Photos: British skinheads in the 1980s were young, pissed, and stylish as hell
Rian Dundon

I’m like many, I can’t agree with the lede, while there was substance to justify it in the style, the 1980’s skinheads were both more extreme(in style) and had less variety.

The best era in skinhead/mod clothing culture was at its epoch during during 1971/72 right before glam rock became a thing. Through the whole skinhead/mod movement there were absolutely common clothing but the culture was very different depending on where you were from and when you joined the subculture. For many in urban environments outside of London, the 1980’s were turbulent times with the influx of Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani families that were kicked out of Uganda by Idi Amin. In London, the 1980’s were less race/immigrant inspired and more regrouping post punk.

So your view of the racism in skinheads would be dependent on when/where you were. In the late 1960’s it was all about fighting with the teddy boys and rockers, and Quadrophenia ruled.

It’s simply inaccurate to take skinheads in the 1980’s and hold them up as anything.

I’d encourage anyone who arrives here to watch the full Fred Perry Sponsored, Don Letts produced Youth Subculture film. It’s on Vimeo here:

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