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 today, 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 in typically elitist London fashion on crombie overcoats. 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

A Crombie christmas

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 ‘retro coat’ by Crombie in mint condition. Now I think real Crombies are the dog’s bollocks and an absolute must-have.” Whereas I once scoffed at the 4-Skins’ sarcastic putdown, “I wear a cheap crombie, and that’s about all”, now 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

Neville Staple at Blow Up, 4 Dec 2015

Of major bootboy interest was Neville Staple’s gig at a legendary Soho pisshole known and reviled as St. Moritz. By what right the Jamaican-born singer was advertised as “the original rudeboy” and “one of the undisputed forerunners of the ska movement” was unclear, so allow me to dispute the undisputed. Continue reading