the magazine – The Greasers

The greasers & rockers will not escape the rule. Since the 50s the movement forms around a rebellion against conformity. Here is their story…

Who are they?

The story of the name of the Greasers is great! It comes from the middle of the 19th century and refers to Mexicans who lived in California and who, to earn money, greased wagons. It was at the time, the only job they could do to feed their families, because of the system put in place: the Anti-Vagrancy Act (also known as the Greaser Act).
So the name greaser had a very bad connotation and that is exactly the reason why the mods chose it. For them it was a symbol of disobedience, distrust and danger, just as they wanted to be perceived. (NB: other theories exist on the origin of the name “greaser”, especially the one that says it would refer to their greased and slicked back hair… but we prefer the first by far).

The culture of the Greasers is quickly extended in other places of the globe like the United Kingdom where they were first called the Ton-up Boys (those who reach the “ton”, in other words 160km / h) then, in the 60s, they became the famous Rockers. We also find the greasers in Australia, Sweden…

The greasers were lovers of mechanics, including hot rods and motorcycles. They also loved rockabilly music and rock’n’roll of course!

It’s at the end of the ’60s that greasers and rockers are actually going to flex their muscles up against a culture they thought was outlandish by taking an even more anti-authoritarian stance…

greasers underground fashion-3
greasers underground fashion

Period: 1950-60-70

Highlight: Greaser Act

Famous: James Dean, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Bill Haley…

Movies: Blackboard Jungle, On the Waterfront, Rebel Without a Cause

greasers underground fashion-2
greasers underground fashion-3

And the style level then?

The greasers dressed in tight-fitting t-shirts and leather or denim jackets, often with their biker gang. At the time, in full economic recovery, the streets were filled suits and ties. By dressing like this, the greasers once again showed their disagreement with the standards, especially the dress code…

At the basic level, they wore straight jeans, very often with large lapels surmounted by military boots or Converse.
To top it off, greasers loved pinup tattoos, wearing bandannas, and stuck cigarette packs in the lapels of their sleeves…

If you see a certain resemblance to the military look of GIs on leave, no panic, it seems that all this is desired in order to once again tease the symbols of authority and manifest their rebellion!

We did not talk about the ladies’ look, but we did not forget … today better known as the pin-up style, which is a very close derivative, women greasers wore large circular skirts that they could spin during furious dances. When the skirts were not there, they did not hesitate to wear the jeans, the biker leather jacket (sometimes that of their boyfriends for that matter) and finally a scarf tied around the neck.

Do you want discover the Teddyboy style?

We are going to do more reports on underground fashion

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