How to Dress Like a Rudeboy


Dust off your dapper duds, ska kids -- the rudie style is back. Twist traditional formal wear styles to staight-up stick it to the man and rail against the system to your heart's content, but also show off your ability to appear as sharp as they come. Hold on to your trilby -- this take on high-end menswear ain't your grandfather's suit, son.

Style Basics

  • Aesthetically inspired by the Jazz Age, gangsters and cowboys, the rudeboy look takes elements of men's formal wear and tricks them out in individualistic style. Tailored suits with cropped pants, old-school headwear and vibrantly colored socks, ties and scarves make this hipster style stand out against a sea of plain business wear and casual garb. Generally over-the-top in presentation, the style boasts subversion and challenges everyday clothing choices.

The History

  • Against a background of poverty, unemployment and the development of ska in the dance halls of 1950s Jamaica, rudeboys, or "rudies," first appeared. The style resurges regularly; once in the UK in the 1960s, then again in the 1980s punk scene. Today's revival is pure hipster chic.

Suit Up

  • A slim, narrow fit in a suit is a must for any rudeboy. Trousers are typically cropped or feature no "break" -- that is, the hem lifts to reveal brightly colored and patterned socks. Cuffs are optional. Under the suit jacket, a collared dress shirt in an unexpected color or pattern is a must. Some rudeboys don waistcoats, while others do well with a skinny patterned tie in the classic musician look. No one piece must match the others -- mix and match colors, patterns and fabrics at will until you've achieved your own take on the style.

The Extras

  • Accessories are far from optional -- in fact, they make the look. Footwear includes shiny dress shoes, loafers or brogues paired with colorful socks. Button, tassel and other decorative details on shoes show individual style. Bust out your best hat -- fedora, trilby or pork-pie -- or forgo the hat for a classic coif. In cold weather, toss on a big dress coat in a bold, unusual color. Look cool behind a pair of classic dark sunglasses. Always add a little something unique to you -- a colorful pocket square, a pocket watch or chain, lapel or tie pins or any jewelry that speaks to you. Don't hold back -- this style demands to be heard.


  • Photo Credit Ysbrand Cosijn/iStock/Getty Images
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