Granny Jackets were one of the available clothing options for Punk girls, especially if you just weren’t the type or just not ready to swathe yourself in a Punk leather biker jacket. By 1978, Granny jackets had been added to the canon of possibilities, a brand new palette of second hand clothes that also included old school blazers, military surplus, and striped ties. The jackets could be easily procured from jumble sales and charity shops, and then, if you felt like it, they could be embellished with badges, pins, medals, brooches or patches. As far as disapproval went, Granny jackets worked in roughly the same way that Jelly Beans – the children’s shoes, and plastic sunglasses did – they served not only to upset status quo of what teenage girls should or should not be wearing, but also confounded the parents and the aunties as to why you wouldn’t want something a bit more modern… you know, something new. They were anti-fashion, inexpensive, and fully customisable. And of course, Poly Styrene wore them!
Maybe you’re asking yourself, why on earth would you want to wear the same thing as your Grandma anyway? The truth was, you weren’t wearing the same thing as your Grandma – unless Granny was especially into up to the minute street fashion – which was let’s face it, highly unlikely. You see Granny would have already have had a big clear-out, taking all the unfashionable and “old lady” items, bought in the 1950s and 60s but unworn since Uncle Albert’s funeral in 1971, down to the charity shop, hence the plentiful supply for us. In the meantime Gran would have invested in a spanky new wardrobe in the latest fashion, circa M&S 1976.
Granny jackets ticked a lot of the Punk girl boxes. They were DIY, repurposed, well-made, inexpensive, plentiful, anti-High Street, and to parents, infuriatingly smart…just not in the right way.