The clothing of ska borrows heavily from its Jamaican music roots. Performers like Gwen Stefani, and bands like Sublime put it on the map.
What is Ska Music?
Ska, punk, emo. There are so many terms out there, but what do they all mean? The difference, at least for ska and punk, are in the musical pudding.
Punk, an anti-establishment, in your face style of music, became popular during 1974 and 1977 with the help of such well known groups like the Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Clash and to a lesser extent, Blondie.
Ska, on the other hand, originated in Jamaica in the late 1950's, and was the precursor to reggae and rock steady. There have been many waves of the ska movement. The last, and arguably most sustaining phase, took place in the 1980's. Bands like Sublime, and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones helped launch commercial ska success between 1995 and 1998.
Clothing of Ska: What to Wear
Wondering what clothing of ska you should wear? Try these tips and you'll be grooving in not time flat. First off, we'll take a look at what guys should be wearing before moving on and turning the lens on the best ska outfits for girls.
Plaid is big for both the girls and the guys, but you want to think more along the lines of skateboard chic rather than grandma's drapes. Infectious Threads has a great blue plaid Western styled shirt that fits the bill perfectly. Besides two front pockets, the shirt also comes with pearlized buttons to enhance the vintage feel. You can purchase this shirt for about $45.00.
The vintage look is a key component of the clothing of ska. Try a vintage plaid skirt to give a finished look to your ensemble.
- Green Paisley Shirt
This vintage green paisley shirt is not your typical buttoned down look. The paisley print is fantastic, and again, you can't beat that vintage feel. You can also grab this look for about $24.99.
- Black Lucky 13 Mens Work Shirt
Men's work shirts are a ska staple, and you'll love the cargo-esque feel of this black print shirt. The front is simple enough, with just a small heart on the front to hint of what's to come on the back. Once you turn the shirt around, you'll see a large circle (in red) with the words Lucky Thirteen, complete with skulls, surrounding the club of thirteens. You'll love this look!
Guys Clothing: Bottoms
The chic working class look plays big here, so when it come to your bottoms, turn to dress pants (try Ben Davis) or cargo pants. The Ben Davis Charcoal Pat is a great example of this.
Cut slim with a straight leg; these thirty-inch seamed pants will mesh perfectly with all of your ska inspired tops. This look is available for $37.99.
In addition, jeans are fine, but be wary of the "skinny" jeans look, especially when paired with Converse sneakers. That look lends itself more towards the New York, Lower East Side punk scene. If ska is your thing, let yourself be inspired by the laid back California scene instead.
For the Girls
Ok, girls, it's time for you to get ready for your close up. Check out some of these super cool looks and get ready to look great!
Tops for Girls
A great way to begin thinking of tops is to picture Gwen Stefani in her heyday. Remember the striped tie, blazer and bikini look? Now you're starting to get it.
You'll want to layer, mixing and matching different pieces of fabric, all the awhile looking as if you just threw everything together, but somehow came out looking oh so chic anyway. Try some of these styles from Daddy Zero and Infectious Threads:
- Heartbreaker Red and Black Top
A heartbreaker is exactly what you'll be in this Grease- inspired Rizzo tie-in-the-front top. The shirt itself is red, comes with a black contrasting collar and ties at the natural waist. Can't you just picture this with a knee length and a graphic pair of tights? This look is available for $46.99.
- Sourpuss Black Inside Out Tee Shirt with Target
Sometimes all you want to do is throw on a tee shirt, but you don't want to forsake ska style for comfort. Enter this Sourpuss classic. It's a basic black tee shirt with a huge bulls eye target- perfect for chillin'. Get it for about $18.99.
Bottoms and Dresses
For bottoms think cute skirts and dresses, cargo pants, and skinny jeans. Try:
- Falter Black and White Twirly Girl Dress
This dress is to die for! First, it's done in that classic black and white polka dot pattern with a deep v-cut. Secondly, and what really makes this dress stand out, is its black satin cinched middle. This look is a bit pricier at $56.99.
- Heartbreaker Fashion Black Cherry Print A Line Skirt
This cherry and black skirt sits at the waist, has an A-line cut and sits at the knee. This fearlessly fun skirt is available for $48.99.
- Houndstooth Pucker Dress
Feast your eyes on this classic houndstooth dress! This is a dark grey dress done on a very light cream background. It has a plunging neckline and is gathered at the middle to accentuate the bustline. Available for $48.99.
- Pinstripe Capri Pants
What separates these pinstripe capris from the pinstripes everyone else wears are the large print stripes. Steel this look at $24.99.
A Final Word: Accessories
Finally, note that the clothing of ska is very much about accessories. This goes for both guys and girls. Think oversized and houndstooth caps, ties with crazy eye-catching patterns, graphically printed leggings and belts with attitude.
And don't forget to shop thrift store! This is very important to the ska look. Remember Gwen Stefani in her "Don't Speak" video? That's right. She's wearing a thrift store dress she'd bought years earlier…'nuff said.