Friday, June 1, 2012

Sharp Stylings #41: The Who

We can learn so much from yesterday’s fashion icons.  And living in a post-Mad Men world means we can even enjoy aspects of current male fashions! Every Friday, I’d like to start your weekend off right with a little style inspiration from either then or now. Hopefully, my fellow Mod enthusiasts will find the whole or some detail of the whole to appreciate and maybe even adopt.

I can't believe that after all this time I still haven't featured The Who in a 'Sharp Stylings' post! Come on... these were the guys I first got into way back when. These were the guys who sold me with 'My Generation.' And these were the guys I used to study while leafing through my beaten-up copy of Richard Barnes's The Who: Maximum R&B book.

And one of my favorite photos from that book is this one right here:

I used to study the detailing in all these outfits, particularly John Entwistle's. Although I'm not a fan of the 'goth' look, if you're gonna go all black, follow Entwistle's model. Even though he's dressed without an ounce of color, the details of his gear add in that needed splash of pizzazz.

Let's start from the bottom up: slightly-pointed winklepicker boots with a Cuban heel. Nice way to add in a little height... not that John needs it, but I sure would! Then, you have his narrow-fitting trousers cut at the right length. Top that off with a wide-buckled belt and you have my favorite trouser/shoe look. Wide belt, narrow trousers (preferably, with slight flares), and pointed boots.

Now, let's move on to the upper portion of the ensemble, first with the black button-down shirt with what looks to be white buttons. Great collar on that shirt, although I'd prefer to leave it unbuttoned at the top (unless a tie is involved). But now, the best part of this look: that amazing suit jacket! Great width on the lapel, high gorge with a 3-button front, and a buttoned flap breast pocket. Love that detail! If you look closely enough, you'll notice the side pockets also button up. Just an overall flash look on John Entwistle!

Okay, don't get me wrong. The other guys look very slick as well, even the generally casual Keith Moon. His neutral trousers with the flap pockets and buttoned-down belt loops can't be beat! And Roger Daltrey's looking sharp with a dark, striped coat and that patterned scarf/ascot over his shirt. Pete Townsend's keeping it mellow with a 2-piece tan suit, but as you can tell, the guy who stands out, even while wearing just one color, is John Entwistle. Wonder if Johnny Cash was taking notes?

I'll end this post with an awesomely cool clip of The Who on French TV. A clip that proves just why Keith Moon is one of the greatest drummers of all time... so great, he drums beats out of thin air!


  1. What's your opinion on trouser length, Carlos? They were really short in the early-to-mid-60s, as on all the guys' pants except Roger's in this shot. Well above the top of the shoes. Which is a no-no in mens' clothing etiquette these days. Should Mods these days wear trousers of traditional length or is it OK to wear them this short because it's more authentically 1960s? Personally, if I find vintage slacks like this I will wear them even if they're short.

    Another question? What do you think of the fully buttoned up shirt sans tie? Nobody wears that look anymore, except sometimes with a knit shirt like a Fred Perry.

    Pete's jacket sleeves seem too short, eh?

    Love this pic as well! Like you, I studied all those photos in the Who book you mentioned.

  2. TheJab, first off, let me start by saying that I am in NO way an authority on Mod dress. Everyone has their own style and look, which is how it should be. However, as you know, I have very strong opinions on the style!

    Regarding pant length, I used to be more of a highwater kinda guy when I was younger. I think this stemmed from my early ska days. My pants always had to be about 1/2 inch above the top of my loafers. Unfortunately, as I got older, I realized how I ruined so many pants with this thinking. These days, I still like my trousers a little high, but I tend to go for either no break or a slight break. A slight break looks much better on flared trousers, I think. I want the top of my shoes covered slightly. (My wedding suit had no break and I kind of regretted that.)

    Ahh... now regarding the top button of a shirt, I tend to leave mine unbuttoned. When I was much younger, a friend chastised me for buttoning all the way up with a good point: "You're not wearing a tie, so why is the top button buttoned?" I heeded that advice... or so I thought. Recently, I was looking at some pics during the Diabolik days (early-mid 2000s). In most photos, when not wearing a tie, my shirt was buttoned all the way up! I didn't realize I had gone back to doing that back then. Overall, I think it looks fine, but I like to keep casual if I'm not wearing a tie. (And that's why I've invested in v-neck undershirts... so the crew neck doesn't peek out.)

    Hey man, Pete was a tall, awkward dude! But check out how uncomfortable he looks next to a much more relaxed John.

    1. I knew I would get a thoughtful answer. I agree with what you said about a dress shirt being buttoned up all the way - it just looks to me like a frame without a picture. On the other hand a knit shirt with a sport coat looks better in many cases buttoned up all the way (it lays better), but not with a suit.

  3. I like the fact that Roger is wearing different colored jacket and trousers. It's not an easy look to pull off and I think he did it well here.

    Here's a photo of a buddy of mine going on that principle. I admire his boldness and believe got it right even if the common folk think otherwise.

    I recently purchased a French deadstock dark green suit from the early 60s. It fits perfectly and although the pants are perfectly tapered, the waist is incredibly high. It feels like I'm wearing the belt under my armpits! So I'm looking to match it with a different color. I'll probably end up wearing black trousers but it'll still make the jacket stand out.