Rude Boys & Two Tone Intro
The Look: Dangerously sharp two-tone suits, Mondrian-thin ties, high cropped trousers to show off dazzling white socks. Accessorized with cut-you-dead shades and no nonsense pork pie hats.
The Time: Early ‘60s+
The Place: Kingston, Jamaica; then spread to US and GB
Influenced: Two Tone, Acid Jazz
The British Mods loved the Rude Boys’ look, their ska, their dance moves and, reportedly, their ganja. This respect for the West Indian immigrants’ many contributions to British popular music and streetstyle would outlast the original Mods when the less than perfectionist, anything goes, pseudo ‘Mods’ of ‘Swinging London’ lost the plot. But when a small but ultra dedicated band of ‘Hard Mods’ surfaced a bit later in the ‘60s, their determination to get back to basics naturally acknowledged a great debt to the Rude Boys. This was even more the case at the very tail end of the ‘60s when the Skinheads emerged: as non-racist Skinheads are right to remind us, the first generation of Skins were respectful of and invigorated by the sharp, trim style and mesmerizing music which their West Indian neighbours brought to a now undeniably multi-cultural Britain.