In Britain the spectacular nature of punk as a style surpassed that of the United States. Westwood's designs— from "Destroy" T-shirts, bum bags, tartan bondage trousers, safety-pinned and ripped muslin shirts, and slo-ganed clothing—were a visible affront to a population who, for the most part, regarded long hair on a man as a concern. While youth cultures had previously been vilified within the national press for violence and drug taking, punk directly challenged the dress aesthetic and morals of a conservative nation. Beyond the Kings Road in 1976, 1977, and 1978, the influence of McLaren and Westwood diminished rapidly. Though they may have attracted a contingent of followers in London and their home counties, punk was a nationwide phenomenon and as such developed a style that was perhaps more coherent and less showy than Westwood's ready-to-wear clothing.

This do-it-yourself (D.I.Y.) aesthetic consisted of Hebdige's "bricolage" as the throwing together of a series of looks based around a few staple elements, such as mohair sweaters, tight jeans, and "jelly shoes." There was also the widespread use of secondhand clothing from charity shops and rummage sales—suits with T-shirts and basketball boots, collarless granddad shirts, and perox-ided hair—with or without the ubiquitous stenciling and letter art of favorite bands, anarchist slogans, or the Situationist politicizing of groups such as The Clash.

This aesthetic was perhaps more subdued than the Kings Road look, but is more representative of punk as a dress code within the United Kingdom both for individuals and bands such as The Buzzcocks, The Damned, The Adverts, 999, and out on a style limb The Undertones. By 1977 punk's popularity as a musical form had seen by then the infamous Grundy television interviews; the Sex Pistols single "God Save the Queen" reaching number one in the week of the Queen's Golden Jubilee; and the interest of record companies in signing up groups who claimed in any manner, shape, or form to espouse a punk belief.

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