Do mods – those oh-so cool bods that seem to like to recreate the looks and fashions of the Swinging Sixties and slightly before at their finest – belong to the best-dressed sub-culture in British culture? We certainly think so! And, frankly, the evidence’s all there to see.
Male mod fashion is essentially the perfect fusion of Italian- (and, to a lesser extent, French-) tailoring, the philosophy of the 1940s and ’50s Beat Generation rebels and the precision for detail of the late ’50s teddy bears. And, so terrifically sharp, so irresistibly elegant and so deliciously iconic is it that today’s designers simply can’t get enough of it as inspiration for their creations of the 2010s. In a word, it’s universal.
But just what actually constitutes male the mod look? What clothing makes it up? What items can you throw together to do it right – which of them dominate and which can be added to finish it off to a tee? And what can you do to throw just a little bit of you into the mix too…?
Mod-wear is nothing without a plethora of knitwear options. This means you need to stock up not just on jumpers, but also clean-lined, slim-fitting cardigans and sweaters. And this is where the Beatnik connection comes in; mods were magpies in many ways, from the ‘Beats’ who preceded them they appropriated the likes of polo-necks and turtle-necks, combined with charcoal, grey, black and navy blazers.
Yes, it’s true; suits are essential items for a true mod’s wardrobe. The mod image is really nowhere without that classic slim-cut, beautifully-fitting, three-buttoned men’s suit. And one made from a material that’s not going to crease – to ensure that timeless, unimpeachable elegance – is what it’s all about; the likes of Italian mohair or wool tonic. Your best bet then is to buy vintage or retro, ideally from a specialist mod clothing UK outlet like Sherry’s London.
Fair dos; dashing as you may look in one, at times you’re simply not going to cut the mustard in the sharpest suit out there (or, rather, you’re going to cut way too much custard!). What you need among your high-quality mod looks then are some casual options. This is where the likes of those classic polo t-shirts, slim-cut smart-casual jeans, desert boots and that old trusty Harrington jacket come in. Sure, they may not look quite as sharp-to-a-tee as the items outlined above, but there are few more mod-ish efforts than these to recreate those days of carefree, liberated, Vespa-riding days of yore.
It’s a fashion maxim – any look is augmented, therefore, topped off by relevant accessories. When it comes to mod clothing then this means stylish (but not garish, rather paisley or polka dot) scarves, Wayfarer-style sunglasses and even braces (if done right, the latter). If you can pull it off, as it were, you might even try a flat cap-style newsboy cap. Experiment, have fun, build your look around the mainstays and be sure to throw a little bit extra of you into your efforts. The mod look’s quite defined but also flexible – just like the era from which it came.