The Mod style was massive in the 80s, with bands such as The Who and The Jam pioneering the stand-out style. This quick style guide will give you all of the pointers necessary to achieve this classic look.
How to Dress Like a Mod
Borrowing from the Mod wardrobe is actually quite simple. With just a few essential elements such as a classic navy polo, sand chinos and tan shoes, you’ll have a Mod-inspired casual look. Thanks to a few key pieces you’ll be able to easily borrow from this British subculture. If you love a well-tailored suit and patent lace-up shoes, Mod men’s fashion is definitely a great source of inspiration. This is your chance to get experimental with checks, stripes and original patterns to add a bit of life to your formalwear options.
People might argue that this style is all about attitude, but there’s a good amount of clothes shoved in there as well. Bold prints, bright colours and narrow cuts create the signature British Mod look, and its style has trickled down into modern outfits, with the classic red, white and blue target symbol. If you’re into tailored cuts, stand out outfits, and a mix of casual and sophisticated, then this might be the style for you.
It’s safe to say that the Mod style is epitomised in the checked shirt. They’re a staple now, with people such as Noel and Liam Gallagher wearing them constantly. Don’t worry about the fact that checked shirts can be quite preppy, as the way you’d wear it for a Mod look is completely different.
As the shirt has such a classic style and fitted shape it makes it the perfect stand out accompaniment to Mod outfits. For a classic look pair a nice checked shirt with a pair of navy trousers below. Throw over a well cut mac and before you know it you’re on the set of Quadrophenia. Remember to wear all of the buttons done up as this creates a cleaner finish and smartens up your look.
The bomber jacket was big in the 60s Mod scene, and although you might think the parka took number one spot, the bomber jacket was generally more versatile and could easily be dressed up and down. It’s great when paired with a polo, but it can easily be matched with a simple shirt as well, creating a mix of smart and casual. A little trick to creating a more authentic look is to zip up the jacket half way to create a casual, cool feel.
When it comes to outerwear, parkas and bomber jackets are your go-to choices. With relaxed fits and military aesthetic, these jackets are perfect for everyday occasions. And if you’re wondering what to wear underneath, a classic shirt or buttoned-up polo shirt will keep you looking sharp.
The parka boosted into popularity by various style icons like members of The Who and usually worn in the traditional dusky green or tan and oversized style. For the Mod look, the parka was usually the main focus, done up to showcase the coat. However, if you want to create a full look, try pairing it with a black roll-neck jumper, jeans and a pair of ankle boots.
Now, Mods were never big fans of the skinny jean, and with their focus on boxy designs paired with tailored cuts, the design they landed on – the slim fit, was the perfect compromise. The slim fit jean is generally more casual, comfortable and versatile than the skinny jean, and is more easily customisable. The British Mod would usually wear them tapered to create a smarter cut, and rolled up at the bottom to show off their footwear.
When they weren’t wearing jeans the British Mods were rocking the slim fit or skinny chinos, often matching these smart looking pieces with boxy jumpers or jackets, or bold print tops, yet again showing that an amalgamation of formal and casual pieces can work to create a sleek, stylised look.
The shape and fit of your jeans and trousers are also fundamental in Mod fashion. In this case, silhouettes are either tailored or slim-fitted and don’t forget to cuff the bottom of denim and chinos to show off your Chelsea boots. For a smart alternative to Chelsea boots, you can always opt for suede desert boots to also add a new textural element to your outfit.
You can’t think about this unique subculture without thinking about Chelsea boots. Sleek, form fitting and effortlessly versatile, the Chelsea boot was hugely popular in the Mod scene, and usually worn in black leather and paired with slim fit chinos or full suits.
If a Mod wanted to get a little smarter, and Chelsea boots just weren’t cutting it, they might verge towards the classic lace up desert boot instead. Usually worn in suede and in a light brown or stone colour, the desert boot was perfect for pairing with smarter mod looks such as a tailored suit with a brightly patterned shirt.
How to Get the Mod Style
- Mix formal and casual pieces together, like fitted polo shirts with slim fit chinos.
- Go for boxy jackets like bombers and parkas, and complement them with more slim lined items.
- Polo shirts and brightly patterned shirts are key Mod pieces.
- Show off your footwear with tapered jeans.
- Chelsea and desert boots are Mod style staples.
On That Note
The Mod look appears to have a lot of rules, but in a way, these were just guidelines. Mod fashion for men was about taking the stifling, rigid fashion of the 1950s and turning it into something bright, stylish and rebellious. With rebellion there are rarely rules, so you can easily be inspired by the general look and vibe of the Mod look and change it into a style that suits you.
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