Teddy Girls: The Style Subculture That Time Forgot

Perhaps more significant than the boy’s subversion of upper-class clothing was the girls’ appropriation of masculine styles. Whilst the pants worn by working women during the war were mostly shed in relief, replaced by the welcome femininity of silhouette-skimming skirts, the Teddy Girls clung to the new sartorial codes that the adoption of menswear for women ushered in: boxy single-breasted jackets and the slicked back quiff hairstyle, a proto-mohawk that would eventually give way to the more extreme hairstyles of punk. Despite their non-conformist style and rebellious attitude, “I never thought of those kids as anything but innocent,” Ken Russell told The Evening Standard. “Even the Teddy Girls [from the 1955 series The Last of the Teddy Girls], all dressed up, were quite edgy, and that interested me; they were more relevant and rebellious — but good as gold. They thought it was fun getting into their clobber, and I thought so too.” Read more

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