realistically, J. Crew) Catalogue. Then I moved to Arizona, but I’ll talk about that a little later. 

My greatest inspiration and fashion icon is Jacqueline Kennedy (no, not Onassis- I’m particularly fond of her White House wardrobe). She took simple and elegant to a whole new level and wore clothing that a lot of women could pull off. I mean come on, find one gal who doesn’t look great in an A-line skirt. The wool and silk dresses were to die for and they were, for the most part, garments that you could dress up, or dress down. 

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Back to Arizona. In 5th grade I moved to Tucson, Arizona courtesy of my mother’s new job, and I was not thrilled. I did however decide to make the most of my new room and my dad and I painted a giant (probably 15 feet tall) mural of a high-heeled shoe. Then I started collecting “shoe things” and I decided I wanted to be the kind of girl who owned a lot of shoes. Now, I realize this sounds like an extremely shallow goal, but I have plenty of other goals to help the world.  Today, I have become that girl. I still don’t own as many different pairs of shoes as I know I will someday, but I love shoes a lot. Just last week, preparing for my move to Minnesota, I bought a pair of black flats from Aldo, some “sahara” Sperrys, and some beautiful, glossy black Hunter wellington boots. 

Tucson is a relatively hip (and by hip, I mean full of hipsters) town. There is a great music scene, we have enough people to attract some fabulous stores (we have TWO H&Ms now), but also Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, Anthropologie, and some of the regulars like J. Crew, American Eagle, Banana Republic, Gap, Pac Sun, and Forever 21 (these are the 10 stores where I buy most of my clothing- in no particular order).  I also do a lot of vintage and second hand shopping at local stores. I will tell you now, I spend a lot of money on clothing and shoes, but about 85% of the time, I’m not paying full price because I am really good at shopping.

Because of my love of fashion, when I was in high school I got involved in the little fashion industry that exists in Tucson. I started taking sewing and design classes from a local designer named Liz (who ended up starting Tucson Fashion Week). After a while I got to show in the Youth night of TFW, which I did two years in a row. I’ll probably post pictures of some of my pieces later on. In addition to sewing for these events, I made my prom dress all three years I went (somehow my little sophomore self got invited), which probably contributed to my love of design and my appreciation for couture. For now I don’t have a lot of time doing the design process from start to finish (drawing, pattern-making, cutting, pinning, sewing, finishing) which leaves me to alter pieces I already have. I’ve definitely done some fun DIY projects because of these limitations. 

This post is getting long. I’m sure you all will get to know me through my posts in the future. I’ll leave you with some pictures of what I wore on the plane yesterday.