The word mod, derived from the word modern/modernist, means current, contemporary, up-to-date. In the 1960s, mod was a subculture that began in the United Kingdom, and spread in varying degrees to other countries. Focused on fashion and music, the mod subculture has its roots in a small group of London based stylish men in the late 1950s who were termed “modernists” because they listened to modern jazz. The subculture then expanded to include women.
Regarding mod fashion, think bold neon colors, pale pink frosted lipsticks, go go skirts, white and black patent leather boots, tight skinny jeans, thin neck ties and big hair!
Mod fashion: all the rage to wear!
Mod Fun Fact: The term ‘mod’ derives from ‘modernist”, and from the mid-to-late 1960s onward, the mass media often used the term ‘mod’ to describe anything that was believed to be popular, fashionable or modern.
Regarding mod history, it’s been noted that the definition of mod can be difficult to pin down, because throughout the subculture’s original era, what was considered mod was prone to continuous reinvention.
Some called the mod subculture a “fashion-obsessed and hedonistic cult of the hyper-cool”; young adults who lived in metropolitan London or the new towns of the south. A fashion diva translation: clothes lovers who enjoy life and live with a “I know I have it” swag and attitude…always with a generous heart.
Mod Fun Fact: Due to the increasing affluence of post-war Britain, the youths of the early 1960s were one of the first generations that didn’t have to contribute their money from after school jobs to the family finances. As mod teens and young adults began using their disposable income to buy stylish clothes, the first youth-targeted boutique clothing stores opened in London in the Carnaby Street and King’s Road districts. The street names became symbols of “an endless frieze of mini-skirted, booted, fair haired angular angels.”
Male mods adopted a smooth, sophisticated look that included tailor-made suits with narrow lapels, thin ties, button-down collar shirts, and wool or cashmere jumpers.
Mod clothing: Rad for both lasses and lads!
Some say that for working class mods, the subculture’s focus on fashion and music was a release from the “humdrum of daily existence” at their jobs. Mods adopted new Italian and French styles in part as a reaction to the rural and small town rockers, with their 1950s style leather motorcycle clothes and American greaser look.
Mod clothing: Cool, hip, neat, sharp, and smart! Get a mod start with mod clothes – look the “mod” part!
Many female mods dressed androgynously, with short hair cuts, men’s trousers or shirts, flat shoes and little makeup – often just pale foundation, brown eye shadow, white or pale frosted lipsticks and long false eyelashes. Miniskirts became progressively shorter between the early and mid 1960s. As female mod fashion became more mainstream, slender models like Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton began to exemplify the mod look.
Mod Fun Fact: The British mod revival was followed by a revival in North America in the early 1980s, particularly in Southern California. The mod scene in Los Angeles and Orange County was partly influenced by the 2 Tone ska revival in England, and was unique for its racial diversity, with black, white, Hispanic and Asian participants.
Twiggy…we tip our hats off to her as an icon and launcher of the 1960s mod look!
Mad about mod!
It’s a mod, mod, mod fashion world!
Mod Fun Fact: Many British rock bands of the mid 1960s began to adopt a mod look and following, which influenced the scope of the mod subculture to grow beyond its original confines and the focus of the mods began to change. By the summer of 1966, the mod scene in London had waned, as the more fashion and pop-cultural elements continued to grow, not only in England, but elsewhere. It was during this time that London became a mecca for rock music, with popular bands such as The Who and The Small Faces appealing to a largely mod audience, in a period often referred to as Swinging London.
Swing and sway those hips the mod fashion way…
Get the look: The mod London look! The lively look is here to stay!
“You look magnificent! Truly chic and hip dressed that way.”
“I did think I looked mod and cool when I glanced in the mirror today.”
“Your short skirt, colorful blouse and white boots look like a throw back to the sixties.”
“This mod look never goes out style…in fashion, one never tires of looking neat and nifty.”
“If I play some Rolling Stones music in the background we’ll have the London look.”
“Let me freshen up my frosted lipstick and we’ll dance…on the mod scene I am hooked!”
Mod mania! Try it…you’ll like it!
Nancy Mangano is an American fashion journalist and author of the Natalie North murder mystery book series, A Passion for Prying and Murder Can Be Messy. Visit Nancy on her author website http://www.nancymangano.com, Twitter @https://twitter.com/nancymangano, her fashion magazine Strutting in Style! at http://www.struttinginstyle.com, and her Facebook fan page Nancy Mangano https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Mangano/362187023895846