Do the monkey: Eastern Bloc boots for East End kids

We hope this article will shed light on questions you were always afraid to ask, for few topics are more divisive than monkey boots. However, Crombieboy does not pretend that his stab at trackng the history of the boot is comprehensive. It’s just an attempt that heavily relies on word-of-mouth accounts – for few topics are more shrouded in mystery than the history of this fine footwear item. If you know more than he was able to find out, we’d encourage you to enlighten us. Continue reading

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The quest for Sta Prest: Nik Louis of Ivy Threads interviewed

The quest for the perfect pair of sta prest trousers is as old as humanity itself. However, it was only during a brief period between 1964 and some time in the 1970s that Levi’s produced immaculate perma-crease chinos from poly-cotton. Since then, humankind has been forced to put up with plenty of inferior product. As readers of this blog may remember, we often end up bitterly disappointed even when we put our hopes up high.

What distinguishes Nik Louis‘s brand Ivy Threads of Boston is its founder’s impressive knowledge of the original garments and a fanatical perfectionism otherwise only known from Japanese denim manufacturersCrombieboy talked to him about his plans to reproduce the original Sta Prest of the 1960s. Continue reading

Greens for the concrete jungle: the OG-107

Spring is here – or so they claim – and summer’s hopefully just around the corner. Come July and August, you’ll want to wear something lighter and more comfortable than raw denim strides – unless you like sweating like a pig and catching skin diseases, that is. Sta-prest chinos aren’t great everyday trousers, especially if you walk a lot – but how about jungle greens? The Northern Avenger tells you how to pull off army fatigues in style even when you’re working as a manual labourer. Continue reading

Brutus Nevapress revisited

A year ago, I announced the reissue of the ‘iconic’ 1966 Brutus NevaPress on this blog, concluding, “If they hold that crease, they might just be perfect”. Now that I’ve owned a pair of navy Brutus NevaPress for a year, it is high time I pass a verdict.

My trousers came in a very neat shade of navy, and the quality of the material seemed decent enough. 70% polyester and 30% cotton – probably no different from the much lower-priced Warrior or Relco trousers, but somehow, they seemed sturdier and more solidly finished, leaving a good first impression. Continue reading

Made to intimidate: before Dr Marten’s ruled

So you still think the ‘spirit of 69’ was all about cropheads polishing their Dr Marten’s to a mirror shine? You reckon battered footwear is for punks and high commando boots for boneheads and fetishists only? Well, think again. The Northern Avenger will give you a quick rundown of various boots worn before DM’s became all the rage. Continue reading

Combat: an interview with Ben Nevis Clothing of Camden

Among affordable clothing brands, there is one that enjoys almost unreserved respect among skinheads: Ben Nevis Clothing of London, known especially for its ‘Combat’ Harrington and donkey jackets. With its shop located within a few minutes walk from Camden Town station, Ben Nevis has been producing quality clobber for generations.
Continue reading

A rough guide to trucker jackets

The trucker jacket – or denim jacket, to some – is a staple of the skinhead and bootboy wardrobe that has been worn for generations. The Northern Avenger will not explore the entire history of the trucker jacket, but he will provide a rough guide mainly to the models that were worn in the original skinhead era. Continue reading

Bring back the donkey jacket

Last week, I pontificated about crombie overcoats in typically elitist London fashion. Well, that has now prompted a response article from my Yorkshire bro, the Northern Avenger. Here’s his tribute to an unjustly reviled skinhead staple. Ladies and gentlemen, bootgirls and bootboys, I’m handing over to the Northern Avenger…

The humble donkey jacket: one of the mainstays of the British coal miner, binman, and other manual workers and lefties of years past – and (some) skinheads of course. It has a long history with the working class. I will try – and probably fail – to explain some of its history and relevance to the skinhead cult. Continue reading

I walked with a Crombie

About a year ago, I sneered that there was nothing “authentically skinhead” about owning a genuine Crombie. With no small amount of inverted snobbery, I suggested there was no point in getting one unless you were an “MP, diplomat or KGB agent“. Well, that was before I had one. Since then, I have sussed an unbelievable bargain for a black Crombie Retro Coat in mint condition. Now I think real Crombies are the dog’s bollocks. Whereas I once scoffed at the 4-Skins’ sarcastic putdown, “I wear a cheap crombie, and that’s about all”, today I sing along with conviction. Continue reading

Polish skinhead boots in the 1980s

rumuny

And now for something off the beaten path: what you see above is the type of boot widely worn by Polish skinheads and punks in the 1980s due to the unavailability of Dr Martens. They were referred to as ‘glany rumunskie’ (Romanian boots) or simply ‘rumuny’ (Romanians) since they were produced in Romania for Nicolae Ceausescu’s notorious Securitate police units. Continue reading