Aesthetics Wiki
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2 Tone is a genre of music that combines Ska (brought over by waves of Jamaican immigrants to the UK) with certain elements of Punk and New Wave. Despite the contradicting styles, 2 Tone blends these genres, making for a faster rendition of the ska genre. Many 2 Tone songs are in fact covers of Jamaican songs, such as 'A Message to You, Rudy', 'Monkey Man', and 'Time Hard'. The name comes from the record label of the same name, which was founded by Jerry Dammers, keyboardist of The Specials. Between its music and visuals, 2 Tone became a significant subculture in the British alternative music scene. Fans of 2 Tone are often referred to as Rude Boys (or rudeboyrudierudi, and rudy). Rude Boy came from a slang term that originated from 1960s Jamaican street culture.

Coming along at a time of great upheaval in Thatcher-era Britain, 2 Tone providing youth with an outlet for their discontent and an escape through dancing. Also a key aspect of both the 2 Tone label, music, and the bands themselves was promoting equality and denouncing racism. The checkerboard motif symbolizes a union between the races, and many 2 Tone bands had both black and white members.


  • Checkerboard Pattern: The checkerboard pattern, inspired by the iconic black and white checkerboard used on ska album covers, is commonly seen in clothing, accessories, and even home decor.
  • Black and White Contrast: The use of black and white as primary colors creates a striking contrast in the visuals of the 2 Tone aesthetic. This contrast is often incorporated into clothing, album covers, and promotional materials.
  • Ska Band Logos: Many ska bands associated with the 2 Tone movement had unique logos or typography that became visual symbols of the aesthetic. These logos often feature bold, clean lines and striking designs.
  • Ska Album Artwork: The album artwork of 2 Tone bands often features bold, eye-catching designs, with a combination of black and white or vibrant colors. The artwork reflects the energy and rebellious spirit of the ska and 2 Tone music scenes.


2 tone fashion 1979 to 1981

2 tone fashion from 1979-1981

  • Slim-Fit Tailoring: The fashion style of 2 Tone is influenced by the mod subculture, which is known for its emphasis on sharp, tailored clothing. 2 Tone fashion often features slim-fit suits, tailored trousers, and fitted shirts that create a sleek and polished appearance.
  • Two-Tone Suits: The 2 Tone aesthetic is closely associated with the fashion style of ska musicians. Two-tone suits, typically featuring a combination of black and white, are a signature visual element of the aesthetic.
  • Statement Accessories: Accessories play a significant role in 2 Tone fashion. Items like fedora hats, sunglasses, braces (suspenders), skinny ties, and pork pie hats are often worn to enhance the overall look and make a statement.
  • Mod-Inspired Fashion: The 2 Tone aesthetic draws influences from the mod subculture, which is characterized by sharp, tailored clothing. This includes slim-fit suits, button-down shirts, skinny ties, and loafers.
  • Rude Boy Fashion: The 2 Tone aesthetic is closely linked to the rude boy subculture, which emerged in the ska and reggae scenes. Rude boy fashion includes elements such as pork pie hats, suspenders, skinny ties, and tailored trousers.


The Specials band

The Specials, a favorite band among 2 Tone SKA fans