Teddy Girl Takeover

When you have as short an attention span as I do, and as great an affinity for random knowledge, you spend a lot of time on Wikipedia. You know, you go looking for one thing, then you see an interesting link to another article, and again… and before you know it you’ve gone from space shuttles to prickly pear cactus. Btw… if you’ve never played the Wikipedia game, now is the time to start.

Anyway, I was on a tangent and somehow ended up reading a list of subcultures. One of which I was not familiar was the Teddy Girls.

These girls were the bad-a**es of 1950’s london. Mostly from working-class families, they put a feisty androgynous spin on Edwardian fashion.

Amazingly enough these pictures, all from British filmmaker Ken Russell, are the only surviving professional photos of the Teddy Girls known. This article gives more background on the history of the photos and Teddy Girls and is SUPER interesting. Here’s a morsel:

“We weren’t bad girls… We were all right. We got slung out of the picture house for jiving up the aisles once, but we never broke the law. We weren’t drinkers. We’d go to milk bars, have a peach melba and nod to the music, but you weren’t allowed to dance. It was just showing off: ‘Look at us!’ We called the police ‘the bluebottles’ – you’d see them come round in a Black Maria to catch people playing dice on the corner. But we’d just sit on each other’s doorsteps and play music.”

-Teddy Girl Rose Shine

Oh, the 50s. Milk bars, not being allowed to dance, police concerned with dice players. The good ol’ days. What ever happened to milk bars? And pencil skirts, rolled-up jeans and jackets with velvet-lined collars? Heck yeah!

What a heaping helpin’ of attitude these girls served up.

The last picture is definitely my favorite. Slightly reminiscent of Lulu Letty. Or I guess it would be the other way around…

What have I learned?

1. I need a black blazer.
2. I have a good reason to wear all those random neck scarves I have lying around.
3. Roll up my jeans!!! (Summertime, fast approaching, demands this of me regardless.)

How exciting is it to find an obscure (totally modern-able) vintage subculture look?
Maybe only exciting to huge fashion history geeks like me.




1 thought on “Teddy Girl Takeover

  1. What a great read! These chicks had style, that's for sure! I am a victim of short-attention-span-surfing, and love every second of obscure information I pick up.

    Scarves are the new tan.

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