Now, I agree with We Are the Mods... to a point. I think too many people get caught up, pretty much, in what was written in that Mods book. And don't get me wrong, it's a great book. For many, it was their first look into the details of that original Mod world. But even I think some people take it too much to heart. (I'm sure many Mods today don't like the Beatles because of page 13.) Heck, even I took a lot away from it since, at the time, it was the largest source of Mod info you could find.
But over time, you learn what was done in the '60s, you take what you love away from it, and then you use it as a base to try to move forward. I think that what was done in the 1960s provided a great framework within which many Mods today work. So, sure, there are no real rules to this thing, but there is that framework which really helps define the style and set it apart from the regular Joe walking down the street in the retro style he just learned about from GQ.
And at the heart of that framework is the 3-button suit. Go ahead, say it. "Well, Mr. Mod Male, I thought you disliked Mod clichés?" It's true, I do dislike the clichés... y'know, the targets, the parkas, the Jam shoes, the Union Jack lapel pin. But I see the 3-button suit jacket in a slightly different light and I'll tell you why.
|Steve Marriott rockin' the 3-button look. Need I say more? Alright, then, read on...|
|Lapels like these are what turned me on to the idea of a 'Mod' look.|
Keep in mind, in the '80s and '90s, typical suit jackets had large lapels and 2-button fronts. You couldn't escape them! (And there still pretty popular today, especially in the business world.)
|Pulp Fiction's Jules and Vincent modeling the typical suit look you saw in the 1990s.|
As time went on and I began to understand jacket construction more, I realized something else about the 3-button jacket: it tended to create a high-cut look (with less shirt and tie showing), which to me seemed very streamlined. Of course, my goal was to get really enveloped by my jacket, so 4-button fronts were highly sought-after by me (but rarely found).
But then, I began to question my own fascination with the 3-button look. I had a friend who, one day, showed up to a club in a 2-button jacket. He saw me looking at him funny and cut me off at the pass, "Yeah, it's two buttons, but I dare you to find a cooler-looking jacket." He was right! There was something about his jacket that still had a very Mod look, despite only having two buttons. And this is when I learned that even more important than the size of the lapels, even more important than the number of front buttons, was the height of the button stance. The buttons of my friend's jacket were high up on the front so that his top button was about as high as the top button on my 3-button jacket. You see, he was wearing a vintage 1960s 'bumfreezer' jacket!
|Jackie Mittoo daring anyone to question his choice of a 2-button jacket.|
|A button stance so low, the top button is probably resting on this guy's navel.|
|Steve Harvey, Ace-Facin' his way around.|
So, is the 3-button jacket a Mod cliché? Well, it definitely can be I guess. Take the typical Merc jacket that most 101 Mods would be happy with. Tonic material? Check. Ticket pocket? Check. Side vents? Check. Thin lapels? Check. 3-button front? Check. Overall, there's nothing wrong with this, but it can be a cliché look when there are 5-10 other Mod dudes standing around you, wearing the same exact suit (albeit in maroon or navy).
|If you're happy being a part of the Mod army, then no effort needed.|
|DNA Groove offering: 3-button framework with slight reverse peak lapels, patch pockets with button fastening.|
So, yeah, there really are no rules to this game, but there is a framework on which one could base his look. And if you prefer rules, then learn what those perceived rules might be... that way, you can learn to break them in style.
Me, I'll stick with my 3-button look. After all, I've been lucky with a good collection of 3-button hand-me-downs I've received from friends over the years. On that note, Faces, take it away!