Soon after punk fashion's genesis, differences arose based on geography and philosophy. After a few years, British punks were dressed colorfully and were a diverse mishmash of various styles and subsets. The New York version of punk, on the other hand, typically meant dressing in all black. The evolution of the varying styles was a reflection of the different ideologies of British and New York punks.

In London, punk was about openly rebelling against a very entrenched class system. The brighter, bolder, and more shocking the clothing, and the more of a disturbance it made, the better. In New York, the punk scene was more of an artistic movement, and stuck with the tried-and-true all-black everything. Regional twists included safety pins, intentional distress and destruction, and a DIY element.