A true derby girl knows that playing the sport isn’t really about the fishnets, crazy face makeup, or brightly colored team uniforms. However, the sport is lucky enough to be so multifaceted that derby fashion has become a distinguishing hallmark of the sport. In the realm of derby, a skater is faced with a multitude of decisions before bout day, and one of those choices is always, what on earth do I wear? Even if a team has a streamlined uniform, accessories make the construction of a boutfit an individualized choice— one that can make a skater memorable, approachable, or as intimidating as a demon from your worst nightmare.
If you couldn’t watch The Southern Belle Ringer tournament last weekend, you certainly missed out on many hard hits, juking jammers, and superior strategies. Additionally, you missed out on some rockin’ derby fashion. Because I was only participating as an NSO, I had plenty of opportunity to scope out the hippest styles of the 2011 derby season… and if you’re thinking, sheesh, I wish 9 lb would just go ahead and write about the slammin’ tights and sparkly Derby Skinz, you are in luck.
The Southern Belle Ringer in Gulfport, Mississippi, certainly showcased a smorgasbord of boutfits that complemented the amazing athletic endeavors performed by the skaters.
As far as team uniforms, Panama City definitely electrified the venue with their neon green and black boutfits. I’ve always been a fan of the Hattiesburg black-on-yellow skeleton jerseys, and those appliquéd ribs may have been the only body parts uninjured throughout the day. Cutest of all had to be BERG’s Crescent Wenches, whose blue, gender-defiant work shirts had just enough pink stitched into the fabric to give the jerseys an adorable-yet-tough Rosie the Riveter touch.
Without a doubt, black patterned fishnets ruled the day. Hearts, fleur-de-lis, and stars were just a few of the symbols that took the average fishnet to the next sassy level. Most disappointing was the dearth of the tutu—I only saw one, which was, I admit, disappointing for a tutu lover like myself.
The truly fashionable derby girl is one who owns her style like she owns her hits. Runway standouts included many of the Red Stick ladies. C-Murdaa’s spider web tights made her jamming look even more agile; the neon handprints on Jams P. Skullivan’s shorts seemed to wave goodbye as she weaved on through the pack; Unholy Horror’s face makeup could have been done by the ghost of Jack Pierce himself; Zoomtang’s hair always imparts an important message to skaters; and, let’s face it—no one ever rocks the Derby Skinz as hard as Brat O’Tat and Tabitcha. Bench coach TrAC/DC’s retro fanny pack is too cool for school, and Rock Bottom reminded everyone that nothing is quite as fashionable as a good cold, hard stare.
Many of the Mississippi Roller Girls had some adorable black-and-red candy cane striped socks, while BERG fans and players glittered the day away with their snazzy gold jackets and gold sequined Toms. Best of all, though, would have to be the announcers. From linen pants to sport jackets to a Boy Scout Uniform, the announcers kept the long day as fresh as new skate leather.
But if I could leave you with one thing, just one little snippet, I would like to share with you the best idea from the day: while I was in the bathroom, I heard an anonymous derby girl remark, “I’m going to invent crotchless Derby Skinz. That would make life so much easier.” Keep your head up, anonymous derby girl. With all of the avant-garde derby fashions out there, maybe one day it will happen.