Casual (subculture)

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This article is about the hooligan subculture. For the style of clothing, see Casual. For the football club, see Casuals F.C.. For the band, see The Casuals.

The casual subculture is a subsection of association football culture that is typified by football hooliganism and the wearing of expensive designer clothing[1][2][3][4][5] (known as "clobber"). The subculture originated in the United Kingdom in the early 1980s when many hooligans started wearing designer clothing labels and expensive sportswear in order to avoid the attention of police and to intimidate rivals. They did not wear club colours, so it was allegedly easier to infiltrate rival groups and to enter pubs. Some casuals have worn clothing items similar to those worn by mods. Casuals have been portrayed in films and television programmes such as ID, The Firm and The Football Factory.


The early 'casual' look [pre 1980] was a descendant of the mid 1970's 'soul boy' scene . A scene frequented by both black and white people united in their love of jazz funk/ soul music . South East London was a particularly strong area for this [as were others ie. the 'Angel' area of London] and is a good example of how the 'look' evolved . In 1977 from a mixture of cultures and styles emerged what was the embryonic 'casual' . Straight jeans , trainers , polo shirts and tracksuit tops were combined to create the 'look' . Some of this group went to football and the scene grew from there . The early London 'casual' look from 1977 may have consisted of straight 'Fiorucci' jeans , Adidas , Gola or Puma trainers , Lacoste polo shirts , Gabicci jumper/cardigans , lambswool jumpers , tracksuit tops and a 'wedge' or plain , short 'side parting' haircut . It had no name at first and was just considered a 'smart' look . It evolved and moved on picking up pace and emerged post 1980 as a huge subculture characterised by expensive sportswear such as Fila , Tacchini and Diadora [and many others] reaching it's zenith around 1982-83 from where on the 'look' changed to be more 'designer' orientated [Armani etc]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Barry Didcock (8 May 2005). "Casuals: The Lost Tribe of Britain: They dressed, andf still dress, cool and fought". The Sunday Herald. 
  2. ^ Steve Redhead (Autumn 2004). "Hit and Tell: a Review Essay on the Soccer Hooligan Memoir". Soccer and Society 5 (3): 392–403. doi:10.1080/1466097042000279625. 
  3. ^ Juliet Ash, Lee Wright (chapter author: Deborah Lloyd) (1988). "Assemblage and subculture: the Casuals and their clothing". In Routledge. Components of dress: design, manufacturing, and image-making in the fashion industry (illustrated ed.). pp. 100–106. ISBN 0-415-00647-3. 
  4. ^ James Hamilton (8 May 2005). "Pundit says: 'learn to love the casuals'". The Sunday Herald 2005-05-08. 
  5. ^ Ken Gelder (chapter author: Phil Cohen) (2005). "Subcultural conflict". In Routledge. The Subcultures Reader. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-415-34416-6. Retrieved 2008-08-15. 

Further reading[edit]

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