Some say that the original Mod movement died somewhere in the mid sixties. Once it hit the popular consciousness, it had lost a lot of its appeal. I tend to agree. When I arrived on the scene as part of the Mod Revival, it was once again an underground movement. I always felt like I was part of an exclusive club.
But at one point in the 60s, the word “Mod” was applied to everything that was new, hip and mainly British. Fashion, art, music and design were hit by the Mod wave.
Here’s an example. I managed to put my hands on a 1967 spring/summer mail-order catalog from the Canadian retailer Simpsons-Sears. The “Carnaby Street style” had reached the American continent and was now sold in major, large surface chain stores. Since I wasn’t born in 1967, it’s hard for me to judge how close it was to the styles seen in a John Stephen window display that year. I can only assume. But from what I can see, it approaches more a caricature than what the “real” British Mod would wear.
You do find a few Mod conventions that have stood the test of time. First is the Sta-press or Perma-press. To have a pair of trousers that always looks like it has just been ironed is classic Mod wear.
|The Tee Kay 'Mod' trousers|
The slim fit hip huggers also kept their appeal. With the leg perfectly tapered, it’s something I would see myself wear. I also like what they call the “military pockets”. I’m considering adding flaps and buttons to my next pair of custom trousers.
|"The all new 'Mod' trend... A real revolution!"|
Notice how the leg is worn especially short.
Then there’s the ever-present button-down shirt. Paisley patterned garments had reached our shores in ’67 and still seems to be relevant today. Take this blue and rust polka dot shirt for example. I love the high collar and large cuffs with 3 buttons. I could probably do without the epaulettes. If I found it in a vintage shop, I would grab it.
The shoe section also offers a few Mod staples. Have you ever seen a pair of these? In this case, they are called “Sahara” boots.
The Chelsea boot or Beatle boot is still desirable footwear today. At $11,98 a pair, I’ll take 2 please!
A few pages seemed to have missed the mark. Take this Carnaby West page for instance. How hard was it to find a Vespa for a photo shoot in 1967? A motorcycle… I don’t think so. And what is up with that laced up shirt? Plus, I’ve never seen any self-respecting Mod wear what looks like an oversized denim suit. I might be wrong. I did find it amusing that they felt the need to advertise the belt as being “Mod”.
Now, as if the full on denim look and laced up shirt weren’t enough, why not combine the two?
You have to give them credit for pushing the boundaries a bit on this page. I’ll let you be the judge. The tartan short sleeved button down shirt is actually very nice and I own a few Ben Sherman’s that are very similar.
There you have it. Mail-order Mod circa 1967. Shop at Simpsons-Sears and be part of the in-crowd!