Mod fashion

Mod style, 1960s

Mod fashion started in the 60s. A small group of young men and a few girls started to look to French and Italian cool, combined with American Ivy League style to create a uniquely British youth fashion. These early Modernists listened to Modern Jazz, rejecting the prevailing fashion for 'Trad' jazz, as typified by Aker Bilk. They also liked American Negro Blues music. The fashion caught on and the Modernists became the Mods.

Since then Mod has played a part in British fashion. Several revivals have kept the look in the public eye. The first of which started in the late 70s following hard on the heals of Punk. Bands such as The Jam provided the music and 60s Carnaby Street provided the fashion inspiration.

Mod returned in the 90s and has been with us ever since.

Mod fashion brands

Brands which played a part in the early days of Mod fashion are still going strong. Many original Mod style garments can still be bought. There is also a constantly changing fashion scene building on the original look of the Mods, Skinheads and Punks.

Ben Sherman

Ben Sherman supplied shirts to John Stephen's famous store in Carnaby Street and launched his own store 'Millions of Shirts' in Brighton. The Ben Sherman button down, a British version of the classic Ivy League shirt, became the staple of the Mod movement in the sixties and the 1979 Mod revival. Ben Sherman shirts were also an essential part in the Skinhead movement which followed Mod in the late 60s.

Fred Perry

The Fred Perry shirt was the original tennis shirt that the Mods adopted in the 60s. It was smart and looked good under a suit, as well as with a pair of Levis. Fred Perry shirts were designed for sportswear, but also kept you cool on the dance floor.

Baracuta G9 Harrington


The original Harrington jacket was made by British firm, Baracuta, and is still available today. The Harrington is a short jacket, finishing at the waist. The Harrington was named after Rodney Harrington, a character in the popular US soap, Peyton Place. All things American were considered cool by the Mods of the 60s. Steve McQueen also added to the kudos of the Harrington when he appeared on the cover of Life Magazine in 1963 wearing one. British Mods took to wearing the Harrington from the mid sixties, as it offered a more casual look than the tailored Mod suit.

Read more: Baracuta G9 Harrington

Mod footwear

Footwear was just as important to Mod fashion in the sixties as any other detail of fashion. Mods in the sixties wore Chelsea boots, Cuban heel boots, chisel toes (Winklepickers with the point squared off), Wing Tips (or brogues) or loafers. Denson was a favourite brand selling fashion shoes for men in the 60s.

For more informal wear, running shoes were popular with jeans and there was a fashion for bowling shoes.

Clarks Desert boots were available all over the country and their simple modern style appealed to the Mods of the sixties.

Clarks Desert Boots

Clarks Desert Boot

The simple modern style of Clarks Desert Boots appealed to the Mods in the sixties. The Desert Boot became an essential part of the Mod wardrobe. It could be worn casually with Levis or with a suit.

Read more: Clarks Desert Boots

Bass Weejun, the original Ivy League loafer

Bass Weejuns

The Bass Weejun was the original Ivy League loafer. G H Bass developed it from a Norwegian design in the 30s. In 50s America Ivy League style was synonymous with cool. When the Ivy Shop opened in London in the mid 60s, it became a hit with British Mods as well. Read more Bass Weejun.

Tassel Loafer

The Tassel Loafer was a variation of the Bass Weejun, or Penny Loafer.

Wing Tips

Wing Tips or brogues were another Ivy League fashion that came to the UK from the US. However, the origin of the brogue was

More on fashion:

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Your comments on Mod fashion

"mod so cool. we are the mods" adex turner

"its classic , its cool and its me"steve turner

"Im only 16 and have become mad about the mods because of Quadrophenia." nick smith

"I am a mod aged 14 and have been since I was 12. I don't know how I became a mod as my dad is a greaser." James Gladdish

" I'm a mod, my dad was a mod, my grandad was a mod and i thought i'd carry it on also i LOVE quadrophenia and have seen it live, We Are The Mods" Sam B

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Can you tell me where to get a navy nylon mac with flap at the back that mods wore Thank you xx
Malcolm Collins
Wow, great to hear so many teenagers coming out and saying they are mods. I'm from Birmingham and left school in 1986, all of my mates brothers above us at school were Mods, so we got into it that way. Everybody went to the Outrigger, which became the Ship ashore later on; getting your Cloths from Oasis market, hanging around Summer Row, and second City Records at the back of Central Library, alas thats gone as well now. I have great memories of those years, I still collect loads of Music /records, and I do still go to Northern nighters once in a while. The dress sense is still there, I dont look like a Mod as such these days but its always been an approach hasn't it, just love smart casual full stop...oh and Harringtons...I'll never stop wearing Harringtons.. Malcolm Collins 06/06/2014
Jimmy Cooper
Third generation. Young enough to remember watching scooters and the first wave in the mid 60s. Style and class are the attraction and the individualism that goes with it. combine MOD with 2tone and bluebeat and you have everything. Just bought a purple tonic suit today: side vents, three buttons and its the dogs wotsits.Its cold enough to wear my parka and the Delicious Junction ox - blood loafers go wicked with that and my Levis / Fred Perry chinos or my Harrington jacket . Brilliant kit. There is no individualism today. Its pap American crap. Its great to see teenagers getting into the scene....WE ARE THE MODS! WE ARE THE MODS! WE ARE, WE ARE, WE ARE THE MODS!
Peter b
Hi. Am looking for ox blood comos shoes as worn in the late sixties early seventies can anybody please help me?
Retrowow - vintage, retro and social history

Mid Century ★ Facts & Figures ★ Collectibles

Retrowow - vintage, retro and social history

★ Mid Century ★ Facts & Figures ★ Collectibles ★