5 street styles

2014-06-15 10:45

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It was there in the 1976 uprising. It was there alongside the Madiba jive in 1994 and it’s with us today, in our fashion, our music and our dance battles. Pantsula isn’t a trend. It’s a culture. Take a look at five street styles.

1. Pantsula
The pantsula look has seen multiple alterations?–?from Stetson hat, zoot suits and Bally shoes to two-piece outfits by Dickies and a Dajicorp sporty to match. Pantsula is as street as it is high-end; it’s the dapper grootman listening to jazz from the Kofifi era in an upmarket restaurant and the outhie sipping on a Black Label while playing dice at the street corner. Timeless! Classic!

2. Sbujwa
One word: skhothane. Ever since a TV exposé “uncovered” the excessive, expressive culture of spilling custard and burning clothes to show off, the colour-blocking trend reminiscent of Shangaan artists like Penny Penny has been South Africa’s in-joke. But amabujwa have been rocking clothes with a similar aesthetic since the mid-2000s when they dethroned pantsula as the trending look in neighbourhoods across the country. Think tight-fitting jeans and floral shirts. Oh, and who can forget the evergreen Carvela shoe?

3. African
This dashing look speaks to a certain sense of awareness about the African continent. It’s for the globetrotting, future-forward powerhouses of our generation; for those who dream of a more integrated, borderless and classless society despite being associated with a certain “class” themselves. Think perfectly tailored suits and skirts with a dash of Kente cloth. Anyone rocking an accessory with African print on it is bound to get at least one nod an hour from passers-by.

4. Hipster
This is the preferred look for art school kids whose very existence is a cultural mashup. Jackets that come out screaming 1995 are worn with an almost-regal disregard for size. Doc Martens boots support all body types and anything from torn pantihose to washed-out jeans. Faces are covered in either the most subliminal shades of make-up or the darkest, grungiest shades. Vintage meets future. Old is the new and whatever is new is probably old to this future-forward crowd. And they manage to make it all look so cool and effortless.

5. B-Boy/Girl
Feel like going back to 1985? Or 1973? Or forward to 2020? Well, the timeless look of the B-boy is your spaceship, safely guarded by vintage Adidas tracksuits and fresh sneakers since LL Cool J's mother told him to knock people out or since Run-DMC were battling Steven Tyler's wails. The B-boy aesthetic is sporty without being too rigid. It also lends itself to customisation: throw in a gold chain (or two or a few), a Kangol hat and Gazelle shades, and you’re good to go. Swag

» Get City Press newspaper today to read our #Trending feature on Pantsula.

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