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Urban street-wise Greasers
"Hey remember me? I'm the teen angel."
The name "greaser" came from their greased-back
hairstyle, which involved combing back hair using hair wax, hair gel, creams,
tonics or pomade. The term "greaser" reappeared in later decades as
part of a revival of 1950s popular culture.
Clothing usually worn by greasers included fitted T-shirts
in white or black (often with the sleeves rolled up), ringer T-shirts, Italian
knit shirts, Baseball shirts, bowling shirts, "Daddy-O"-style shirts,
denim jackets, leather jackets, black or blue jeans (with rolled-up cuffs
anywhere from one to four inches), baggy cotton twill work trousers, black
leather pants or vests, bomber jackets, letterman jackets, tank tops, khaki
pants and suits. Common accessories included bandannas, black leather gloves,
fedoras, motorcycle helmets, vintage leather caps, stingy-brim hats, flat caps
and chain wallets. Common footwear included motorcycle boots (such as harness
boots or engineer boots), army boots, winklepickers, brothel creepers, cowboy
boots and Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars. In England the greasers are called
teddyboys and they wear drape jackets, creepers and ducktail hairstyles.
Typical hairstyles included the pompadour, the Duck's ass, S-Curls, Finger
Waves, Afros with parts or shaped like pompadours, and the more combed-back
"Folsom" style. These hairstyles were held in place with pomade like
suavecito and layrite, wax, or hair creams such as brylcreem.
The leather jacket, as popularized by pilots during World
War II, became an icon of greaser culture. Compared with the previous decades,
the 1950s were considered dull and the youths craved a new sense of adventure.
The leather jacket marked greaser youths as daring and adventuresome young men,
like the pilot heroes of the recent war.