By the early 1980s, the post punk world had opened up a wide range of clothing options, and for those of us who were still following the punk ideals some of them seemed very strange indeed. While we were still reworking things from jumble sales and charity shops, some people had another more futuristic vision. Girls were now pairing 1950s coats and dresses with Dr Martens boots, wearing black with bright colours, and outfits were augmented with badges, beads and bags. However by 1980, and on the boys side of the changing rooms, something entirely different was happening…
As the first strains of the new fangled synthesizers were heard, their post punk keyboard players scoured the zeitgeist, for the perfect outfit to compliment their cutting edge equipment. It had to say, modern, clinical, futuristic and had to boldly take them where no other clothing choice had gone before.
It wasn’t too long before every boy in a band with a keyboard was wearing one for photo sessions, single sleeves, and on Top Of The Pops – we’re talking about the early electro jumpsuit.
It probably all started with Devo; five bold jumpsuited fellows with as many flowerpot hats, but DEVO were allowed to do this, Devo were ART. Kraftwerk were also ART and despite their insistence on uniformity, they were not fans of the jumpsuit.
The jumpsuit arrived with the great tide of synth twiddlers, Numan and his Tubeway Army had jumpsuits, Depeche Mode briefly flirted with them, and the keyboard players from Duran Duran to A Flock of Seagulls adopted their distinctive all in one comfort. Maybe they thought that the one-piece gave their keyboarding skills a touch of the astronaut or the lab assistant… or maybe they were all just huge fans of Anneka Rice.