Friday, August 10, 2012

Sharp Stylings #52: New Faces

Okay, the Mod Male giveaway drawing for Robert O'Byrne's The Perfectly Dressed Gentleman has ended. However, I will NOT be announcing the winner today. I got caught up in other things last night! But I will announce the winner on Monday. Suspense! Now, on to today's post.
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.

Wow, 52 Sharp Stylings posts... that's a whole year! (Well, there've been 53, really, since I miscounted at 39... doh!)

Over the year, I've spent too much time getting down on Mod stuff I don't care for (as in yesterday's post). But my intention was always to balance those posts out with these Sharp Stylings posts that just focused on good style for us to get inspired by. I never wanted these to be limited to straight-up 'Mod' looks, either. Heck, I even featured one of the guys from True Blood, early on, along with a Gossip Girl guy. But the point of those was to notice the detailing in their outfits and take ideas to incorporate into your own look.

On the Mod Male Facebook page, reader Jose D. made a great comment: "The church of Mod is a broad one..." I know it's been said before, but this comment resonated with me because it's important to keep in mind that many people approach this thing in different ways.

Some people out there are still content with walking around in jeans, desert boots, and a Jam t-shirt, saying things like, "we are, we are, we are the Mods," and, well, that's their thing. Others are more interested in casual Fred Perrys and a pair of Adidas, and that's their thing. Others are way more interested in decorating their scooters with lights and mirrors than investing in their own wardrobes, and that's their thing. Not mine, but to each his own.

Then, you see an image like the one below and it gives you hope that there are younger people getting into the Mod thing and pushing forward the fashion/style aspect of it. Check this image out from Dean Chalkey's The New Faces documentary:

So much of this works for me and what's even more important is that these guys each have their own individual identity within the 'look.' Different hair styles, different cuts of suits, different shoes, different detailing. Each person seems really invested in the look he or she has put together. And, at least in my eyes, they don't necessarily look like stereotypes. There's just a great mix'n'match feel with this photo.

That, to me, is one of the most fun things about the Mod thing. I'd be so bored walking into a club and seeing people in the same parkas, the same Merc suits, or the same desert boots. But if I walked into a club and saw people like in the photo above, I'd be checking out the individual detailing of what they had going on. "Aw man, check out that guy's striped jacket. Sweet! Oh wait, I'm digging on that dude's 3-piece suit. But look at how well that guy contrasted his tie and pocket square!" And so on and so on. (And yes, I know you'd probably be checking out the Mod gals. But hey, I'm happily married so I don't need to!)

Years ago, we used to check out the websites for various German, Italian, and Spanish Mod clubs. My buddies and I would take notes on the different colors, patterns, and cuts of clothing the Mod guys wore in those photos. This was the stuff we obsessed over! Unfortunately, 10 years later many of those sites seem to be defunct so I can't link to them. But the Mod guys over there really put a lot of effort into looking slick in his own way.

Sure, there are a lot of guys out there happy in their target t-shirts. And that is what most not-in-the-know people think of when it comes to the Mod thing. But, there are so many others out there who also get more excited over a tailoring detail done on a shirt, the type of fabric used in the making of a jacket, or the simple touches of Ivy stylings. I see these guys going back and forth on internet forums, appreciating the finer aspects of attention-to-detailing.

These are my people!


  1. All smart but too smart. You guys still don't under stand MOD do you, and probs never will. Do you really think 60's mods went around in shirt n tie every day ??? No No No. And of course we were pre-Jam and other crap like that, pre-Weller, pre-all the rubbish that is sold as mod these day too.

    Coloured polo shirts were a new thing then, but so so common now. Yes we wore those T shirts with big letters on, the big Y for Yale uni, but they were fun then, because it was all new. and we wore white plimsoles/gym shoes with bright red or ice blue socks, with jeans with ¼ inch turn-ups. And Matalow shirts (like Italian sailors) with white strides. And White Levi jackets, which were really cool with dark blue jeans and a red polo.

    So please stop pushing all this suit and tie stuff, especially three piece suits. No mod that i knew in the 60's or early 70's ever wore a three piece suit. It was light Italian mohair (with worsted I think). Three button jackets, slim lapels, long vents. Trousers were ¾ lined to stop knees going baggy. and shoes were brouges. BUT our suits were for dances/discos or special occasions, not every day wear. And deffo NO suits worn on scooters. Suite were too expensive and to fragile being lightweight. Jeans or hipsters (trousers that fitted on the hip not waist) or slacks (casual trousees) for the scooteer.

    1. Well, a couple of things to remember.

      I LOVE the suit and tie look and the older I get the more I DO want to push it. That said, I walk around casually, most days... but casual for me is a nice button-down shirt, creased trousers, and dress shoes.

      As much as I LOVE the sixties, I'm not looking to replicate everything done in the sixties. The whole thrust of this blog is to celebrate the more 'dressed-up' aspect of Mods, which is what I fell in love with to begin with. And it's addressing these subjects from a more current perspective, not as a history of what went on before (as much as I love reading about the history, including the memories you listed here, especially about the ice blue socks!).

      Also, if you take a look at, for instance, the Original Modernists group on Facebook, you'll see that a lot of those original Mods did go for the dressed-up look with photos to prove it. Not to say they didn't dress casual as well, but I think it's the dressed up look that still gets them excited today. And I'm sure I've even seen some of them in 3-pieces (i.e., Marc Feld in that early Mods article).

      I think '60s Mods were, many times, different from each other in their approaches to the style. You definitely get that feeling when reading comments from original '60s Mods on the Mod Generation forum.

      I love suits. I'd rather concentrate on that. Oddly enough, a friend emailed me and kind of inspired me to touch on more casual aspects of clothing and that is something I intend to do in the coming weeks. But, I'll probably veer away from t-shirts with big letters, sneakers, etc. Keep in mind that since the 1960s, those looks have become the common norm with most people.

  2. One thing I really like about this is the way they take many of their clothes styles from the first half of the 60s. I love the wider ties and lapels, mini skirts, and psychedelic patterns (c. 1965-1968) that many Mods sport these days, but it's nice to see these guys and gals take it back farther to the earlier Mod looks (with their own interpretations, as you mentioned. The variety of looks (if all sharply done) in the current Mod scene is great IMO.

    1. Absolutely agreed! The Jab, I have found that the older I get the more I embrace those earlier looks. I loved all my more colorful psychy clothes I wore about 10 years ago, but now I lean more toward the Ivy-inspired looks.

      But it's that variety with others that's fun to check out!

  3. Let me start by saying this is a very interesting thread and one that is close to my heart.

    As I get older, I am 47 now, I find myself increasingly drawn to a nicely tailored suit as my preferred style of dress. Part of this is dictated by my work, I wear suits whenever I am in the office but I also love to put on a suit, crisp shirt, tie, cufflinks, pocket square and quality shoes when I go out in the evening.

    When not in a suit I like to mix and match separates for a more casual look. 3 button jackets and 3/2 rolls combined with nicely tailored trousers, shirt and tie for evening wear and for warmer days, linen or cotton trousers with a simple button down or knitted polo shirt. the great thing about separates is that the combinations are only limited by your imagination and flair :)

    I still own a few pairs of selvedge denims but find I seldom wear them. Personally I feel that the denim, t-shirt look is best left people younger than myself. In the same vein I would never wear a parka. I have an old M-51 but it hangs in my wardrobe as a memento of wonderful times 20 plus years ago!

    1. Gerard, I'm very much on the same wavelength as you. In general, I'm much more into the mix'n'match look with suits and casual wear. Endless combinations and a more relaxed feel overall!

      By the way, I read that you had lost a waist-size... congrats! I've been taking care of myself as well, and found that I now fit into a couple of old pairs of trousers that I had forgotten about! Unfortunately, the flip-side is that I have trousers in more wild patterns (from my younger days) that now fit... only I feel I can't get away with those wild patterns anymore!

    2. Thanks Carlos

      It's all down to clean living under difficult circumstances :)


  4. Not to pour fuel on a fire but I like the suit and tie pre-Carnaby Street/Swinging London mod gear look being sported by young(er) people. It's nice to see younger mods dressing well. I dressed like crap when I was their age because I was firmly entrenched in this mixed up '66 and even '67 look which, though I enjoyed, looked more 80's than the '66/'67 look I thought I'd captured in retrospect. I like suits and ties but at the age of 45 with a child I don't go anyplace (except funerals) that warrants them, that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the look anbd I'd certainly never look down on it either. "Mod" is what you make of it.

    1. I was also much more into the 'Carnaby' look when I was younger. I'm glad though! It was the right age to get away with wild color combinations, patterns etc. Plus, not only do I think it looked cool (and still does, in my eyes), but it taught us much on how to mix'n'match styles. That experimentation helped carried clothes ideas forward as I got older.

      And I feel you on your current situation. My brother-in-law is also a Mod, but he has a 2-year-old son. I witnessed him, in a nice suit, trying to care for his son during his baptism. Ahh... baby vava all over the suit's shoulder! Who knows how I'd be approaching my dress sense with a kid!

  5. hey man i like your blog and i love the mod fashion and i was wondering where i should shop for the mod style of clothing. i want to start dressing like a mod but it'll be a little weird while all the other people are wearing jeans and snapbacks. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks