Preppy Punk

The influence behind this fresh Carny Style feature is one that invokes the brilliant interpretation of a fashion oxymoron – that is, playing strong features against one another that would seemingly clash if overloaded with clichés, but melds into an eye-popping juxtaposition that is a work of art almost too painful to look at.  My main beef with individuals who take certain scenes and adopting alternative lifestyles which carry stereotyped aesthetics, is that they become so incredibly committed to the shallow aspects in attempts of flaunting elitism when in fact they come across as arrogant assholes.  Compensating for lack of personality with a created character that changes depending on what section of your wardrobe you decided to abuse speaks volumes to how obvious being a walking hackneyed train wreck.

Taking advantage of what’s in to gain access to items that might otherwise be hard to find is certainly something even I readily admit to when the opportunity arises.  However, in doing so, I also understand how to coordinate pieces so that they properly represent me and not just an excuse to use brand names in hopes of being noticed.  These things should not be the essential guidelines when selecting a wardrobe, because such articles become easily outdated and difficult to incorporate into functional fashion that will have longevity.

Combining genres which for all intents and purposes are supposed to be polar opposites to the point where rivalries and even rudimentary youth gangs would form to support one another.  Ridiculous caricatures aside, there are elements of these styles – simplified here as preppy and punk – which play well together.  Pushing boundaries is what keeps stereotypes from settling in and dictating what should be acceptable as opposed to embracing the freedom of personal expression.  The following gallery is inspired by classic punk prints paralleled by preppy cuts and punctuated with the right amount of ornaments.

Fred Perry is releasing their latest collaborative collection with late singer Amy Winehouse, which includes this lovely Argyle Sweater Dress that I feel is a smart way to approach preppy punk; paired with certain shoes and accessories dictates which end of the spectrum a complete look falls in.

This rich-hued Gingham V-Neck Sweater adds a touch of vintage flair to an outfit and the larger print is also a contemporary play on classic plaid, which is often related to punk clothing.

The Amy Print Peep Toe Shoe features a “unique jukebox comic book print” with contrasting black lining and signature Laurel Wreath embroidered on the back heel and is ideal for keeping cool on those hot Summer days.

The J. Perterman Company strikes the right notes with this Vintage Yellow Plaid Jacket in wool twill tweed, the pattern matched in the front keeps it from being too archaic and the piece can certainly be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

Another garment that serves an example of how one can wear plaid and not stir up images of skin-tight bondage pants or mini skirts that are seemingly useless to anyone who is not as small as a mannequin, is the 1940s Forever Plaid Skirt.

Utilizing directions with a bold pattern such as this one on the Texas Minute Striped Dress, cuts down on the cartoon factor and shows off the flattering 1940s style cut.

Geek Chic is nothing new among fashion trends, though for some reason people feel that wearing glasses sans lenses makes a cool fashion accessory.  For those who actually have impaired eyesight, the Moscot Lemtosh fits five face types and is associated with names like Buddy Holly, Truman Capote and Johnny Depp.

On one hand, shoes sprinkled with studs and spikes has become so commonplace that some tend to go overboard and spill into ridiculous impracticability territory.  On the other, this design by Prada invokes the effigy of an art deco mohawk and would be set off nicely with a pair of vintage seamed stockings.  Besides, there is always the option of hitting up a thrift store to purchase a pair of pumps and going the DIY route.

Speaking of spikes, they are also appearing on a variety of accessories including hoop earrings and I for one absolutely love them.  Even though my ear lobes are stretched [to one and a half inches], I cannot deny that I have a pair of these bad boys and get a kick out of wearing them through my tunnels.  It is also quite easy to collect a few pieces to deconstruct and repurpose into an original creation.

The final presentation of images are of a heavily tattooed model named Jimmy Q, who I feel has the right balance of the above aesthetics, though the style may not be restricted to one or the other.  What appeals to me are the button-down shirts that allows one to see just enough of the artwork that resides on his skin without being all-revealing.  It pairs the upper crust classiness expected of rich socialites with the gritty rebellion of standing apart from the mainstream without being too saturated by either element.  On a personal level, it also represents the aristocratic levels of Carny Style, which always strives to counter against stereotypes.  After all, clothes, hair and body modifications may be part of individual expression, but they are certainly not definitive qualities of who that person is, so they should not be used to pass judgment.


Photo credit: 1 -3, 4-6

7 –, 8 –, 9 –


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