Magazines #22: How to Look Punk

I'm not a huge fan of punk (although I love The Ramones). I was always somewhat bothered by a culture which purported to be anarchic, yet demanded strict adherence to a dress code.  They hated the poseur disco dollies and yacht rock preppies because they were too much a part of the establishment, and therefore couldn't think for themselves.  Yet, their own culture had do's and don'ts that perhaps demanded more goose-stepping in line than any other group.

Of course, isn't that always the way it goes? A small set of blokes with spiked hair and nose rings, who truly are counter culture, turns into a formalized fashion line once it gets popular.  The same could be said of the hippie movement, grunge, rap, heavy metal, disco or, for that matter, any fringe group that got sucked into the mainstream.

Anyway, I've come across this 1977 handbook to dressing like a punk rocker (with a young Belinda Carlisle on the front) and thought I'd share.



  1. AnonymousMay 19, 2011

    I always thought that the best thing about '70s punk was that it cleared the way for the more varied, quirky, arty, vibrant, creative, multifaceted genre called New Wave. Punk was a palate cleanser. New Wave was the full course meal.

  2. CBR file again?

    I read about Johnny Rotten once guest DJing a radio show while still with the Sex Pistols and demonstrating a wide taste in music and his fellow punks called him a trator. And Kurt Cobain got all depressed seeing a heavy metal kid wearing a Nirvana t-shirt. People really seem to have a herd instinct.

  3. If you don't like CBR you can just change the extension from .cbr to .rar. They're basically the same. The .rar file can be unzipped.

  4. AnonymousMay 20, 2011

    Once there were how-to fashion guides, it was done. Someone figured out how to sell a working-class movement to the "yacht preppies" or whatever you called them, is all. Love the blanket condemnations based on hearsay anecdotes without sources and claims of "goose-stepping" from someone who admits in the first sentence that they weren't even a fan (and thus probably not inclined to get involved with the subculture in the first place.)

  5. In that case, Anonymous, hear it from someone who was in the punk scene for a solid 12 years - It IS dominated by a group think mentality and it IS chock full of petty intolerance.