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Punk 101: The Black Denim Punk Vest

Posted on Wednesday, June 9, 2010 in Punk Rock 101

I know, I know. Punk isn’t about fashion. It’s about attitude. However, sometimes it’s fun to dress up. There are a few ways to get the mythical black denim vest. One way is to get a blue denim vest (either in vest form or by cutting off the sleeves) and dye it black. This method works okay – it’s not a solid, crisp black usually turns out blackish/gray but it does have a diy feel to it. The other way is to simply get a black denim vest. There’s a couple of websites that sells them. My favorite is Black and Blue. It isn’t the cheapest out there but it’s American made so you aren’t getting a vest made in a sweatshop. To me, part of being punk is being ethical about what you buy when you can. I own a vest from them and the only problem with it is the extra wide arm holes are too wide. I’m female-bodied so not that broad plus I am wearing it solo and not over clothing. If you were planning on wearing the vest over clothing it might be an advantage which is why it was designed that way. But, for my purpose it just looks baggy due to the big holes. So, if that’s a concern – just order the jacket (same price) and cut off the sleeves to make a vest with normal size arm holes. The fit for me, other than the arm holes, is just right and I highly recommend it.

Now that you got a quality vest – what are you going to do to it? The punk vest is a labor of love and can be very time consuming. The last vest I made took 30 hours which was relatively short. The next vest I am planning is going to take 60 hours at least. Unless you’re going to silkscreen your own patches – there’s lots of different sites to get patches from. It just depends what bands you are into – you can either browse a site like Angry Young and Poor, Interpunk, or Crustpunks. Or just google band names you like. Try to stay off of Ebay – there’s one guy on there who’s selling Contravene patches for $7.50 – for $7.50 I’d make my own patch but people are buying them. There are some really cool back patches at Punk Stuff and if you have a month to wait (they custom print all their orders so it takes a month to get it usually) – Night Gaunt Graphics has some awesome stuff. You can also get studs for your vest from Studs and Spikes. I don’t recommend getting spikes since they can hurt people in the pit or with any physical contact. Studding denim is really easy because you don’t need to poke holes through it first as with thicker material but it still takes a LONG time. If you want to learn how to stud, there’s how-to-videos online – just google or youtube them. Try to get brass based studs – they cost more but they don’t rust like the steel ones do with time and wear. Just be patient – with a punk vest, you get what you give.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Good luck!

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