A fashion victim's paradise...

hermey, before and after

OUTSIDER webzine proudly presents...


the (not so) essential guide to the petty punk lifestyle.

since the popularization of the sex pistols, there's been a certain style associated with punk rock (actually i happen to think it started before that... richard hell and patti smith both had great fashion sense if you ask me), whether it be clothes, artwork, accessories, or even, dare i say it... MUSIC?? and what i believe to be the basic concept behind 'punk style' can be summed up by 2 characteristics:

1. laziness, or just plain apathy, or minimalism (arty-farty way of saying 'laziness')

2. the idea of taking something OLD (i.e. rock 'n roll or a pair of jeans or a magazine ad for makeup) and making it NEW (punk rock, torn jeans held together with safety pins and patches, or graffitti art).

so, with this in mind, OUTSIDER webzine presents the essential guide to "customizing your shit"!!!

rotten, barbie, joey, sharon, pursey


alot of people would disagree with me (morons!), but the way you look says alot about you, not just as a punk rock connosuer, but as a general human being. people (in general) are obsessive about the way they look. even if you don't care, that's still the way you WANNA look, like YOU DON'T CARE. otherwise, you wouldnt refuse to buy certain clothes at the thrift store that cost just as much as the clothes youre purchasing. you wanna look like a bum. which is fine. you wouldnt buy the shirt that says "i ran the extra mile for jesus" or whatever the fuck it says, because you dont want people to think you're a jesus freak. instead you buy the yoohoo shirt because you love that chocolatey goodness. you wouldnt buy the $5.00 cardigan sweater, but you would buy the $25.00 leather jacket. it's only logical: you need to have clothes to wear, so you wanna choose clothes that suit your own personality, and, in turn, YOUR OWN PERSONAL LOOK.


now some customizations can happen by accident, much like a scar on your body. it's adds character, it tells a story (i.e. if you snag your jacket on a fence while running from the cops). you can either:

a) leave the tear alone, as is,

b) safety pin it back together, or

c) put a patch over it (this one requires you know at least a little about sewing).

these alterations usually look much better if left to chance, but if you feel like you HAVE TO do it purposely, knock yourself out.

jeans are ALOT of fun. you can tear the shit out of those fuckers.

another grat way to customize with tearing is a t-shirt. t-shirts still remain as one of the cheapest articles of clothing you can get. you can tear off the sleeves, collar, and even the bottom seam to look REALLY ragged, and for that 'added touch' put a slogan, band name, or drawing on the front or back.

if you can get ahold of it, there's such a thing as t-shirt transfer paper. you obviously have a computer, so that's not even an issue. what it is is iron-on transfer paper for your computer printer, and you can print anything you want to put on a shirt, jacket, etc. and iron it on.

of course, you have to have an iron.

the process is easy:

step 1: the image

first you'll have to find an image (or, if you're that way inclined, draw your own damn thing), either on the internet or, if you got a scanner, in a mag or book.

once you find what youre looking for, copy and paste it into MS paint or picture it!, or whatever graffix software you use.

flip the image so that it's mirrored (backwards) and print it out onto a sheet of the transfer paper. make sure the paper is loaded into the printer WHITE SIDE UP. the other side will have the company name or something on it.

step 2: trimming

make sure you trim off all excess (extra) paper around the image. scissors work great.

step 3: the transfer

heat your iron ON DRY (do NOT use steam), make sure it's on the proper temp for cotton, and lay your t-shirt down. iron out all creases where your image is going to be applied.

once the iron is hot, place the image face down on your shirt, and press the iron down firmly, allowing the image to stick to the fabric. DO NOT DRAG THE IRON. only press down for 10 seconds or so and lift. repeat this process till every bit of the paper has been applied. it doesnt hurt to heat the same space 3 or 4 times. allow to cool.

step 4: peeling

after the paper has cooled down, peel it off from one corner. go at a diagonal if possible. throw away the paper. hey!!! you got teflon stuck to your shirt!

step 5: wash 'n wear

this will make the shirt 10 times more comfortable, and better looking too!

wash that bad boy in-side-out. don't wash it with lights or brand new darks, since they have a tendency to bleed. wash on cold/cold. and for christssake, don't bleach it!!! EVER!!! dry on delicate or air dry.

congrats, you made your own shirt.

also, if you can find your way to an art/craft store, ask for paint markers. theyre like paint in a marker (hence the name), and you can use em on fabric or surfaces and they won't wash out.


in the case of things like jackets and vests, it's not uncommon to decorate the shit out of em, whether it be with patches, buttons, pins, paper clips, chains, handcuffs, or other trinkets. patches are the easiest thing in the world to make.

get a good sized piece of canvas (either from and old pair of jeans, a jacket, or if you got dough or a skilled pair of sticky fingers, a craft store) and draw your ummm, whatever, in the upper left corner (so as not to waste material) and cut it off the rest of the material. SUPERGLUE is great for stopping frays, which will eventually ruin your artwork. just make sure youre in a ventilated place though or you might not be able to function anymore (the ramones' "now i wanna sniff some glue" is a good song but i wouldn't use it as my anthem). also, when you see smoke it's normal, just be careful and take a pause or you could ignite the canvas. and dont glue the fucker to your hand.

let it dry or just glue it right to the clothing. you can also use safety pins, straight pins, paper clips, thread or a combination of the above to keep it stuck to your clothing.

superglue can alos be used to keep already existing frays from getting any further, but it also makes them sharp and jagged (just a warning).

superglue doesn't come out in the wash.

you might also be able to find "fun buttons", which are buttons you can put your own drawings inside and theyre easy to nick due to their small size.


i see no reason to try to be color-coordinated every time you leave the house. grab a shirt, pull your pants up, and wa-la!!! you're fuckin dressed. outstanding work.

of course, if you like to match, i'm no one to tell you not to.

i find that black and white are the 2 colors that will match any other color, no matter what (ain't i SMART?). so i get black shoes or boots everytime i need a new pair. also, it helps to wear black shoes because they look good long after theyve already gotten dirty (not that a little stain here and there ever bothered me).

i happen to like mismatched colors. there are alot of color combos that actually look great.

contrasting colors (i.e. blue with orange, red with green, yellow with purple) look really good together if you ask me. navy blue and dark green look awesome together, as do navy blue and red. actually navy goes with about anything.

who said plaids dont go with stripes?? i happen to think tight plaids and sleeveless striped t-shirts look awesome together.

i'm gonna cut this part short because it's seeming kinda pointless now and i'm fresh outta smokes.


i fucking HATE baggy pants!!! i used to like em back when i was a "skater", but once i gave up on that crowd, i realized how stupid they look. most people who wear baggy shit look like they're trying to be "hip hop". and another thing, you have to tighten your belt (assuming that the pants weren't MEANT to be loose) so much that the waist doubles over in the front and sticks out under the belt.

pants that were designed to be "loose fit" or baggy or "relaxed" can also cost up to 3 times as much. companies like JNCO decided they could cash in on the baggy pants/sagging trend and DID THEY EVER. i wouldnt even buy a pair of JNCO's at salvation army. just cause i think they look RETARDED.


trends and fads are something that punks are supposedly against. a trend is something, whether it's music or a style of dress, that constantly changes with the crowd. a FAD is a trend that only lasts a relatively short period of time.

now i agree that punk SHOULD be the opposite of trendiness. there's nothing wrong with copying something you like, as long as you put your own twist on it and you don't keep watching to see what the new 'thing' is. i can't stand the cunt who will only wear what's 'in' and goes out and buys a whole new wardrobe once something new comes along. the fashion world sems to be only interested in FADS, whether they realize it's a fad at the time or not, i dunno. but it seems like most things you see people wearing (usually the more obsurd things) turn out to be fads.

the thing that i find most amusing (yet disturbing at the same time) is when punk fashion techniques get adopted by the mainstream. i'l give you some good examples:

jeans with the safety pins, frays, and patches already in them.

the *exaggerated* faded or soiled look.

long sleeves with 'thumb holes' seamed into them.

blue-collar work shirts sold at the record chain store.

ballcaps that are worn out and frayed.

seamless t-shirts.

t-shirts with drawings of buttons on them.

and the list goes on. eventually these trends do die, making them harmless fads, and even though you can tell the the difference between a creative, DIY wardrobe and a well-tailored, chic, psuedo-punk imitation, it causes alot of the shock value to disappear, thus watering and DUMBING down the original idea.



there are some of us who are too lazy to do any of the above things (or maybe just think it's dumb). if you truly are NOT concerned with fashion, or you'd rather just wear pre-tailored, semi-designer clothes, that's cool. but don't knock the rest of us who feel too creative to settle for someone else's design.

if you're in the thrift store, look through the shirts and you could find some really great shit. i found a Louisville Slugger T-shirt (the official baseball bat of the juvenile delinquent!) last time i was in there. once i found a shirt for this 50's hotrod diner called "bumpers". and sometimes youll find great plaids, jeans and jackets. thrift store shopping is a great way to go.

and dont forget to ask grandpa for his old stuff.

accessories (i.e. wristwear, necklaces, belts, earrings, etc.) are a great touch to your look. not only do they look great, they're also fun to collect!!!

notice i said COLLECT. i never buy my accessories (except occasionally from the thrift store), i usually find them, gaffle 'em or people give em to me. yeah, i've lost alot of shit over time, but i always find new stuff. and if you're resourceful, creative, and confident, you can make the smallest piece of junk look badass.


a safety pin is one of the most useful things in the world. it can be used to pin together holes in clothes, as an earring, to pin patches on, as a decoration, etc.

i used to jab the shit out of my ears trying to get a safety pin through the hole. after a while i realized that i could FILE OFF the point, so that it would be the same as putting a real earring in. you can use a nail file or sand paper... if you don't give a fuck about getting poked, or that's never been a problem for you, don't worry about it.

when i rip sleeves off or rip a hole in my jeans, sometimes the rip goes off course. so i simply go back to the place where the tear started to stray, and start over. after the rip is finished, i safety pin it back together at that point. sometimes it looks better than if i just made a straight tear.

some safety pins are just the right size for bottle caps (if you're fanatical about one particular drink). say you only drink heineken. you can put a safety pin on your jacket and snap the bottle cap onto it, making a heineken button. you can also glue the bottle cap onto the pin if that doesnt work.


just about ANYTHING can be used as a wrist band. pieces of cloth (after you tear your clothes up) look really good tied around your wrist. i like to wear chains and rubberbands. i also have a leather band that used to have pyramid studs on it, but i took em off and drew cheetah print on it, in white paint.

sid vicious used to wear those athletic wristbands, like sweat bands, you know? i haven't been able to find those anywhere, so i used to take the ankles off socks and fold over the torn part and stitch it together. looked pretty good.

the other day my friend jimmy was over. outside my house we found an old dog leash. so i automatically snatched that fucker up, with the chain in mind. jimmy asked if he could have the leather loop.

i assumed he was gonna make it a keychain. "no, im gonna make it a bracelet", he said. so we cut it in half and he safety pinned it together to fit his wrist, one for each wrist. the one was red-side-out, and he flipped the other one to the tattered grayish side. i still haven't done anything to the chain.


of course there's the obvious, ever-so-popular PADLOCK CHAIN. those are easy. might i suggest though using a luggage lock, since it's smaller and therefore lighter. there's also the bootlace (thanks to peter don't care for the suggestion). wrap it around your neck (not tight, idiot) and tie it. cheap easy look. dog tag chains (the kind on ceiling fans), toilet chains (with the figure8 links), and don't forget NECKTIES!!! i prefer solids, plaids or stripes. anything else looks too "posh".


i have a few different belts, two of which i made myself.

one is a single suspender (brace). my suspenders broke to shit, so i ripped the 2 of em apart and put a ring on each end of one. then i put a leash clasp on one end as a buckle. have to make it extra short for it to actually hold your pants up, but it works. elastic belts are usually just for show anyway.

the other one i made is just a shipping belt (the kind like you'd see in the child seat of a shopping cart). i cut it to be just the right size.

there's tons of cool belts you can make with a little imagination. i've gone so far as to use a rope.

you'll do anything when your pants are fallin down.


you can customize alot more than just your clothes. your car (if you have one) is a great place to start.

safety pins & cheap beer


for instance, my van has a few of my own personal works on it. there's my "punk is coming!" novelty plate on the front. i made a cardboard stencil with the words on it, using a utility knife, then i spray-painted one of those plastic dealership advertisement plates with black paint, put the stencil on it and sprayed white paint over it. it's mounted on the front bumper.

next, i spraypainted the back door (the hatch) black (the van is grey). then i took white paint marker and drew safety pins around the liscence plate.

PUNK is coming!

then there's the antenna. i bent that fucker all up so it's shaped like a defromed crazy straw. then i took one of those antenna smiley face balls (it was one of the jack-in-the-box fast food place ones) and sanded the face off. i spray painted the ball yellow and drew a BETTER face on it (X's for eyes and a wiggly mouth) and drove a screw in it's head (with a bloody dripping hole). if a smiley face is the symbol for hippies and teenyboppers, then this is the total opposite.

there's lots of other ways to personalize your vehicle. floor mats, rearview mirror ornaments, steering wheel and seat covers, etc. you'll have to find the accessories that work best for you. and don't forget bumper stickers!!!

he used to be so happy...


depending on how strict your landlord is (or your PARENTS, for those too young to be out on your own), you can also customize your living space. if you're rich enough to own your own house, you obviously won't have to worry about that. so here's some pointers.

color: decide what color(s) you want the walls, floor, and ceiling to be. or you might even decide not to have color at all (if the room is unfinished. i love the look of drywall).

wall hangings: posters, stickers, mirrors, photos, spraypaint, marker, computer printouts... the possibilites are endless.

the floor: i like pieces of carpet, sorta like the poor man's area rug. or there's always linoleum if you can get your hands on it.

furniture: seems like old second-hand sofas arent too hard to come by. ask around. i have this stainless steel-framed couch with fake leather cushions that i got from my old workplace. a nice worn-in armchair is a nice touch too. coffee tables come in handy when company comes over. dressers are nice too if youre into that sorta thing (some of us prefer living out of laundry baskets). and something to put your TV or stereo on wouldnt be a bad idea. (NOTE: all of the afore mentioned can also be decorated. see "wall hangings" for ideas)

windows: ive found that a sheet or blanket makes for nice curtains. a good tool for underage drinkers.

if youre cheap and/or resourceful, you can make your own little personal dive look great. and best of all, it's easy and fun. really.


well, i hope you all enjoyed this little rambling, and i hope i gave you some good ideas. don't forget, part of punk rock is originality. even if you have to start out copying someone else, you can add enough of your own personal touches to seem really creative...

just have fun.