Posts Tagged ‘Jump The Gun’

A casual buy no. 38

July 6, 2011

I’m getting my mod mojo on here with this latest polo to join the rather large pile I have at home. There’s a proper Fred Perry store in Duke’s Lane, but it has the whiff of “funboy” about it. So, I like to schlep up to Jump The Gun in Gardner Street, where Stockport’s most famous son and his clothing brand are stocked in a true keep-it-real environs. The guys at JTG are cool, and the music they play there is enough for me to pop in even if I’m not after a modish item. Surely Brighton’s hippest shop, and I don’t mean that in that too-cool-for-school way that Brighton sometimes rightly gets criticised for, but ‘cool’ like in Carnaby Street circa 1962. JTG is unashamedly ‘Mod’ with a capital ‘M’.

There’s not much to say about Fred Perry the brand that hasn’t been said. All the style and fashion cliches will suffice. But a FP polo, worn correctly of course (ironed, top button done up, smart sunnys above that, no arse-hanging skinny jeans etc, etc), is a timeless look (cliche!?!). The Mod books in the picture I’ve owned for years now, always good for a flick through now and again, just to ‘keep it real’ for today’s world.

Albion in Europe

July 13, 2010

Supporting Brighton and Hove Albion doesn’t give you many options for European football travel, that’s just a fact of life when you pin your colours to the mast of a Division Three club. Not for us are tales of wild-eyed grafters and jibbers taking the Transalpino rattler through the continent on the coat-tails of their all-conquering football teams, robbing and pillaging poorly guarded sports and fashion outlets for the latest continental threads. It just didn’t happen.

But this pre-season even lowly Albion fans can get a taste of what is seen as a birthright for fans of the Big Four – we’re playing two matches in Albufeira in the Algarve next week, and I’ll be there folks, oh yes.

Some say being a dresser is most difficult in the summertime, it’s hard to stand out from the herd when everyone it seems is in cargo shorts and trainers, of course this is true. But I see it as a challenge too – although bright garish sportswear is strictly for whoppers in the winter, in summertime the discerning dresser can let his colourful side – hidden underneath big, expensive hooded outerwear during the season – come out to play. So, I’ve bought a few bits and bobs to throw on while fighting the 30+ degree heat of southern Portugal in July. It’s tough I know, but duty calls.

I don’t normally wear hattage, a throwback to my army days where it was good to let the barnet out in the fresh air now and again. But, as my celtic skin burns like an Albino’s arse cheeks, I have to cover up in hotter climes. I bought this bucket hat by Beechfield for under a fiver on Amazon, the pin badges give it a bit of life – two from the highly recommended casual connoisseur chaps, and the Seagull a snip at £2 from the club shop.

The orange ‘Four Across’ t-shirt I picked up from Brighton’s very own Mod emporium - Jump The Gun in Gardner Street, a great place for Fred Perry by the way. The adidas trainer tee was in an online sale. I’ll also be taking three or four Lacoste polos, a pair of jeans and a couple of pairs of trainers as well – and along with the beachwear: pool shorts, flippies, towels and tinnie cooler – I’ll be well sorted. So, it’s Sunderland FC up first next Wednesday night at the Municipal Stadium in Albufeira, stay tuned for words and pictures some time after that. Cheers.

A casual buy No. 5

December 13, 2009

It is a widely acknowledged fact that casual culture started in Merseyside in the late 1970s. Hordes of Liverpool scallies followed their team on their successful runs in the major European football competitions around this time. Being true scousers many took the opportunity to raid the poorly secured continental clothes and sports shops. The scallies were the first to be seen wearing such sporting goods labels as Lacoste, Sergio Tacchini, Fila and Ellesse on the bleak football terraces of late seventies Britain.

Meanwhile, in the rest of the country, other young male football fans were either dressed in biker leathers, flares, club scarves, bobble hats and knitted tank tops (the regions); or, especially in the nation’s capital, bovver boots, donkey jackets, sta-prest trousers, braces and Fred Perry jumpers. London youth was immersed deep in the mod revival/skinhead movement, and the terraces of all the London clubs were full of unruly suedeheads and latter-day sawdust caesars.

When the cockneys saw the scousers at the match in their bright Italian sportswear, their “wedge” haircuts and adidas trainers, they most likely died laughing. The scallies saw the cockneys as muggy boneheads with no style. But, eventually the casual look caught on, especially when the London boys realised how easy it was for the effeminate looking northerners to evade the police – who were still out looking for shaven-headed louts in club colours on matchdays.

So, the casual scene grew and all the mod and skin clothes were eventually thrown away or kept on the backs of older lads who would never look like the “facking poofs” in their Trim Trabbs and Fila Bj trackies. All the old clothing labels died out, all except one that is, and that label was Fred Perry. The Manchester version of the scouse scally was even named after Fred’s clothing line.

The Fred Perry V-neck jumper in burgundy has outlived them all, it has seen the original 1960s mods come and go, the original skins, the new waves, the casuals, the Stone Island/Burberry clones of the 1990s, and can still be found on the backs of well dressed lads at the football or when they’re out on the tiles on a Saturday night.

The Specials' Terry Hall models a rare limited edition Fred Perry V neck with oversized laurel

If you own only one item of casual clothing, this is the one it should be. I’m a bit of a mod too, in clothes and musical taste, so how can I not own the only item that managed to straddle the gulf between so many antagonistic subcultures? What I’m saying here is that the Fred Perry V-neck is THE item of football fashion, but it is much more than that – it’s as much a British cultural icon as the Mini Cooper, or Big Ben, or Doctor Märtens’ famous boots, OI! That is why you’ll see old blokes, scruffy students, superannuated mods, and smart football dressers all wearing it. It’s a beaut.

Natty Threads

September 23, 2009

Now, this is a football blog, and a football blog specifically about a team called Brighton and Hove Albion. That much is blatantly obvious. But for me football is more than merely watching 22 blokes dressed in polyester kick a piece of lightweight leather around a dilapidated athletics stadium in BN1.

No, football is a way of life, everyday things branch off of it, merge into it, influence and get influenced by it. Football is culture, and it has its own unique culture (and subculture) which occupies a large part of the British psyche.

One of those things is fashion – working class fashion, to be more precise. Young (and not so young) men are the main dwellers of planet football, and young working class men on the whole like to look good, at the football or down the pub and club. Gone are the days of the bovver-booted “Christmas tree” fans, with buttons, bobble-hats, scarves and replica shirts. This look has long been eschewed by “dressers”, “casuals”, “scallies” and “perry boys”.

Today there is a bit of a revival going on among older casuals, and young lads coming through influenced by good and not so good British films about hooligans, firms, and the whole casual phenomena. The thing is, the stuff – the clothes – look good. Above is an advert for Brighton’s very own Jump the Gun clothing emporium. Other great sites are 80s casual classics, and Stuarts of London.

If you’re still a replica shirt wearing fan that’s fine, you’ll always add colour to any game; but I personally have a weak spot for cool, smart, well-turned out casual wear, and going to the match is just another place where it’s good to step out done up to the nines.

By the way this post isn’t about hooligans and fighting, I mean would you like to go to an away match and have some fuckwit slash your £125 cream Baracuta G9 jacket? Fuck that.


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