United Styles Of America
Style Focus : American Casual Wear
04 Jul 2012
A History Of American Casual Wear
American stylings have long been a continual reference point in contemporary fashion. In celebration of independence day, The Goodhood Store has picked some our favourite and most influential American stylings spanning over 150 years, from Workwear to Downtown Skate and everything in between. See our collection of American brands below.
Heritage / Workwear - 1890
Without a doubt the most heavily referenced style of the moment, American heritage and workwear clothing was first class in both rugged construction and innovative design with exceptional standards of quality, durability and comfort. At the time, nobody did workwear better than the great Hamilton Carhartt who continually pushed the boundaries of workwear apparel, creating timeless silhouettes that are still widely celebrated today.
Rebel Without a Cause - 1950's
The 50's saw a very interesting turn in popular American culture with the birth of the teenager. Along with rock n roll, rebellion and suburban angst came a fresh and exciting youth style that was to set a template for every subsequent subcultural movement after it. Perhaps most famously exemplified by James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause (1955) with his blue denim, fitted white t-shirt, perfectly pompadoured hair and cigarette in tow, the look marked a culturally, historically and aesthetically important change for American style.
Ivy League Style - 1950's
Without doubt one of the most influential and documented menswear looks of all time, the Ivy League style continues to inspire and enamour designers and clothing enthusiasts to this very day. Born in the 1950's on the campuses of the eight elite Ivy League Universities - Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Pennsylvania and Yale - Ivy League style is a quintessential sartorial look. Typically comprised of preppy two button blazers, cuffed trousers, button down oxford shirts, penny loafers and canvas tennis shoes, the Ivy League style became uniform for the students of the day and continues to have a dramatic presence in menswear the world over.
Biker Style - 1950's Onwards
Another true American classic, Biker style was, and still is, the epitome of American cool. The leather jacket, grizzly beard, slick hair style is without a doubt one of the greatest counter-culture looks of all time and is still widely celebrated today. As iconic as it intimidating, the style has been a continual reference point and has since been adopted by a host of first-rate international brands championing the biker spirit into some of the greatest garments on the market.
The Deadheads - 1960/70's
Deadheads is the name given to the fans of 1960’s band The Grateful Dead – one of the most famous bands in the San Francisco Haight-Ashbury music scene. The fans became famous for selling bootleg t-shirts (often tie dye) veggie burritos and other fare at concerts. The Deadheads were notorious for following denim brands as they needed something comfortable that could be worn without washing for long periods of time and a solid denim jacket or jeans was the obvious answer.
California Surf/Skate - 1978
A particular favourite here at The Goodhood Store, the West Coast surf and skate style is a timeless American look. The young guys pioneering the scene lived to surf and skate, and the accompanying style was just a by product for them. The look was relaxed and sunshine appropriate with cut-off denim and athletic tees, and is best signified by the then-young but now iconic Vans footwear. A true classic.
Downtown Skate - 1990's
The downtown NYC style comprised of skaters from all over the five boroughs, who each brought with them an amalgam of styles, slang and stories that would combine to create one definitive downtown look.The style was a clear departure from the California Dogtown look of yesteryear, with skaters dressing according to their harsh urban surroundings. Clothes were heavy duty and utilitarian, with workwear style pants taking precedence alongside oversized hoods and sweats. The look was well documented by the likes of Larry Clark (Kids 1995) and Ari Marcopoulos and would go on to set a standard for streetwear clothing as we now know it.
Grunge - 1990's
Perhaps the most significant American subcultural wave of recent history, grunge was born in rainy Seattle towards the end of the 80s and would go on to dominate the mainstream in the first half of the 1990s. The look was not a contrived, conscious attempt at an appealing fashion style, rather just an accompanying aesthetic to the grunge sound - striped down, sludgy and distorted. Comprised heavily of thrift store and outdoor clothing, the grunge style was cheap, durable and in it's own way timeless.