Mod culture began in the sixties as a backlash against the perceived stuffiness of the fifties, and the styles it spawned are still as relevant today as they were fifty years ago. Indeed, with high profile mods such as Bradley Wiggins prominent in the media at the moment, it could be argued that the style is going through something of a renaissance. Mod culture is as recognised for the fashions it spawned as for the bands who professed their membership of the movement. Inspired by fashions from mainland Europe, particularly Italy, rather than the pre-existing fashions in Britain before the sixties, the mod look is all about style and sophistication.
The Suits of Mod Fashion
The stand-out look spawned by mod culture is the dark, slim-fitting suit. These tailored suits with narrow lapels are accompanied by shirts with button-down collars, particularly those made by Ben Sherman, and narrow ties. This classically stylish look sums up the whole ethos of mod culture. Eschewing the greaser look of their rocker counterparts, the central tenet of mod fashion is clear: a clean-cut and distinctive style. The shoes worn are also an important part of the mod look, leather shoes with pointed toes being the footwear of choice. Military parkas were also adopted as a part of mod fashion, in part to keep the mod’s immaculate suit clean whilst riding their signature Vespa or Lambretta scooter.
Pop Art in Mod Fashion
As mod culture evolved through the sixties, mods began to adopt pop-art symbols, taking existing logos and using them for their own stylish purpose. The most famous example of this is the RAF roundel, adopted by mods in part due to its presence on the military parkas obtained from surplus stores, and used by famous mod brand Ben Sherman to this day. The Union Flag became an important part of the mod look, used on jackets and other more casual attire, elevating the Union Flag to the cool status which it enjoys today.
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