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The Dresiarze or Dresy (literally translating to "Tracksuit Wearers"; Dresiarz/Dres is singular) are a subculture in Poland primarily consisting of working-class young males. It emerged in the late 1980s because of the socio-economic changes in Poland[1] and they are best known for their distinctive looks, attitude and music tastes. The term is often used in a pejorative way and references stereotypes such as wearing tracksuits and other sports attire everyday.

In Polish popular culture, the Dresiarze tend to be stereotyped or stigmatized as people who live small rural towns or in poor districts inside large cities. They tend to have an apolitical mindset, and apart from that, they're usually associated to theft, crime and violence. Music connected to the Dresiarz subculture included Disco Polo and Disco during the 90s, although in the 21st century their music taste shifted towards Techno and House or Rap and Hip-Hop.



The exact reason why the Dresiarz subculture emerged is hard to tell, but during the decade of the 90s, there were many urban subcultures around the globe that emerged among the working-class. Some comparable phenomenoms include the Chavs in the United Kingdom, Gopniks in CIS countries, Canis in Spain, among many other urban tribes, although all of them have their regional and cultural differences.

Some Polish sociologists who investigated this subculture found that the origins of Dresiarze as a distinct social group might be rooted in the political transformation and situation of the country during the decade and the economical transition from communism to capitalism, since a significant percentage of the working-class might have not been able to adapt to the new system. This resulted in small groups of petty thief gangs forming in the country, and they were often labelled "tracksuit workers" (precursor to Dresiarz).


In the 21st century, the Dresiarz subculture started slowly declining due to multiple factors, but especially because a lot of them immigrated to foreign countries (such as the United Kingdom), the Polish unemployement rate rapidly declined and many criminal gangs that were active from the 90s to the 2000s were eliminated. Nowadays the Dresiarze are mostly associated with football hooliganism.


Some elements seen in Dresiarz fashion include:

  • Bold graphic t-shirts with edgy designs
  • Skinny jeans or faux leather leggings
  • Oversized hoodies or bomber jackets
  • Statement sneakers or combat boots
  • Accessories like chunky silver jewelry, flat brim hats, and customized backpacks
  • Layered clothing with a mix of textures like mesh, leather, and denim
  • Rebellious and urban aesthetics
  • Shaved (or partially shaved) heads


Activities associated with the Dresiarz subculture include:

  • Living in tower blocks, tenement houses or "commieblocks"
  • Participating in criminal activities, especially theft or gang violence
  • Listening to Disco Polo, and more recently Techno or Rap
  • Working out, weight lifting and strenght training
  • Driving at high speeds whilst blasting loud music
  • Not respecting personal boundaries or the rights of other people
  • Owning dangerous dog breeds, such as Pit Bulls or American Staffordshire Terriers
  • Participating in dog fights, as well as football hooliganism
  • Modifying cars and participating in car culture
    • Some stereotypical car models they might use include Fiat 126p, BMW 3, BMW 5, Opel Calibra, Volkswagen Golf Mk2 and Honda Civic.


The Dresiarze have been referenced in multiple media, including:


  • Wojna polsko-ruska pod flagą biało-czerwoną / White and Red by Dorota Masłowska (2002)


  • Wożonko (2003)


  • Blok Ekipa / Hoodies Squad (2013-Present)
  • Jeż Jerzy / George the Hedgehog (1996-2011)

Related Songs[]