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Subcultures rarely remain just that – subcultures. These bad boy minority groups soon latch onto larger social groups and eventually infiltrate the major population, providing good reason for modern the man to dabble with a renegade sense of style.
Once exclusive cliques, the rockers, bikers, street urbanites and punks are today key influencers of men’s fashion. Each takes it lead from the very antithesis of fashion. But, we’ve gleaned these anti-norm ensembles for a little bit of bad boy that’s very much stylish this season. Especially, if you’re feeling rebellious.
The Modern Rocker
While the biker look is nothing new, this season is about pairing its prime item – the leather jacket, with more clean, sophisticated pieces. New ways to wear the leather perfecto – the most understated and refined version of the jacket – include ‘smartly’, wearing a crisp white shirt and black Derbies, doing away with a common suit jacket.
Otherwise, go rock star with the same effortlessly cool jacket, this time lending itself to a more day-ready outfit. Straying from the traditional rocker route, this season is all about the clean bad boy, wearing the jacket over a plain basic t-shirt, tastefully distressed jeans and a pair of black hi-cut Derby boots.
Another killer rock look involves washed out denim, a long, open-neck button down in cotton and a square-shouldered top coat accompanied by a bandana-inspired, paisley print scarf. A key ensemble worn by muso Cody Simpson, the rugged suede Chelsea’s base out the look. And do not roll the jeans.
The Contemporary Punk
While bleached mohawks aren’t returning any time soon, the tenets of punk sure are, namely the embellished leather jacket. Unlike the rocker or biker aesthetic, the punk looks to leather differently (usually the perfecto jacket) sprayed with tasteful badges and metallic hardware.
Traditional leather jackets come with studs, contrast lapels and even animal print chest panels for those feeling extra adventurous, based out by heavy duty boots, ripped jeans and flashes of tartan or plaid – the symbol of punk since its Seventies origins.
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Keeping the look very black, pair the detailed leather jacket with cleaner items, like straight-leg trousers and button-down shirt. Or opt for the punk plaid shirt over shredded jeans but with clean, black sneakers. Accessories – tartan scarf or metallic jewellery – are another easy way to punk-up a black outfit. Don’t go completely thematic with the punk look, however. It’s not Halloween.
The Fresh Anti-Fit
As sportsluxe continues its furore, the breaking down of traditional silhouettes in casual wear and tailoring has morphed into a rebellious disregard for classic men’s wear.
Finding its roots in oversized tees, the anti-fit, urban style sees t-shirts, button-ups and knit wear lengths drop to below the waist; retaining a slim-ish shape so not to lose the style. Dubbed longline, the largely monochromatic black and white look counteracts the bold proportions, with relaxed trousers and an eradication of the skinny fit jean.
Metallic jewellery also adds a spark to the neutral style, which is a must-know for any streetwear fiend, not afraid to rock the status quo. Key pieces include a longline plain tee (layered over another), trousers with a cuffed ankle, felt hat, a neck chain and white sneakers.
The Future Classic Rockabilly
Not to be confused with the hillbilly, the rockabilly has seen a renaissance this decade, primarily through the look’s signature hairdo – the gelled pompadour, and maintaining it perfectly sleek. And this season is about the modern rockabilly, reneging against long, unruly hair and sloppy street brands.
Rather than sticking to the classic biker jacket, look to the zip-up leather blouson in true rockabilly style, which is being made cool again by style icons like Alex Turner.
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For a dressier approach, still look to rock classics – penny loafers, Cuban collar shirts, two-tone brogues, black jeans and skinny monochrome tailoring – focalising the look with metallic shades under the cool ‘do. Keep that comb handy too, for any mischievous hairs.
It goes without saying that the leather jacket is a must-purchase for dressing like a bad boy. Distressed denim in black and boots – both suede and black leather – are two other key items for boldly channelling your inner rocker and punk.
The anti-fit and rock star look involve longer shirting and layers too, so be sure to stock up on under pieces and a solid top coat to finish it off.
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Before party politics, he was a DC researcher and consultant
BCBG Max Azria FallWinter 2019RTW – NYFW