Uniforms between fetish and provocation
Hardly any other style is still as polarizing as the military look, even within the alternative scene. Fashion statement or even lovingly cherished fetish to some, plain provocation to others - at least when it comes to the uniform style. Here, however, it's all too often overlooked that it's not only military personnel that's uniformed. Uniforms can be found in many occupational areas, not just in military and police. Firefighters wear uniforms, as well as aviators, sailors and railroaders do. The service clothing of nurses and maids can be read as uniform, and even the habit of nuns and monks. School uniforms are especially common in the anglosphere and in Japan. When speaking of uniform inspired fashion, yet it's the military fashion that is usually meant, encouraging the imagination with its tension between serving and ruling.
Hands down, uniform fans may also quickly evoke right-wing associations, making others hypothesizing about certain sympathies for the darkest chapter of German history - but mostly, these assumptions are wrong. There's no denial about the fact that some symbols and insignia of the Third Reich, however, are sometimes all-to-innocently appropriated. Whether consciously or out of ignorance - we would like to distance ourselves from that clearly. Certainly and just as everywhere else, there are some groups and people with Nazi sentiments within the dark scene, but overall you have to state that these are just a small minority. No wonder, as goths are traditionally non-conformists, standing outside the gaudy mainstream and thus appreciate tolerance as one of the highest virtues. Any attitude of intolerance out of fear of otherness, as well as the pursuit of conformity and compartmentalization is nothing but absurd and preposterous.
The uniform style in music and dark scene
Today uniforms are especially common at neofolk and EBM gigs, but their use as a stage prop began in a completely different environment, of all things possible in the disco scene: With catchy tunes and cheerful lyrics, the Village People brought the queer feeling of the 70s into the mainstream, dressed as masculine stereotypes, which included, among others, a policeman and a soldier - a testament to how appealing uniforms were and still are, even for a wider audience. In the alternative scene it was probably Siouxsie Sioux, rooted in Post Punk with her band Siouxsie and the Banshees one of THE most influential musicians of the Batcave and Gothic scene, who began sporting a militaristic aesthetic on stage, provoking fans and critics as well in a classic punk rock kind of way. Later, the strict look became popular in the EBM scene, less surprising here thinking of the emphasized body awareness of this style as dance music and the often downright demagogic character of its lyrics. Uniform inspired outfits are only a consequent advancement and since the 90s an important aesthetic component both on and off stage at dark electro concerts.
Uniforms for exciting exchanges of power
Of course it's not only for the expression of musical preferences or out of worship for their scene idols when one is wearing an uniform for leisure. The uniform allows slipping into an entirely different role, to shed one's own identity and to adopt a new one that can be, depending on the wearer's proclivity, commanding or subordinate. "Let's play master and servant", just as Depeche Mode sang once. The erotic factor is always there, subliminal or apparently. Be it the stripper who is dressed as a policeman, appearing at the height of a party, arresting one of the ladies there before he finally starts undressing, be it the BDSM scene and their power games, often underlined with military accessories – when it comes to uniforms, they all agree! We at the Andersartig online shop are also convinced of the attractiveness of uniforms and, therefore, offer a fine selection of uniform inspired fashion for ladies and gentlemen. Starting with the way these clothes are designed they make their wearer „stand to attention“ immediately. Broad shoulders for jackets and shirts signal determination, while masculine attributes are emphasized by tight pants. Style elements from vinyl and leather add that hat certain indefinable something. Whether at a concert, in the club or in the darkroom: With Andersartig, friends of military aesthetics are always perfectly served!