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Urban Outfitters 'Punk' Jacket Inspires Scorn, Amusement, Self-Pity

There’s also something sort of strange when old farts complain about a 40-year-old musical movement founded so that Malcolm McLaren could sell clothes… being used by Urban Outfitters to sell clothes.

-- Commenter at DangerousMinds.net

I correctly pegged that jacket at 1990s vintage even before the sales copy at Urban Outfitters confirmed this.

I knew this because starting in the 1990s and continuing today, the kinds of kids who wear those hideous, tone-deaf jackets are the same ones who call me a boring old fart when I pointedly refuse to throw them spare change while they are wearing obvious knockoffs of my old clothes from the Seventies and Eighties.

I'm talking brand new yet weirdly off-register Dead Kennedys t-shirts, worn by teenagers begging on the street.

When I still drank I used to yell at them:

In my day, we didn't have hair gel or dyes in twenty colors at every drugstore! We had to use Easter egg kits and sugar water! WE HAD JOBS, TOO! Brats...

So the Urban Outfitters jacket is, at a glance, obviously twenty years too "new" to be authentically punk.

(How can anything Nineties be "vintage," anyhow? It's bad enough that "my" music is "retro" now.)

Anyway, as Gavin points out as well:

You can only use a motorcycle jacket with the flip down lapels. The quilted shoulders are also a no no. It’s not really for riding a motorbike. As Joe Strummer put it in “This is England,” “I got my motorcycle jacket but I’m walking all the time.”

McInnes has said this elsewhere, and he's correct:

Punk was anti-fascist about everything except clothing.

You only wore certain kinds of footwear, with certain heel heights, and pants of a very particular width, length and fabric.

"Like trousers, like brain," Joe Strummer (also) said, meaning that if you wore flares and long hair you'd start thinking like a hippie, then acting like one, and hippies were the root of all evil.

(At least, after Strummer stopped being one himself.)

If you wore Docs and didn't want to get beaten up (at least in the UK,) you didn't wear them with red (Nazi) laces outside a yellow-lace (anti-Nazi) concert.

Viv Albertine of  The Slits looks back:

Because of the atmosphere at the time, everyone was very strict and critical of each other. We were pretty strict amongst ourselves. No one could wear brown, it was considered to be a bourgeois mismatch of colours. You could wear strong blacks, whites, shocking pinks or electric orange. Make statements with your clothes but with something like brown, which is just a mixture of colours, moulded together, very middle class. I had t-shirts I had to throw away as they had scoop necks and it was too soft. Literally even the cut of a collar, the cut of a trouser, the cut of a lapel.

Amusingly, in the photo that accompanies that recent interview, Viv is wearing a pricey looking brown dress.