Suedehead (subculture)

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For the Morrissey single, see Suedehead.

The suedehead subculture was an early-1970s offshoot of skinhead subculture in the United Kingdom. Although sharing similarities to 1960s skinheads, suedeheads grew their hair longer and dressed more formally.[1][2] Although often working class like skinheads, some had white collar jobs. A female suedehead was a sort.

Suedeheads wore brogues, loafers or basketweave Norwegians instead of heavy boots. Suedeheads wore suits (especially in check patterns such as Prince of Wales and dogtooth) and other dressy outfits as everyday wear instead of just at dancehalls. Crombie-style overcoats and sheepskin coats became common. Shirts often had large button-down collars. The most common style was a large windowpane check worn under a tank top (known as a sweater vest in North America). Sta-Prest trousers became worn more than jeans, which had been common with skinheads. Another characteristic was coloured socks—such as solid red or blue—instead of plain black or white.[2]

Suedeheads shared the skinheads' interest in rocksteady, reggae, soul music and ska,[2][3] but some suedeheads also listened to British glam rock bands such as The Sweet, Slade and Mott the Hoople.[2][4]

Suedeheads were portrayed in the east end London-based film Bronco Bullfrog and the Richard Allen novel Suedehead.[3][5][6] The Scottish equivalent of the 1970s bootboy, known as Neds, featured in a 2011 film directed by Peter Mullan.[7] In the late 1970s, a suedehead revival developed following the 1977 skinhead revival. This originated with a small number of individuals such as Hoxton Tom McCourt, who also became involved with the mod revival of the late 1970s. Morrissey made a single called "Suedehead" in 1988, although the lyrics have nothing to do with suedehead subculture.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Britain: The Skinheads". Time. 1970-06-08. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 
  2. ^ a b c d de Konigh, Michael (2004). Suedehead Reggae Box Set liner notes. London: Trojan Records. TJETD003. 
  3. ^ a b Morrissey Gets It Off His Chest
  4. ^ RICHARD H KIRK Interview
  5. ^ Bronco Bullfrog @ Nostalgia Central
  6. ^ Suedehead
  7. ^ IMDB