Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mod Gone Wrong: "I'm A Mod" Tee

Oh boy, here we go.

Over on the Mod Generation forums, member Kai A. posted this little item:
Geez, the lack of design and imagination with this shirt is draining my ability to write...
I'm going to come right out and say it. There is no reason on Earth why anyone should be wearing a shirt like this. First off, if you're not a Mod, why would you wear it? Secondly, if you are a Mod, are you really that desperate for people to know that you are? If you need a shirt like this to let the whole wide world know what you're about, well friend, you're probably not gettin' it right to begin with.

And I just can't imagine wearing something like this and ever getting a thrill off of some stranger approaching me on the street saying, "Um, yeah, so I see by your t-shirt there that you're a Mod. Cool!" Oh yeah, there's a conversation really worth getting into...

Then there's this piece of typographic assault, from Ben Sherman (posted by Bobby C. on the forums):
The Mdd Life (?)
What a 'Mdd' is, I couldn't tell you, but if we are to assume that this shirt says 'The Mod Life,' again, why? And what's 'The Mod Life'? Being lazy and wearing a t-shirt to display your interest instead of actually, y'know, dressing moddishly dapper to begin with? This shirt's just covering up a falsehood. It's like ordering a McDonald's Big Mac and getting it in a wrapper that says, "I'm A Filet Mignon" or "The Healthy Life." No, it's not.

Now, as you can probably guess, t-shirts as a 'Mod' look really aren't my thing to begin with. Yes, I know Mods in the 1960s wore them and all, but as this blog has shown, I try promoting the suit jacket, tie, and pocket square look as often as possible. I believe in trying to look your best as often as you can. To me, that's part of 'The Mod Life.' Target t-shirts and shirts like those above are just plain lazy and unimaginative to me.

HOWEVER, I'm not a militant person about it. I understand that, on occasion, you need to wear a t-shirt. And yes, I do have a small batch collecting dust in my closet. Believe it or not, contrary to what Mark Twain said, sometimes even the San Francisco Bay Area does get hot... so hot that a t-shirt is recommended. It's true. Also, t-shirts are good for when you're cleaning around the house or apartment. Who wants to get their good shirts all dusted up? And hey, if you're at the beach, you're probably not going to be walking around in a suit jacket or nice shirt... but a t-shirt can come in handy!

That said, skip the target tees and definitely, positively, adamantly avoid the two t-shirts shown above! There are plenty of cool tees out there can make you look good without being plain obvious about what you're into. Check some examples here:

Show off one of the coolest band logos from one of the coolest bands around!
Clean design from one of the best record labels around.

Classic look from a classic soul label.
Show off your love of good jazz with some of these Blue Note tees.
Impress your intellectual friends with this (over-priced) t-shirt using the logo from the famed late '60s magazine.
Or, even better, get a bunch of these classic 1960s t-shirts (from the Smashingbird blog) silkscreened for you and your friends!

Alright friends, I've had enough of t-shirts for today! I'm sittin' here, late in the evening, in my pajamas and now I need to find a pocket square to put in my chest pocket to make me feel better.

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