Archive | September, 2012

Rockabilly Tattoo History

15 Sep

For those of us who live the retro rockabilly lifestyle, it is not uncommon to have a tattoo or two, or maybe even five, but it still seems that society has a way of judging those people who wear their art on their bodies. Tattoos are far more acceptable now than they were in the 1950’s, but we still want to look at those who  helped make the rockabilly tattoos we love today. For the rockabilly lover this is a way of life, wearing your art on your body.

During the 1950’s, when must of the world was celebrating over the end of the two World Wars and suburbs were sprouting up wherever the eye fell, and the music was sugary and sweet came a new sound – rock and roll. Out of rock and roll came musicians who blended swing, blue grass, and blues together, resulting in rockabilly music.

The people who loved this music were the youth that was stuck in the suburbs being told what to do and when to do. This music was revolutionary. It broke the chains of what convention was and played by its own rules. And there would be no turning back.

While rockabilly music was coming into existence there came someone else who would play a role in our story of tattoo art. This person is Sailor Jerry. Now known for his rum, that was not always the case.

Norman Collins (Sailor Jerry) joined the Navy when he was 19 years old and spent much of his life traveling the world. He spent a lot of time in Southeast Asia, where he was first exposed to tattoo art. He brought this art back with him to the States and set up shop in Honolulu tattooing sailors.

Tattoos and sailors had always been synonymous. Each tattoo represented a sign of good luck and home to them. It was a charm each man wore on his body, a charm that would hopefully bring him home safe and alive to his loved ones.

The most common tattoos for the sailors were swallows, anchors, and of course the pin up girl. These women emblazoned on each man was a sign of what they hoped to come home to, a woman waiting for them (even if they didn’t have a special girl now, they would find one when they reached land).

Between the sailors that were deployed and longed for home, and the rebellious teenage youth, tattoos became symbols for a generation that didn’t want to be a part of the crowd. Those individuals who had tattoos set themselves apart and wore their art on their body. Identifying themselves through the symbols inked on their skin.

While rockabilly began to fade from 1960-1970, it saw a resurgence in the 1980’s. Many punk bands found their inspiration in the original rock and roll of the 1950’s and took it up with a vengeance, adding electric guitar rifts and so much more. With the resurgence of the music came a resurgence of the lifestyle. Since the 1980’s, there have been people that choose to live their life rockabilly, dressing in rockabilly clothing and going to music festivals to celebrate with other fans.

With this choice to live a rockabilly life is the resurgence of retro tattoos. Now, more than ever, you see women and men with iconic images on display. Just as in the time of Sailor Jerry, pin up girls, swallows, stars, anchors, and musical notes are the most popular images to have. Added to that are images of skulls, dice, and classic cars.

Tattoos are a way to identify yourself. They let you know you share something with someone else, similar interests, similar taste in art. But the thing that tattoos do that is most important, they symbolize something to the owner. Each new tattoo is a piece of your own art that you wear each day, and who the heck cares what anyone else thinks about it?!

We love sharing our favorite information with those people who are new to retro/rockabilly/and pin up, but we love it even more when you share with us! After reading this post if you have an awesome tattoo you want to share with our team feel free to post it in the comments, send us a tweet, or go to our Facebook page and share!


Your Vintage Revolution Team at JBR Clothing


Meet the Queen, The Queen of Heartz

7 Sep

After having a few very exciting weeks here at JBR Clothing, we are FINALLY back to a somewhat normal routine for us! As many of you know, we went to Magic to stock up on the latest fall looks for you, then we had to rush home to prep for the launch of our FIRST EVER storefront!

We would like to thank all those lovely ladies who drove out to see us for our grand opening – it was a pleasure to meet you and put faces, voices, and names together with fans we know from Facebook and Twitter!

With the dust having settled, new shipments organized and posted on the site, and our office finally looking clean, we wanted to make sure to blog and introduce you to our latest addition to the JBR Family: Queen of Heartz!!!!

(Image courtesy of Queen of Heartz)

Queen of Heartz is located in beautiful Orange County, founded by Letty Tennant. We met Letty at Magic and fell in love with her, and of course her wonderful clothing. Letty was fun, warm and inviting at her booth, it was honestly what made us stop and take a look at her clothing. And once we saw her designs we knew that many of you would love them!

When we were at the booth the model was wearing this dress, the Priscilla Brown Floral Dress! We had to stop because the material that this dress is constructed from is the highest quality cotton. It was amazing how the skirt was able to hold its full form without the use of the petti coat!!! Sometimes you just don’t want to wear one, and with this dress you don’t have to. Not only that, this cotton is thick and will wear well in the cold winter months. We really think this is a dress many of you will love.

The thing we love about her items are the quality of the material she uses. You really can’t replicate it or find it in another line of clothing. Each one of these dresses is made from hand picked fabrics and the dresses are designed with this in mind. The price of the dress is definitely worth it for the quality of the material. We really feel that these dresses will withstand many trips to the dry cleaner and not look the worse for wear.

Not only does Queen of Heartz carry well crafted everyday dresses, but they carry a bridal line and swimsuits. While these are not items that we are currently carrying at JBR Clothing, if fans enjoy the hand crafted dresses we may branch out depending on fan demand!

If you purchase one of the dresses make sure to send us your review of it! We love to hear what you have to say! Also, if you would like us to do a wrap-up of the Magic show, please leave us a comment and we will be sure to write one for our next post!


Your Vintage Revolution Team at JBR Clothing