The Mod Style Essentials


The Mod subculture started in the 1960s, it has gone through many revivals and carries on today, the Mods were all about fashion and music, the Mod movement started off on London in the late 50s but its height was during the 60s, Mods were modernist`s they were all about the latest fashion and music, it attracted young working class lads, there style was all about bespoke sharp suits, and sharp dressing, at the weekends mods would meet a cafes and listen to music looking good, band`s like the Small Faces and The Who were influenced by the Mod subculture, Mods were known for fighting with rockers, Mods favourite mode of transport was the scooter they chose Lambrettas and Vespas, there was a couple of reasons why they chose scooters, one was because the engine was encased in two side panels this stopped them getting oil over their fancy cloths, the other was because they were affordable and young lads could get the newly available higher purchase plans, and this is where the iconic Mod parka came in they wore them to protect cloths while riding their scooters, but by the mid 60s the Mod scene became to commercialised, their was company’s setting up Mod clothing collections, this went against what Mods were all about choosing their own style, it became to stylised instead of young people customising their own cloths.

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Mods on their Scooters

Over the last couple of decades the Mod subculture has gone through many revivals, in the 80s the classic film about Mods Quadrophenia  was made, in the early 90s bands like Oasis ,Blur, The Verve, were all influenced by the Mod subculture through their music and style, today the Mod subculture has spread to places like Japan even south Korea, Mod clothing brands like Lambretta  and Merc still sell Mod style clothing to this day.

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http://www.merc.com

Mod fishtail parka is one of the most iconic items of clothing associated with the Mod subculture, the original parkers were never meant for young  stylish Mods, they were made for the US army, so their troops could fight in cold climates, that’s what happened in the Korean war in the 1950s, it was a united nations war so Britain had to take part, but British troops were not equipped for the cold climate so America issued them with the fishtail parka, the name fishtail parka comes from the coat is shaped like a fishtail, this was so the coat could be tied around the legs for added wind proofing,  after the war hundreds found their way into army surplus stores, Mods first used them as an ideal garment for fending off the elements and protecting their smart clothing from grease and dirt, but soon they became apart of the Mod look with Mods sewing on badges and the iconic roundel on the back of their parka`s, it’s very hard to find original parka`s now with the fur hood, but company’s like Merc London continue to make this classic as close to the original as possible, but you can’t get a fur hood now because of an outcry by the fur lobby, but you can get a synthetic fur hood.

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http://www.bensherman.com

The original Mods were influenced by modern jazz, jazz came from America when jazz players came to the UK they wore fancy sharp shirts made by Brooks Brothers, very soon young modernist were looking for these shirts, because the shirts had to be imported certain importers were able to corner the market so the shirts became very expensive, one Man Ben Sherman saw a market for his own shirts, he quickly designed his own oxford shirts made from the finest cottons, he targeted the young mods soon his shirts were hit, among these were his Gingham and paisley shirts, to this day Ben Sherman continue make the finest casual shirts influenced by the Mod subculture.

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http://www.fredperry.com

In the late 50s young stylish mods were looking for stylish casual clothing, one of the items they chose was the polo shirts, the brand they chose was the Fred Perry polo, the main reason was Mods loved to dance all night but still look good, the Fred Perry polo shirt came with a collar and placket so it could be worn with a suit, because of its knitted piquaterial and its ability to retain its shape, Mods could dance all night in it then wear it again the next day, very soon suppliers were getting requests from streetwear fans for tipping on the collars and cuffs, Fred Perry loved the idea he gave his permission this design to made, it gained a nick name the Perry, since then Fred Perry has been heavily associated with the Mods and its music scene.

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http://www.adaptorclothing.com

Another classic that mods chose was the Sta Prest Trousers, they were originally invented and produced by Levi Strauss & Co, they were a wrinkle resistant trouser renowned for their sharp style and straight leg, also they came in a flat front, they were a practical trouser that looked good but also after being worn on a scooter for a couple of hours they still looked sharp and classy, Levi`s no longer make the Sta Prest trousers, but company’s like Relco and Warrior make a similar trousers called Sta Press trouser, they are still worn by young stylish men today.

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http://www.clarks.co.uk

Desert boots were the first casual shoes to be invented for casual wear, they were invented by Nathan Clark of Clarks shoes, he was serving in the second world war in Africa wear soldiers first wore desert boots, he came back to the UK designed his own boot, by the late 50s they became a casual classic, mods loved them for their simple straight lines and design, but one of the main reasons was the crepe sole its naturally gripped the road when riding their scooters, deserts boots have been copied by every fashion label going but the originals are by Clarks only.

There are many other pieces that Mods are famous for like Harrington Jackets and Ox blood tasselled loafers, the Mod cultures lives on with weekend scooter rally’s, and Mod music by the Jam and Paul Weller, open up your mind add a little Mod culture your wardrobe.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD

Mixing Vintage With Modern Style


The Vintage look is fast becoming something that every stylish person is going for, in today’s society of throw away fashion, clothing and accessories are not made to the highest standard’s like they used to be, but with vintage pieces this is what you get, about a 10 to 20 years ago certain pieces like silk scarfs and cufflinks would cost you about £40 to £50 you now can pick them up for as little as £5.00, the thought of wearing some thing that some one else owned really puts people off going vintage, this I agree with but I’m not on about clothing I’m on about accessories, but now and then I invest into a vintage pucker blazer if I like it, when I visit  different  country’s I always hit the back street chunk stores, on one of my last European trips I went to Tallinn, in Estonia,  we found many shops selling vintage pieces, in one shop I brought a vintage razor and four pairs of cufflinks it cost me just £20.00, my friend Peter picked up a vintage Finnish navy style pea coat, it was an amazing find he wears it with some Levi`s and looks very stylish,   Key to the vintage look is how you incorporate it in to your every day wardrobe, if you just wore vintage pieces it would probably look like you have just raided your granddad wardrobe,  so what you need to do first is think what vintage pieces would look great with your wardrobe.

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Now if your looking to give your dress shirt a classy stylish look, go for vintage cufflinks, here we have a set of art deco emerald stone in a gold finish, they are just stunning and scream quality, add a suit or blazer your looking the business, these were only advertised at £12.00 on the net.

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Now if your looking to dress up your dull brown blazer, a silk scarf is a great choice to add character and style, this classic silk scarf is in a neutral beige base colour but with a striking green and red design, it brings life to the blazer and looks amazing, the cost for this vintage piece was only £6.00

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When it comes to waistcoat’s you very rarely see people sporting a pocket watch chain when they wear a waistcoat, a pocket watch chain is stylish also it gives your out fit a bit of bling, here we have a stylish black velvet waistcoat adding the silver pocket chain really brings it alive, what I love about this chain is the silver thob that hangs from it very retro but stylish.

Finding vintage pieces is not hard there are hundreds of websites selling vintage clothing and accessories, eBay is a great place simply put in the search bar vintage followed by what your looking for i.e. cufflinks, scarfs, on the settings change it to a world-wide search, when your on holiday find the back street stores have a good mooch about, barter have fun,  when I look for vintage I look for great cufflinks silk scarfs also pocket squares and the odd pocket watch, I love it when people say ” I like that ” I then say it’s a vintage piece they go no.

One of the best things about going vintage is having some thing no one else has, it’s all about individualism, your own style and if you choose vintage this is the style you will get, very rad but super stylish.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD

Time To Go Bespoke Chaps


Bespoke was a very common word about a hundred years ago, now most people don’t know what it means, and they would just look at you with a blank expression, it means to individual order, custom made, that’s how clothes used to be made, if you were planning to go out about a hundred years ago, you couldn’t just walk down to a shop and pick up some 501s thank you very much sir, no your cloths were made to order, the only places that had clothes on the shelf’s was places like the army, but as fashion changed so did hows cloths were made, in the 1960s fashion changed 100% shops started to make shirts and trousers that could be worn of the peg, shops had been doing this for a long time but not in the volumes that they started then, gone went the days of going to the local tailor picking your fabric & style, getting your first measurement, then your second fitting then finally picking a garment that was tailored for you.

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Bespoke became some thing only the rich and famous could have, but now thanks to the internet sites and traveling tailors, you can get a suit blazer or shirt just made the way you want it made, it is some thing I recommend to every young man to get done at least once in their life time, having some thing made that can put your own stamp on is very unique, you get to choose the cut, the collar, the cuffs, the lining, and when it arrives it says made for “YOU”, not made by bla bla in shitty bla bla, it is something that you will be happy to wear and when people say where did you get that from you would say, oh just from my tailor, your friends will say what !, you say it again yes my tailor knocked this little number up for me, then you show them your personal label with your named stitched in it made from the finest silks.

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Going bespoke is not that expensive ever you can get a suit or a blazer made from about a hundreds pounds with delivery about £150, but before you go guns blazing you need to find out if bespoke is for you, my advise is first go for a blazer very simple choice, you have two choices scour the internet for visiting tailors book a meeting in a local hotel get measured, or you can find bespoke websites where you can log on and choose what you want to fill in your measurements, four weeks later your suit arrives nice, but first let’s go through the process of building your bespoke garment.

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Material yes first you need to pick the material, you can have tweed , plaid, stripe, mohair,wool, my advise is go for wool its an all year around fabric, it keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter, and it looks good, colors it’s up you but personally keep it neutral like a navy or a grey.

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Fit now this where you choose the fit you can for a fitted garment which is meant to give you a slim lined figure or you go with a classic fit which hangs of the shoulders just right my self I all ways go for the classic fit.

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Button front style this is where you choose how many buttons you want on the front for a blazer you traditionally go for two button if you want one go for a one button do it, if you want three buttons on the front its all down to your taste.

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 Time to choose your lapel style, you can go peak lapels, notch lapels, rounded notch, shawl lapels, personally stick to notch lapels very classy that will suit most people.

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Pockets this gives your garment a more layered look there are many combinations we could go for , so to keep it simple if you go for the fitted look slanted pockets, classic fit go for straight pockets, one thing I would include is a ticket pocket on a blazer very stylish.

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Cuffs this is some thing else people over look if you have the choice go for working cuff, most suits don’t have them also you can leave one sleeve button undone to look stylish, also you can choose to get the button holes done in different thread colors, always go for a four button, if your daring go for five guys.

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back vent this is the back style of the garment, rule of thumb is a blazer or sports jacket has a center vent a suit has a double vent i.e vents on side but its your garment you choose.

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Lining now this usually one area that gets over looked, I say be as loud as you like, people wont see it only when you open your jacket, so when you do flash your going to wow people, lining is really down to your choice, my self I love vibrant prints in bold colors, paisley in bright colors, chines red dragons spitting orange flames, colorful peacock’s with multicolored feathers, Rio carnival dancers in reds and shimmering purples. what ever you choose just give your bespoke garment some pow.

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Thread color again another area people miss out on when getting your bespoke garment made you can really personalize it with color, choose a stylish color for button holes & lapel pin holes, not long back I had a navy suit made with an orange lining but to bring the suit together, I had the lapel pin hole and the fourth button-hole on the working cuff stitched with orange silk thread it was the bomb no one has what I have.

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now measurement this is most important thing about going bespoke if you don’t get this right you will have wasted your money, if you’re visiting a traveling tailor he will take your measurements, but if you’re doing it through a bespoke site you need a tape measure and a friend, they will have a video explaining how to take measurements do this at least five times, each time Wright the measurements down if all mirror each other fill in the measurement on the site, but there is an easier option most sites you can just click for standard sizes, so get an old suit or jacket that fits you check the size and click the boxes but you still can pick the sleeve size and garment length just to give you that bespoke fit.

I hope I have given you food for thought bespoke is some thing you should try once in your life.

By
Bob Redfern
BE BOLD BE PROUD

Get The Shearling Look


Shearling is all over the cat walk’s, from coats to bags its the in for look for 2015, Shearling has a 70`s chic about a nod to the classy wide boy, Shearling is a skin from a recently sheared sheep or lamb that has been tanned and dressed with the wool left on, It has a suede surface on one side and a clipped fur surface on the other. Usually the suede side is worn outward, Shearling can be made from real sheepskin or from synthetic fibers, real Shearling breathes and is more flexible than synthetic Shearling, coats and garment are considered luxurious, the lighter the Shearling is, the higher quality it is considered to be. Shearling was at its height during world war 2, Pilots & bomber crew`s flew at high altitudes so they need clothing to keep them warm, Shearling became a classic which made it way into civvy street, in the 70s Shearling was in fashion with all the major fashion labels, but know its back with a bang.

There are two types of design`s I want to share with you first is the classic Del Boy secondhand car dealer style, the other style is a classic & its my favorite the leather Shearling Coat.

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When the BBC came to dress their Del Boy Character,In Only Fool`s and Horses, they needed to dress him in some proper pucker street wear to keep him warm, they chose to dress in a classic Sheep Skin coat, the one they dressed him in came from the Nursey sheepskin company ( www.nurseysheepskin.co.uk ) their classic sheepskin coat is cut generously, with two side vents, large pockets, additional inside security pocket and four leather buttons, with the lush sheep fur surface on the collar & the inside, this is the most iconic Shearling coat design, it comes in many colors from light tan to deep lush brown.

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In the 1930s a parachutist by the name of Lesley Irvin designed a leather flying Jacket , it had to keep pilots warm during high altitudes, but most of all if they had to bail out they need some thing that didn’t get in the way of putting on their parachute, he came up with the R.A.F sheepskin flying jacket, Made from heavyweight sheepskin, its thick natural wool provided incredible insulation. And, while the sheepskin was considered heavyweight the jacket itself was comparatively light and remarkably comfortable. Irvin insisted on the most supple sheepskin: in a cramped cockpit movement was already restricted and no pilot or crew would want to be constrained further still. The Irvin jacket was a masterpiece of design, maximum warmth and comfort combined with maximum mobility. The jackets had long sleeves zipped to enable gauntlets to be worn. The wide collar could be raised to provide excellent insulation around the neck and lower part of the head and face while a belt at the waist to ensure draughts couldn’t drop the pilot’s body temperature and reduce his level of alertness. The original jackets didn’t have pockets as these were not needed, the most distinguished feature is the rich ginger sheep fur surface on the collar & the inside of the Jacket.

The key to wearing Shearling is wearing it with the right clothes & accessories so lets see how fashionistas are wearing Shearling on the street .

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This super uber cool mustard long double-breasted over coat, with a rich plush dark Shearling sheep fur surface on the collar is a stunning piece, the style is very chic but dapper.

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A classy street style look sporting a light tan roll-neck sweater with a rich chestnut-brown leather jacket with a plush ginger Shearling on the inside then to give a stunning look they have added a darker Shearling to the collar very nice.

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If your looking for a Milan or Paris inspiration get a loaded of this dapper fellow, he chosen a deep chocolate Shearling coat with a stunning outer suede finish, it gives his double-breasted pin stripe suit outfit a stunning finish..

If your after a chic 70s look get some Shearling in your wardrobe for 2015, if you get the right coat you will have classy coat for many winters to come.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD