Statement dressers: “I did try to do the whole ‘blend in and don’t make waves’ thing, but that has never been me”

As a teenage music fan in rural Wicklow in the mid-1980s, I was deeply enamoured with the whole goth-light look sported by Robert Smith of The Cure, Jim and William Reid of The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Ian McCulloch of Echo & the Bunnymen. Back then, your tribe was everything, and what you wore advertised your musical tastes in a way that today’s teenagers would probably find hard to fathom. Proper 1980s’ goths were scary — with their 18-hole Dr Martens, white faces and shiny PVC — while Cureheads were somewhat cuddly by comparison.

he look I was after mostly consisted of ripped grey jeans, oversized boot runners, a white shirt and a dinner jacket. At the very least, this was topped off by backcombed hair and, if you were really committed, ruby-red lipstick. For women, the look was pretty much the same, perhaps with the addition of some purple paisley.

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