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.

imagesFMHLOKWX

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.

shopping

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.

untitledrt

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.

shopping

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.

shopping67

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.

wpid-clarks-desert-boots-suede-6.jpg

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

Ben Sherman


When it comes to a trend setter Ben Sherman is world leader in the fashion market, The company is named after its founder  Arthur Benjamin Sugarman he was born in Brighton, England, at the age of 20 he moved to the America, he soon settled down in San Fernando, California, It was also while in America when applying for citizenship, that Arthur decided to change his name. Ben is what his family called him and Sherman was a surname that he felt was a good, solid, strong American name. he soon raised family his farther-in-law, owned a successful clothing manufacturing company, this is where Ben Sherman was inspired by the likes of  Brooks Brothers, they introduced the Oxford-cloth button-down collar shirt to America, those shirts were a hit with Jazz players like Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Oscar Peterson. in the early 1960s Ben Sherman was called back to England, his Mother had fallen very ill, Without a job, Ben Sherman decided to use his clothing manufacturing experience and rented a factory in Bedford square, Brighton, Ben started making shirts for other people. But soon his creative flair took over and he started designing his own shirts. a lot of people were asking for the Oxford-cloth button-down collar shirt,  these were only available from official importers who had in effect, cornered this market, so Ben Sherman decided to produce his own version of this iconic shirt, Ben’s design vision added the back hook, the button on the back of the collar, but most importantly his feel and passion for fabric, pattern and colour created a unique garment. The shirt became a hit with Mods, by 1965, the company had opened a small office on the upper floors of an office-block in a London backstreet, This acted as the showroom for their shirt collections, the first Ben Sherman store was opened in Brighton in 1967.

mrben

Ben Sherman marketing was very unique they decided to box each shirt individually, which was, in those days against the grain. could also get a tie in the same material, colour was something that particularly intrigued Ben, so he used Oxford fabric in pale shades, pale pink, yellow and blue. He used candy stripes, again, using pale pinks, greens and blues. Peoples’ initial reaction to all this colour was not positive, but typically Ben Sherman pushed ahead as he totally believed in his ideas. he imported the best fabrics from America.
Ben Sherman US

Ben Sherman's Blue Oxford Shirt

Ben Sherman classic oxford shirt

Ben Sherman designs came in when fashion was changing, the 60s was all about being a rebel not conforming, subcultures like  Mods, embraced new fashion & music, with Ben Sherman making waves with his bright coloured  modern shirt, he couldn’t produce them faster enough,Ben Sherman opened a showroom on Carnaby street,  the heart of the swinging 60’s which was in full flow and the atmosphere was europhic.

images7SNKEUM2 B1

Ben Sherman gingham shirt

Ben Sherman continue to produce amazing clothing, from Jeans to polo shirts, also dapper suits, the company is no longer owned by Mr Sherman, he sold up & moved to Australia in the 1970s, the company has changed hands many times, but it still keeps to it original roots of producing amazing cloths in vivid colours with amazing details, they have 16 stores throughout the UK, they have three in London which are on ,Carnaby Street, Portobello Road, Camden Walk, the Carnaby store is their flag-ship store, inside is the Shirt Bar, staffed by “shirt-eliers” who can help you distinguish your button-downs from your pennies. they have also replicated this on their on-line store. the brand can also be found in America, Asia, Australia, Europe, South Africa.

Shirt bar

Ben Sherman`s Carnaby Street flag-ship store staffed by shirt-eliers 

http://www.bensherman.co.uk

so if your looking for a classy shirt or a great outfit get your self’s down to Ben Sherman or go on-line, after 50 years their style & fashion is still as fresh as the day Ben Sherman put pen to pair to design his classic oxford shirt.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD

The Gingham Shirt


Gingham shirts are a classy shirt in their own right, the gingham design originates from Malay, the name genggang meaning striped, they say the name came into English via the Dutch, when they imported them into Europe, it was a striped pattern, but the English mills in Manchester gave it a checked pattern when it was produced, they wove it into a checked or plaid pattern, its made of carded medium or fine yarn , where the coloring is on the warp yarns & always along the grain.

So why are gingham shirts so popular, originally the only place you would see gingham is on the table as a table-cloth, in the early part of the 19th century film stars like Julie Garland in the film Wizard of Ozz, wore a blue gingham dress sexy, then you have Bridget Bardo she got married in a pink gingham dress “yeah baby”, this caused a fashion craze in Paris & gingham material nearly ran out, it was not till the 1960s that man got in to gingham, Mods started to wear it thanks to brave designer called Ben Sherman, in the 80s & 90s it fell out of favour, but thanks to the Brit pop scene it became a popular shirt to wear again.

Fred Perry short sleeved gingham shirt in red

Fred Perry short-sleeved gingham shirt in red

http://www.fredperry.com

Fred Perry prides its self on its brand that has a strong following so their classic fit gingham shirt with button down collar, in both short & long sleeve, with a patch pocket on the chest embroidered  with their signature laurel wreath motif, is a stylish shirt to own

Ben Sherman black gingham shirt

Ben Sherman black gingham shirt

http://www.bensherman.co.uk

Ben Sherman is a legend in his own right, he embraced change all the way searching for the best, & one of them was the iconic gingham shirt, it’s a long sleeve shirt with adjustable cuffs, designed to a heritage made fit, it features a two finger button down collar, branded label on the spade pocket, & what makes their shirt stand out , it’s the bias check on the placket & the yoke also the pocket, very British but super chic.

Merc London light blue gingham shirt

Merc London light blue gingham shirt

http://www.merc.com

Merc London have been making shirts since 1967, they are Mod farther for rude boys & skin heads they have a simple design in both long sleeve & short, their motif is  embroidered on the pocket, with a button down collar with a tartan design on the in side of the collar, also a back box pleat and twin darts, its made from 100% cotton, a true classic to own.

Pretty green blue fine gingham check shirt

Pretty green blue fine gingham check shirt

http://www.prettygreen.com

The need kid on the block is Pretty green from Manchester, their style is very laid back & their gingham shirts come in a finer check, the style of the shirt is a classic fit, button down collar, embroidered chest badge and tab, single yoke on the back with a hook, made from 100 % cotton. a great shirt from a fresh stylish label.
Ben Sherman US
The gingham shirt can be worn for casual or smart dress, it’s a great shirt to have in your wardrobe, take a look at these styles, it will give you some idea how you can wear your gingham shirt.

Mix it with a classy blazer to dress it up

Mix it with a classy blazer to dress it up

If you want a stylish look mix it with a waistcoat / vest then add a bowtie

If you want a stylish look mix it with a waistcoat / vest then add a bow tie

For a very casual but dapper look go add a shawl cardigan & indigo jeans.

For a very casual but dapper look go add a shawl cardigan & indigo jeans.

So have I convinced you to buy a gingham shirt, if you are my advise is stick with red or blue, but if you want to be very classy go for black guys you will love the look & style.

Thank you for reading my blog again please log in my twitter page for the latest looks if you like the looks

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD

Oxford Shirts


Out of every thing you can own a Oxford shirt is a must. you can wear it with Jeans or chinos even shorts also blazers, it has been worn by  presidents also film stars also punks & mods, It’s stood the test of time it just gets better like a fine wine.

So what is a Oxford shirt I hear you say, well if you check out the Web or history books it comes up with many things, it turns out that a Scottish mill in Scotland decide to make some shirt fabrics & name them after famous university’s which were Harvard, Yale, Cambridge and Oxford, the one that took off was the Oxford cloth, it was down to its unique design the threads made from 100% cotton & form a criss-cross basket-weave pattern, making it hard-wearing & breathable.

Criss cross basket weave known as Oxford clothing

Criss-cross basket weave known as Oxford cloth

Because of its design it soon attracted sports people like tennis players to polo players, who would normally play in starch shirts, because cotton is very soft its hard to starch the collars, this became a problem for the polo players because the collars would flap around when they played, so some bright spark came up with the idea of button down collars.

Polo Players wearing the first oxford shirts

Polo Players wearing the first oxford shirts

Soon these shirts started to become fashionable, one person who noticed them was John E Brooks grandson of Henry Sands Brooks, who started the famous Brook Brothers menswear, he had a shirt sent to his store in america and had it copied down to the last details, by the time the roaring 1920s kicked off all the college kids were wearing oxford shirt’s. The preppy look was born, Oxford shirts soon found their way into the Whitehouse senators kissing baby’s were wearing Oxford shirt showing younger Americans they weren’t old and stuffy, soon the classic Oxford shirt became an icon for being cool & lade back,  one young playboy who became famous for his relaxed fashion, was JFK other wise known as John F Kennedy, soon to be president Kennedy he was photographed many times in relaxed poses wearing a Oxford Shirt.

JFK in a Oxford shirt and shorts

JFK in a Oxford shirt and shorts

The Oxford shirt went through many changes, but in the 1970s Ralph Lauren made the Oxford shirt cool again, he gave it panache he made young men look masculine when they wore his shirts, he was famous for his light blue Oxford shirt, every young man who went to a prestigious college had a Oxford shirt, in the UK it was the Mods who took to wearing them, and the label to be seen in was Ben Sherman, but the differences in the UK was most young people liked the short sleeve version .
Terraces Menswear - Fred Perry

Mods loved style they only wore the best and that was Ben Sherman

Mods loved style they only wore the best and that was Ben Sherman

During the 1970s & 1980s mens fashion went through many changes, the preppy look was still alive and kicking, but shows like Miami vice made wearing cotton suits with rolled up sleeves and  a T-shirt cool, so people wore more sportswear than real cloths, but classic icons never die, soon people realised dressing like some 80s pop star was very naff indeed, but thanks to Ben Sherman , Ralph Lauren and Brooks Brothers who believed in their Oxford Shirts, they are once again in demand by fashion conscious young men, who love to look good, so why have these shirts lasted this long, it’s down to their brand & their iconic Status, There are a lot of company’s who claim to have the best oxford shirt, but 9 out 10 times its just a standard poplin shirt with button collars, to me there only three company’s who stay true to the original design, yes they have all put their own spin on it, but it’s still a true Oxford shirt at the end of the day the company’s are as follows.

Ralph Lauren's white Oxford shirt

Ralph Lauren’s white Oxford shirt

 Ralph Lauren

http://ralphlauren.com/

Ralph Lauren took the Oxford shirt to a different level it defined a generation, it was very much associated with the preppy look, if any thing he made the blue Oxford shirt a style icon,  the shirts themselves come in two fits slim fit & custom fit, and come in different colours the cost for one of these fine shirts is £85.00  well worth the investment .

Brooks Brothers blue Oxford shirt

Brooks Brothers blue Oxford shirt

Brook Brothers

http://www.brooksbrothers.com/

Brook Brothers oxford shirts were the first to be mass-produced, I think the design just gets better with age, its made from pure American grown cotton, they claim to be the innovator of the button down collar, they inspired the Ivy League look,  you can tell a Brooks shirts on the barrel cuffs they have 6 leats  whirring this is their signature .They come in Traditional fit , Slim fit, X Slim fit for a true piece of American history your looking at $95.00 again well worth the investment .

Ben Sherman's Blue Oxford Shirt

Ben Sherman’s Blue Oxford Shirt

Ben Sherman

The Original Button Up Since 1963.

http://www.bensherman.com/

Ben Sherman Oxford shirt was influenced by the Ivy League its self, but Ben Sherman added his own touches to this classic, he put a back hook on his shirt also a button on the back of the collar, this was his way of saying this is my shirt, he used a lot of pale colours, he also boxed his shirts individuality, he has dressed five generations & the brand is still going strong, but the sizes are really for small-sized people, your looking around £125.00 for a slice of British history.

Ben Sherman US

The way you can wear Oxford shirts is endless, it goes with every thing from chinos to kilts trust me invest into a Oxford shirt you won’t regret it.

Oxford shirt & shorts

Oxford shirt & shorts

Navy Blazer & White Oxford shirt

Navy Blazer & White Oxford shirt

Chinos & White Oxford shirt

Chino & White Oxford Shirt

www.mainlinemenswear.co.uk - Mainline Menswear is the UK's leading independent retailer of Mens Designer Clothing.
I hope I have ignited your love again for a classic icon, that will just get better as times go’s by, thank you for taking the time to read my blog, by the way if you have any questions please do contact me I would be happy to talk to you.

By

Bob Redfern

BE BOLD BE PROUD