Here is a guest post by my friend Joe. He is a man who goes to dressmaking classes. His first project was a skirt for his daughter; his second a pirate shirt for himself. We talk about setting in the sleeves over a bowl of Vietnamese soup. I asked him to tell me about his attitude to clothes, fabric and fashion.
“I am a Mod. A Mod out of time. I come from the Mod revival of the early 1980’s rather than the original scene in the 1960’s. I am still a Mod in 2014. I think this may only be possible because I work in Soho, although I understand you can buy Fred Perry T-shirts all over the country as well as Chelsea boots, desert boots, Levis and crew neck jumpers.
The internet is also a great source of appropriate attire. That is where I got my parka from.
My take on the style is quite minimalist, with clean lines and bold patterns. I tend to wear single breasted suits with two or three buttons. My shirts are tailored or slim fit. My shoes have thin soles and often rather pointed.
Casually – nothing flared. The simplicity of a Fred Perry T-shirt with 501s suits me. I have a number of black fine knit jumpers with V neck, turtle neck or crew neck. Flashes of colour can come from a Paisley or polka dot shirt. In winter, under a jumper, with the collar and cuffs just on show.
My most recent, and most precious acquisition, for the summer, which always entices me into slightly more colourful clothes, are my red, white and blue bowling shoes. I am very proud of them and wore them to a wedding in Wales recently. I had a matching suit and shirt.
I am not sure what other guests’ thought. They appeared to subscribe to the “scruffy is cool” look. Mods who have that outlook become Grease Monkey/Scooter Boys and I think lose something of the essence of Modism. Still, it takes all sorts.
There are songs that play in my head “Boy about Town”by the Jam, or the Kinks “Dedicated Follower of Fashion”, as I walk into Soho on a sunny day in a three-button suit, winkle picker boots with Cuban heels, Ray Bans and my Fred Perry bag. I love that feeling.
When I was 13 years old I ran up and down Carnaby Street envying the Mods, in their Sta-Press trousers, monkey jackets and black and white bowling shoes. I aspired to wear those suits and Ray Bans but couldn’t afford to. Now I can, and I do. I am that boy about town , a dedicated follower! In my mind’s eye at least and probably still about 13!”