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A History of Subculture and Alternative Fashion

Alternative Fashion and Subculture

Alternative fashion may be defined as any style, dress or expression through visual appearance that may be perceived as different to that prevalent within the mainstream of society. A subculture is exactly that, a culture within the prevalent culture of society. The two things are unequivocally linked.

Subcultures are able differentiate themselves from the mainstream through the medium of fashion. They express themselves through dress, styles, possessions and in some cases symbolism’s that represent their attitudes, feelings and beliefs to claim an identity that is unique to their culture.

So where and when did this all start? The need to express and identify with like minded individuals is in fact a very important part of human development. Without it we’d all be living in a very bland and far less interesting world. Everyone has a few of those little things that they identify with, those things that express you and all put together makes you unique.  The answer to the question is that subcultures and alternative fashion have always been with us in one form or another and always will. You may say, that subculture is born through the need for expression and like minded individuals identifying through a common bond.


Teddy Boys – Teddy Girls – The Judies -1950’s

Post war Britain saw a revival of Edwardian inspired fashion. The name Ted came from the shortening of Edwardian. Drape jackets with velvet trim collars, drain pipe pants and wedge heeled creepers were the Teds uniform of choice. Teddy girls (Judies) also wore the drape jackets with tight pencil skirts or pants later adopting the Rockabilly style from the US with the calf length flared skirts that we so often associate them with today.


The Rockabilly look – unique and distinctive. A fashion of the 50’s but also in a way timeless. We see this and elements of this style creeping back into present day fashion. This Retro look is simply beautiful and I think we’ll see more of it to come.

2 Responses to A History of Subculture and Alternative Fashion

  1. Nicely explained! – I read Wiki on this but it did not have as good details – appreciate it!

  2. Profile photo of juno

    Great overview of the history of subculture. I love the photos to help give descriptions. I think I most like the fashion of the fifties and can appreciate the current subculture that has developed from it.


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