The term greaser is associated with rebellious youths of the 1950s who outfitted themselves in leather jackets and jeans with rolled cuffs. Fitted white or black T-shirts were worn under the leather jackets, while motorcycle boots completed the look.Continue Reading
The greaser combed-back hair style, or high pompadour, was kept in place with pomades and gel that gave the hair a shiny appearance, thus giving birth to the term "greaser."
The greaser subculture, prevalent mainly in the northeastern and southern United States, was a working-class faction comprised mainly of white male teenagers. Two of the main greaser icons were James Dean and Marlon Brando, along with rock and roll singers Ritchie Valens, Eddie Cochcran and Gene Vincent.
While predominantly a North America phenomenon, variations of the greaser culture could be found in other countries, such as England, New Zealand, Sweden and Germany. The British equivalent in the 1950s and 1960s was known as a "rocker" or a "ton-up boy."
Arthur Fonzarelli, Danny Zuko and Ponyboy Curtis are three of the most famous fictional greaser characters of all time. These characters and their associated roles in "Happy Days," "Grease" and "The Outsiders," respectively, helped cement the greaser subculture in American pop culture.Learn more about Historical Dress