Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mod Gone Wrong: The Union Jack Parka

That's it. I'm done. I'm turning in my card.

Seems we've reached the end of the comedy road: the Union Jack parka.
Image from We Are the Mods. Original source here.
Taking people further down the dismal Mod rabbit hole. Image source.
Because really, when you want to pander to a Mod crowd, what do you do? Put a Union Jack on it!

After all, we've had Union Jack scooters.
You can buy this here.
We've had Union Jack suits.
Paul Weller keeping his bottom button buttoned. Sigh...
We've had Union Jack desert boots.
Quadrophenia Jimmy wishes these were around back in the day, I'm sure.
We've had Union Jack shirts.

Fred Perry Union Jack, of course.
We've had Union Jack ties.
In case you're thinking of buying this, even the company refers to is as a 'novelty' tie.

I guess this was the natural conclusion.
I mean, what's left? A Union Jack Harrington?

And there is an audience for it. That's been proven time after time. For every guy out there searching out a well-tailored button-down, french-cuff shirt with the perfect collar and detailed buttoning, there are ten guys happy with anything that has a Union Jack on it.

Hey, I'm not perfect. I used to wear a parka with a Union Jack Jam patch on the back... when I was A TEENAGER. But you get to a point where you realize you don't need to walk around looking like a mascot for Anglophilia in order to convince everyone you're 'MOD!'

Hopefully, though, this Union Jack parka is the final straw on the back of the Comedy Mod camel. And hopefully, some of these new Mod labels will start to get more creative with their offerings. Think about all the different types of styles and detailings that were coming out of London at breakneck speed back in the 1960s. Sure, not all of it worked, but you still had some great pieces that stood out. These days, many new 'mod' clothing companies seem to go down the same weathered path laid down by original, iconic labels.

If you're thinking about starting your own 'Mod' clothing company, keep the following in mind:
Fred Perry has perfected the polo.
Ben Sherman has perfected the short-sleeved button-down.
Clark's has perfected the desert boot.
And the 1950s U.S. Army has perfected the parka.

You know what that leaves you with? A wide spectrum of new material and influences to draw from!

Or... I guess just put a Union Jack on something.



  1. UJ parka brought to you by a new 'Mod' label called...David Watts!? Now, why would you name your label David Watts? I get the Kinks/Jam reference, but the song was about a homosexual crush! Real-life David Watts was gig promotor from Rutland who tried to make moves on Dave Davies. I wonder if the lads responsible for DW label were aware of that...Even if you don't know the story, it doesn't take a lot of brains to detect a sarcasm within a song - this is not a song about 'ace face'! If the name of the clothing label shows such sloppiness and lack of imagination, you can't expect much from the clothes...

    1. One of the reasons why I personally tend to stay away from explicitly 'Mod' labels. If they have to depend on 'MOD!' to sell clothes, it makes me skeptical about the actual quality.

  2. LOL!! When I was 18, I had a union jack dress made from two flags, and union jack go go boots! I can't even imagine wearing that today.

    1. Okay, when I was around 17 years old, I saw this guy at a Paul Weller concert wearing a Union Jack suit jacket. Yes, I thought it was the coolest thing in the world! But, again, I was 17, all this was still kinda new to me and I was looking for the 'obvious' types of clothing.

      But, you get older... the obvious loses its impact.

  3. It can be an emotive subject to many when a nation's flag finds its way on to something other than a flag pole. Personally I don't mind seeing the Union Flag portrayed as a piece of sixties pop art iconography (heck I've too many Union Flag mugs in the cupboard to get shirty about it!)
    However, I suspect that for the manufacturers of this dubious item (the parka) are less seeking to hark back to swinging London and more to appeal to chest beating patriots.
    Either way its not for me.... at all!

    1. Personally, I do think that the Union Jack is one of the most graphically interesting flag designs out there. I think it can be used so well in different ways.

      Actually, one of the coolest I've seen was a monochromatic grey/silver Union Jack painted on the top of a 1960s silver mini. It looked slick.

  4. Perfect image at the end. sums it all up.

  5. I've never liked Clark's desert boots, they've always looked clunky.

  6. dreadful dreadful dreadful comedy mods in union jacks,ok on teenagers for 5 mins but on grown men who should really know better!

    1. See, if I saw a teenager wearing the parka, I wouldn't get down on it. Many of us have been there. When you're a teen, you're new to it and you gravitate toward the loud and obvious to confirm your identity.

      But, by my age... heck, by the 20s, hopefully, you've wised up!

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