Peg trousers are a forgotten part of the late 70s sartorial scene in my view – everybody remembers tartan bum flaps and the stuff most of us actually didn’t wear. But peg trousers were everywhere. Pleats on men’s trousers are now viewed as the work of Satan but in a world where flat fronted did not reign supreme, as many as sixteen pleats were acceptable on so-called Bowie trousers.
And looking below – what was it with the German NATO jackets that popped up everywhere between 1979 and 1981. There must have been some kind of job lot coming in from Germany and we were just conned into believing they were unbelievably cool. If you remember, they kind of elasticated at the waist.
Some New Wave clothes ads from the back of the music papers in 1979.
As punk spluttered to a standstill in the late 70s – except for some sod awful bands that tried to keep the flame alight – a whole load of youth cults bubbled to the surface. One of them was a revival of the 60s mod sound and look. Around Carnaby Street, you could once more bump into chaps who looked like they’d just been auditioning to be in The Who circa 1966.
The Jam were at the forefront but they were always much, much more than simply a mod revival combo. The Purple Hearts, The Lambrettas and Secret Affair formed the core of this movement and scored some chart hits. But it was an 18 month to two year wave that came and went – though the same could be said of the other youth cults of the time.
The classified ads section of the music papers were full of mod gear you could buy. Here’s a shopping list from 1980 with prices of mod gear on sale at a shop in the Midlands.
Union Jack Fabric Belt – £1.75
The Who belt buckles – £2.90
Target Straight Ties – £2.90
Badges were 40p each or 5 for £1.75 with Lambrettas, Merton Parkas, Specials, Selecter, etc.