The late 70s; paying at the gate, standing on the terraces, the football special, the ordinary, Transalpino, plus the birth of terrace fashion. Skinhead/bootboy/mod styles were replaced with a new working class hero. The terrace dresser became known as the casual. The one defining factor appeared to be the ubiquitous trainer.
adidas were held in high esteem with its Stan Smith and Forest Hills holding court before short spells of Diadora with the Borg Elite and Puma with the Menotti and G. Vilas. The look evolved during the 80s, the label became more expensive and the more exclusive it was, the better.
This exclusivity involved tracking down desirable trainers and sportswear from foreign lands.
The casual’s uniform began comprising of labels acquired from these European awaydays. Footwear by adidas in particular and clothes by the likes of Ellesse, Fila, Sergio Tacchini, Cerruti 1881 and Australian L’Alpina, became influential to many. As the 80s unfolded a style wars erupted on the terraces of Britain, with certain areas having its own take on the fashions of the day. London ‘chaps’ adopted the ‘diamond’ Pringle jumper, Lyle and Scott and Lacoste jumpers, Burberry jackets plus Aquascutum shirts as de rigeur.
In November 1982, Wade Smith in Liverpool became the fledgling store that sold just designer sportswear. The shop became a benchmark for others to follow, being the first in Europe and before long numerous stores across the country began opening. As the 80s progressed labels once seen as designer soon became mass market brands.
The casual was still seeking stylish individuality though and new labels such as Pop 84, Chevignon, Chipie, Ball jeans, Bonneville, Verte Vallee, Classic Nouveau emerged, all contributing to the scene. The trainer has remained at the core of the culture for almost 30 years, a fact not lost on the many trainer brands who constantly re-issue timeless classics from the golden era of terrace fashion.