Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mod Gone Wrong: A Study in Wrong

You all know how much I love this Mod thing already, but there's also a lot I don't like.

I don't like the clichés, the stereotypes, the overall bunkness of Mod 101. Why? Because there's so much more to the Mod thing than that.  Yes, I started out engaging in those types of stereotypes as I'm sure most people into this did. But you stick with something long enough and, hopefully, you get better with it, growing and improving over time. After all, why stand around looking like you're part of the parka-clad, desert boot, Merc suit-wearing army, when you could be developing your own particular look and style, similar yet separate from the rest?

Well, today, in honor of a year of criticizing the weaker aspects of Mod looks, my pal Fred Eagle has offered his services as a guineau pig to demonstrate the typical ways in which Mod has Gone Wrong. I know it was tough for him to put himself on the line like this, but I thank him greatly. Here he is after committing Mod Stereotype #17: attending a scooter rally for a screening of Quadrophenia.

Now, before I get into this, let me tell you some positives. Fred Eagle really is a great guy and a fantastic photographer. He's got a great energy that spreads to all around him. And, if you meet him on one of his Paris trips, he can help you navigate the Metro with ease. Recently, he shared a great post demonstrating his excitement over recent Mod happenings. Then, he gave me permission to let loose on the photo above.

So, let's get to dissecting his look! Here are 10 ways in which Mod has gone wrong:
  1. Sunglasses At Night - Hey, despite all the doom and gloom out there, I still think our future's pretty bright, but not so bright you need shades on in the evening. Or indoors at a club. Sunglasses should only be worn on sunny days, otherwise, you'll look like you're trying WAY too hard. Mods, take note... you ain't foolin' no one by wearing sunglasses in the dark.
  2. Parka - If you've read this blog before, you know my opinion on parkas. Why wear a grubby ol' army coat, when you could be bustin' out the style with a slick overcoat? Okay, San Francisco evenings can get pretty chilly, so MAYBE I can see wearing a parka in weather like this or if you're out in snowy conditions. But if you're in a sunny climate, no need for a parka!
  3. Patches On The Parka - Hmm... looks to me like this may be a Who shirt cut out and made into a patch. Yes, in my youth I used to wear a ton of pins and patches on my parka (when I wore one). I even cut up my old Jam t-shirt and sewed it to the back. But these days, parkas are bad enough without plastering them with all your favorite bands. Personally, I don't need to display all that information to strangers. What ever happened to sublety? And besides, bands like The Who have made a pretty good living off of what they do. Why give them the free advertising? Now, if they bought ad space on your parka, that's a whole different matter.
  4. Dog As Accessory. I think Paris Hilton has the monopoly on dogs as accessories. If you really need to walk around holding something, try shooting for a walking cane or a curve-handled umbrella. But if you really need to walk around with a dog under your arm, French Bulldogs are way more cool-looking. 
  5. Wrinkled Trousers - Sharp lines, my man, sharp, clean lines. Them trousers need a nice, ironed crease right down the center of the legs. Sta-prest are the way to go in most cases.
  6. Desert Boots (Especially As Evening Wear) - I know, I know... I'm in the minority on this, but desert boots just don't do it for me, especially if you're out for the evening. For one thing, they contrast too much with the black trousers. What's needed here is a nice pair of polished loafers or dress shoes.
  7. Clenched Fist - Hey man, what's with the aggro? There aren't any Rockers around and even if there were, there's no need for fighting. Sharp Mods don't go in for violence. Loosen up that fist and hang mellow. We're all friends here.
  8. Parka Covering Up Your Clothes - Another problem with the parka here... it's buttoned up, hiding all the clothes underneath. For all we know, that's a pretty sweet sweater being worn. Unfortunately, the parka just covers everything up. If you insist on wearing a parka (ugh), take it off as soon as you're off your scooter. We don't want to see you in the same jacket worn by all your buddies surrounding you; we want to see what great clothes you're wearing underneath!
  9. Aggressive Attitude. Again, man, why do you look like you want to steal our lunch money? You didn't just get out of an oi show. Throw a smile up on that mug! Too often Mods have gotten the 'snob' label tossed out at them, but they can be a welcoming lot for the most part. (Just please don't quote lines from Quadrophenia to try and win them over.)
  10. Hair Style - Nothing really wrong with the hair, but since I see a nice hairline with no missing sections, I say go for a Marriott cut. Or grow out some bangs with slightly longer sides (but not TOO long!) and you got a nice Mod cut there! Still, his hair looks fine here. (Although, I must ask... is it dyed à la 1986 Style Council?)
Despite all these points, there is one very important thing to keep in mind. No matter what, you should not judge a person by the clothes he or she wears. (Yeh, yeh, something I need to learn to do more often...) The dude in this photo is a great guy who wouldn't hurt a fly. And this just goes to show that even when Mod Goes Wrong, sometimes the person underneath is a Man Gone Solid. And they don't come much more solid than this fellow.

Seriously, a round of applause for Fred Eagle for allowing me to harrass this photo of him! Next time I see this guy, I owe him a can of Budweiser!
And don't forget, today is the last day to enter the Mod Male drawing for a chance to win 'The Perfectly Dressed Gentleman' by Robert O'Byrn and Lord Dunsby! For full details, visit the Mod Male blog post, The Mod Male Blog Is One Year Old TodayBut for the short version, all you have to do is one of two things:
  1. Become a follower of this blog, if you're not already, and leave a comment on the blog telling me how you got into the Mod thing OR how you got into whatever it is you're obsessed with (i.e., goth music, a baseball team, your favorite author). Doesn't have to be Mod-related. Or,
  2. 'Like' the MOD MALE Facebook page and leave a comment on the page, telling me how you got into the Mod thing OR how you got into whatever it is you're obsessed with (i.e., goth music, a baseball team, your favorite author). Doesn't have to be Mod-related.
Contest ends tonight, at 6:00pm PST! Good luck!


  1. Good piece but, at the end of the day,its all a matter of opinion. To be honest, to me sta-prest trousers and haircuts with bangs are every bit as cliched... on the UK side of the pond.

    1. You know what? I definitely agree with you on the haircut. Personally, that is my favorite hairstyle, but it can be done so often that it does become cliche. And sometimes, that hairstyle is done so extreme (especially when the sides start looking more like skinhead girl fringes) that it can come off as too cartoonish. Plus, there are other nice hairstyles out there, such as the college cut. Even a shaved head (sometimes done out of necessity) can look really great on people.

      However, I will disagree on sta-prest trousers only because they can come in so many colors and patterns and even hems, from straight-legged to flared. What's great about sta-prest is the fit, the sharp crease, and the pocket style. Ain't nothin' cliche about a good look like that!

      And, above all else, I agree on this all being a matter of opinion... but I like mine the most!

  2. Mod is all about a way of life, living it everyday , always looking for new sharp fashions that suit you & make you stand out from the crowd,but it is all about being smart & looking cool, once a Mod always a Mod.

    1. Looking for new sharp fashions that suit you is my favorite thing about the Mod thing!