Cut-off

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Motorcycle club members wearing cut-offs bearing various patches Gypsy Joker Protest Run 5.jpg
Motorcycle club members wearing cut-offs bearing various patches
Biker's vintage cut-off adorned with club badges Kutte Motorrad vorn.jpg
Biker's vintage cut-off adorned with club badges

A cut-off, battle jacket, battle vest or kutte in heavy metal subcultures, is a type of vest or jacket which originated in the U.S. military, specifically the Army Air Corps, where pilots and other aviation personnel would collect patches or other insignia to put on regulation bomber jackets or flight suits. The practice continued within the biker subculture and later found popularity in punk and various heavy metal subcultures. Biker, metal and punk subcultures differ in how the garment is prepared, what decorations are applied, and how this is done.

Contents

Cut-offs are usually made from leather or denim jackets with their sleeves removed, or cut very short, and often adorned with patches, badges and painted artwork that display motorcycle club affiliations known as colours, [1] [2] or alternatively band names, political affiliations, beliefs, or sexual acts performed. [3]

In the 1970s and 1980s, cut-offs were almost always blue denim. Thrash metal fans favoured heavily washed denim, while members of one British motorcycle club bleached theirs until they were almost white.[ citation needed ] From the mid to late 1990s, some punks and metalheads have worn multi-pocketed hunting or fishing vests, both in plain colours and camouflage patterns, and leather cut-offs—always popular with punks,[ citation needed ] and with bikers in recent decades.

Punk vests are often made from leather and heavily decorated with metal studs Anti-NowhereLeague-1-Augustibuller2007.jpg
Punk vests are often made from leather and heavily decorated with metal studs

Punk and hardcore

In punk subculture, cut-offs are often leather (but can also be denim). Typical decorations are metal studs and badges (often painted-on) of bands or political causes, with cloth patches being secondary, ultimately because of the difficulty of doing the required needlework on tough leather. In addition, sleeves are more likely to be kept attached to the body of the jacket. As part of the DIY philosophy of the hardcore punk scene, the vests may be home-repaired with heavy thread, dental floss, or safety pins, and the band logos may be put on using paint and crude home-made stencils. Some wearers also drape chains or other paraphernalia from the vest.

Heavy metal/hard rock fans with vests Battlevests.jpg
Heavy metal/hard rock fans with vests

Heavy metal

Cut-offs in the heavy metal scene are often adorned with patches of logos and album covers of bands, ranging in size from small square patches to large patches that fill the back panel of the vest. The cut-off patch jackets first got popular during the NWOBHM (New wave of British heavy metal). Patches are the main decoration. Studs and badges also adorn cut-offs and continue to be popular to this day.

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Leather subculture Subculture organized around sexual activities that involve leather garments

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Jacket Clothing for the upper body

A jacket is a garment for the upper body, usually extending below the hips. A jacket typically has sleeves, and fastens in the front or slightly on the side. A jacket is generally lighter, tighter-fitting, and less insulating than a coat, which is outerwear. Some jackets are fashionable, while others serve as protective clothing. Jackets without sleeves are vests.

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Rocker (subculture) Member of youth group

Rockers, leather boys, Ton-up boys, and possibly café racers are members of a biker subculture that originated in the United Kingdom during the 1950s. It was mainly centered on British motorcycles and rock 'n' roll music. By 1965, the term greaser had also been introduced to the UK, and, since then, the terms greaser and rocker have become synonymous within the British Isles although used differently in North America and elsewhere. Rockers were also derisively known as Coffee Bar Cowboys. Their Japanese counterpart was called the Kaminari-Zoku.

Outlaw motorcycle club Motorcycle subculture

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1990s in fashion Costume and fashion of the 1990s

Fashion in the 1990s was defined by a return to minimalist fashion, in contrast to the more elaborate and flashy trends of the 1980s. One notable shift was the mainstream adoption of tattoos, body piercings aside from ear piercing and, to a much lesser extent, other forms of body modification such as branding.

<i>Denim and Leather</i> 1981 studio album by Saxon

Denim and Leather is the fourth studio album by English heavy metal band Saxon released in 1981. The album was certified Gold status in the U.K. This was the last album with the classic line up of Saxon, as drummer Pete Gill would leave the band due to a hand injury, later joining Motörhead; this was also seen as the last of their triptych of classic albums.

1980s in fashion Costume and fashion in the 1980s

Fashion of the 1980s placed heavy emphasis on cheap clothes and fashion accessories and very big poofy hair. Apparel tended to be very bright and vivid in appearance. Punk fashion began as a reaction against both the hippie movement of the past decades and the materialist values of the current decade. The first half of the decade was relatively tame in comparison to the second half, which is when the iconic 1980s color scheme had come into popularity.

2000s in fashion Fashion in the decade 2000–2009

2000s fashion is often described as being a global mash up, where trends saw the fusion of previous vintage styles, global and ethnic clothing, as well as the fashions of numerous music-based subcultures. Hip-hop fashion generally was the most popular among young people of all sexes, followed by the retro inspired indie look later in the decade.

Workwear Clothing that is worn in the exercise of a service profession, a craft or an engineering profession

Workwear is clothing worn for work, especially work that involves manual labour. Often those employed within trade industries elect to be outfitted in workwear because it is built to provide durability and safety.

Leather jacket Jacket made of leather

A leather jacket is a jacket-length coat that is usually worn on top of other apparel or item of clothing, and made from the tanned hide of various animals. The leather material is typically dyed black, or various shades of brown, but a wide range of colors is possible. Leather jackets can be designed for many purposes, and specific styles have been associated with subcultures such as greasers, motorcyclists and bikers, mobsters, military aviators and music subcultures, who have worn the garment for protective or fashionable reasons, and occasionally to create a potentially intimidating appearance.

Colors (motorcycling)

Colors are the insignia, or "patches", worn by motorcycle club members on cut-off vests to identify membership of their club and territorial location. Club patches have been worn by many different groups since the 1960s. They are regarded by many to symbolize an elite amongst motorcyclists and the style has been widely copied by other subcultures and commercialized.

2010s in fashion Fashion-related events during the 2010s

The 2010s were defined by hipster fashion, athleisure, a revival of austerity-era period pieces and alternative fashions, swag-inspired outfits, 1980s-style neon streetwear, and unisex 1990s-style elements influenced by grunge and skater fashions. The later years of the decade witnessed the growing importance in the western world of social media influencers paid to promote fast fashion brands on Pinterest and Instagram.

Heavy metal subculture Culture of heavy metal fans

Fans of heavy metal music have created their own subculture that encompasses more than just appreciation of the style of music. Fans affirm their membership in the subculture or scene by attending metal concerts, buying albums, growing their hair long in most to (almost) all cases, wearing jackets or vests often made of denim and adorned with band patches and often studs, and since the early 1980s, by contributing to metal publications.

2020s in fashion Fashion-related events during the 2020s

The fashions of the 2020s represent a departure from 2010s fashion. They have been largely inspired by styles of the early to mid 2000s and 1980s. Popular brands in the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia during this era include Adidas, Nike, Globe International, Vans, Kappa, Tommy Hilfiger, Asics, Ellesse, Ralph Lauren, Forever 21, The North Face, and Superdry.

References

  1. Lyman, Michael D. (1989). Gangland: Drug trafficking by organized criminals.
  2. Hendley, Nate. American Gangsters, Then and Now: An Encyclopedia.
  3. Hummer, Don. Handbook of Police Administration. p. 276.