I was doing some final finishing touches to a Magento 1.9 installation, refresh the page, and magically all the styles, apart from those that are inline, have stopped working.

On inspection, Magento is calling for skin/frontend/base/default/css/styles.css and there isn't a file there. (403 Error) I have checked in a previous backup, and the file wasn't there either, and I am using custom theme (Smartwave Mango > http://themeforest.net/item/mango-responsive-magento-theme/11629375?s_phrase=&s_rank=157), so I presume it shouldn't be looking there

I can't work out why magento is trying to find styles.css from that folder at all. I have changed no CSS since yesterday, only a static block, so nothing has been edited.

Things I have tried:

  • Cleared all Caches, multiple times (Browser + Magento)
  • Cleared Indexes
  • Verified the base URL is correct
  • Checked a backup to see if files have somehow got lost- can't see any change
  • Looked for a replacement styles.css- it doesn't exist.
  • Checked in Chrome + FF
  • Checked that Magento is using the correct theme

It does seem that Magento is ignoring my local.xml in app/design/frontend/smartwave/mango/layout, and putting default references in the Head of the generated HTML, but being a noob, am not sure. Images are loading, but custom JS isn't either.

(Almost) tearing hair out here- thanks for any help!

  • "Cleared all Caches, multiple times" - did you also try to delete the entire "var" folder? (make sure you don't need anything from there first, like logs or maybe magento connect package settings!)
    – Ronen Ness
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 13:04
  • @Ness, no, I didn't. I'll take a look. Lil bit scared of doing that. Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 13:12
  • you can just rename the dir. same as deleting, without the delete part ;)
    – Ronen Ness
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 13:32
  • @Ness Made no difference, I'm afraid Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 14:42

2 Answers 2


You should also check if you have the right template package set. In your case I supose it should be 'smartwave'.

Does your template use sass or less for styling?

  • I believe that I have, but where should I check? Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 12:42
  • Nope, Vanilla CSS Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 12:42
  • System->Configuration->General->Design->Package
    Commented Jan 6, 2016 at 12:43

I left it for a day and refreshed everything.

Works perfectly and reliably.

Magento works in mysterious ways!

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